Many people find maritime work to be an attractive option, especially with opportunities so close to Mandeville. The pay is often good and there’s a certain romance about working in the maritime industry. However, it is quite a hazardous field. Maritime workers and seamen face physical demands and risk of personal injury every day. Maritime accidents can be severe, and the resulting injuries can be life-changing.
If you are a maritime worker and have suffered an injury in a work accident, you might be entitled to compensation. A Mandeville maritime injury lawyer from our firm can help.
What Legislation Covers my Maritime Injury?
Traditional workers’ compensation laws do not cover people who work in the maritime industry. However, there is federal legislation that ensures that maritime workers can claim or pursue compensation for injuries that occur at work. The two laws that cover maritime injuries include:
1. The Jones Act
Introduced in 1920 as the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act allows seamen injured at work to file a lawsuit for compensation directly against their employer. To qualify, you must spend at least 30% of your working hours on a vessel in navigation. To be specific, this term “in navigation” means that the vessel must be:
- In operation
- Capable of sailing
- On navigable waters (at sea, on a river, canal, or lake)
Your vessel doesn’t have to be moving at the time of your accident – it could be secured to a dock – but it must be capable of movement. The Jones Act protects workers on container ships, liners, fishing boats, ferries, barges, and the like. For oil rigs, it all depends on whether the rig is stationary. Some rigs are tethered to the seafloor and cannot independently move. A Mandeville maritime injury lawyer can help you determine exactly which federal law covers your specific situation.
Under the Jones Act, you must file your lawsuit within three years from the date of your accident, or the date your injuries surfaced. You must also report the accident to your employer within seven days.
2. Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) came into effect in 1927. This legislation covers maritime workers aren’t considered seamen and wouldn’t qualify under The Jones Act. It covers such occupations as:
- Harbor construction
- Ship repair
- Longshore work (loading and offloading cargo)
Under the LHWCA, you must file your legal injury claim within just one year of your accident, and you must report the injury to your employer within 30 days.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Mandeville, call (337) 777-7777
What Kinds of Compensation Can I Pursue?
Your Mandeville maritime injury lawyer can go over all possible forms of compensation for your specific situation, but some of the most common can include:
- All Medical Expenses. These will include the cost of immediate emergency treatment and future medical costs. Future costs could include physical therapy, prescription medication, ongoing medical treatment, and so forth.
- Lost Wages.To heal from your accident, you may need to take time off work. This compensation would give you a certain percentage of your usual salary.
- Loss of Future Earnings. Maybe your accident has caused a long-term injury or disability that reduces your ability to work. As this is a direct result of your accident, you could pursue compensation for the work you would have done if you had remained healthy.
- Pain and Suffering.The mental and emotional impact that often accompanies serious injuries could be a part of your financial claim.
Mandeville Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Can I File My Own Claim?
The short answer is yes. However, you should give this option careful thought as you evaluate the following aspects:
Every legal case is complicated, and there are specific procedures that you must follow. You should know your way around not just the legal system, but maritime law specifically.
2. Time and Effort
To properly file your claim will require a lot of work and careful preparation. After your accident, you’ll probably want to rest and recover, not pore over intricate legal documents.
You will have to deal with your employer’s insurance company and perhaps even your employer’s attorneys. The insurance company employs seasoned professionals who have one basic purpose – to settle your claim for as little money as possible. You will have to be an equally experienced negotiator to be able to adequately fight for yourself.
Do you know how much you can ask for in your claim? Or even what damages to include in your claim?
How a Mandeville Maritime Injury Lawyer Can Help
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we serve maritime workers in the Mandeville area and can handle your compensation case from start to finish. A lawyer from our firm could:
- Talk to witnesses
- Review the evidence
- Study relevant documents
- Determine what damages you can claim
- Determine the value of your claim
- Decide what legislation your claim falls under
- Prepare your case
- Negotiate with the insurance adjuster and your employer’s legal team
- Keep you updated on the case
- Represent you in court if necessary
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Can I Afford a Lawyer?
If you choose to hire an attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we will represent you on a contingency basis. This allows us to begin work on your case immediately, without you having to worry about any upfront fees or paying out of pocket. If we help you win or settle your case, we will collect a fee covering the costs of your case and attorney fees. This simply comes from a percentage of your total settlement package. If we don’t win the case for you, you don’t owe us anything.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today. We will be happy to arrange a free consultation to review your case and create a game plan to move forward. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about anything pertaining to your case or legal counsel. Let us handle your legal claim so you can focus on recovery.