The maritime industry in Louisiana is one of the biggest contributors to its economy. Opportunities abound and the pay is generally quite good. But there’s also an inherent danger involved with maritime work. Heavy machinery, bad weather, and simple human error can all lead to horrific off-shore accidents that leave seamen or other maritime workers injured.
When a maritime accident occurs, it may be difficult to know what steps are required to pursue compensation. Are you or a loved one suffering from a seaman injury in Leesville, LA? A seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you pursue compensation for your injuries.
Major Causes of Seaman Accidents in Leesville
Working as a seaman can be a hazardous job. Regardless of safety measures and policies that exist to protect seamen from injuries, off-shore and maritime accidents are bound to occur one way or another. Negligence or recklessness of the parties involved are often the cause of seaman accidents, but they’re not the only reasons. Some other factors behind these accidents include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Overloading or improperly loading cargo
- Fatigue from long trips at sea
- Inadequate training of workers
- Working with or near dangerous machinery or toxic chemicals
- Injuries from repetitive motion
- Negligence from co-workers
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Steps to Follow Immediately After an Off-Shore or Maritime Accident
If you become a victim of an accident like this, here are a few steps you should try to take:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Immediately after an accident, your priority should be to get medical help. Even if your injuries appear minor, get seen by a professional. Some injuries (like concussions) are only noticeable by a doctor.
2. Report the Accident
This is one of the most important steps. You must report the accident to your employer. Under the Jones Act, you only have seven days from the accident to do this. Your lawyer can be present if you wish.
3. Collect Every Piece of Evidence
Start collecting information from eyewitnesses—phone numbers and names can be very helpful in the long run. If possible, take pictures of your injuries (before and after treatment) and videos of the accident scene to help build up your case when the time comes.
4. Keep Copies of Everything
Seaman injuries can cause prolonged pain and suffering, not to mention be costly to treat. For this reason, we suggest keeping receipts from any expenses you had to pay out of pocket for treatment.
Even small details like transportation costs to the hospital should also be included. If someone else caused this accident, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill. Include copies of the accident report and police report.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
How Can a Leesville Seaman Injury Lawyer Help?
Your lawyer can do a lot to help your case. Your attorney can:
- Correspond with insurers and your employer’s legal team to negotiate your settlement
- Explain any legal jargon you find confusing
- Assist in gathering evidence and speaking to eyewitnesses
- Investigate your accident to determine the cause and the at-fault party
- Update you on relevant issues related to your case
- Give you solid legal advice
- Calculate the value of your claim
Seaman injury cases can be complicated, especially when the liable party is reluctant to settle. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we can fight on your behalf. We know the tricks insurance companies use to devalue or kill your claim, and we know to beat them at their own game.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Federal Laws That Help Seamen
Seamen can seek compensation for work-related injuries by suing their employers directly. This ability for seamen to seek compensation from their employer is covered under the Jones Act.
Compensation Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act establishes three steps to determine whether you qualify:
- The vessel where you work and the accident occurred must be navigable and capable of moving in any body of water.
- Your duties must largely contribute to the overall success or functioning of the water vessel.
- You must spend up to 30% of your working time aboard this water vessel.
Compensation Under the LHWCA
A maritime worker who doesn’t qualify as a Jones Act seaman can still be compensated. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was implemented to accommodate workers who work on or near navigable waterways. This includes dockworkers, harbor workers, those who construct, repair, or break down ships, or load and unload vessels. Under both acts, a seaman or maritime worker can plead for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of ability to perform duties as before
- Pain and suffering
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Statute of Limitations in Leesville
When you get injured while working as a seaman, it’s always a good idea to start the claim process immediately after the accident. There are statutes of limitations (time limits) for both the Jones Act and LHWCA claims. These deadlines are taken very seriously.
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. However, you only have seven days from the accident to report it to your employer. Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year from the date of the accident to file your injury claim and up to 30 days to report the accident to your employer.
The consequences for failing to meet these deadlines are serious. Missing any of them could mean giving up your right to seek compensation. Your Leesville seaman injury lawyer can make sure all of your relevant paperwork is filled out properly and filed on time.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Talking to a Leesville seaman injury lawyer from our firm comes with no upfront costs or charges. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’ll review your case in a free consultation. In addition, our seaman injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means if we win and you receive compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her legal fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything. Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free consultation.