Working on a water vessel can be hazardous—even a slight off-shore accident can lead to life-changing injuries. Thankfully, there are laws created by congress for the sheer purpose of making sure a seaman can sue for compensation in the event of an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an off-shore accident, you could be entitled to financial compensation. A Metairie seaman injury lawyer from our firm can answer your questions, provide solid legal counsel, and take on the work of your injury claim so you have time to focus on rest and healing.
What Should I Do After a Seaman Accident?
There are several things you can do immediately following your accident to safeguard your injury claim and your health:
Get Medical Help
Most large water vessels have a medical facility on board. If the vessel you are in doesn’t have medics, try your best to get medical help quickly. Delaying treatment for any length of time could worsen injuries. If you choose to hire a lawyer, this can be done any time after you get hurt. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers are open and take calls 24 hours a day.
Inform Your Employer
Inform your employer about the accident in an official accident report (and get a copy for your records). Remember that under the Jones Act, you only have seven days to do this, so it should be done as soon as possible. Your lawyer can be present at this meeting if you like.
Keep Copies of Everything
Keep a copy of the accident report, medical bills, and all injury documents (x-rays, etc.). These could be valuable evidence in your case. Also, take photos of your injuries before and after treatment.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Metairie, call (337) 777-7777
Understanding the Jones Act
Congress passed the Jones Act after acknowledging that the injuries sustained at work by water vessel crew members such as seamen are unique and complicated. The Jones Act states that as a seaman, you can sue your employer for compensation if the accident happened because of negligence.
To qualify as a seaman, you need to prove that you spend at least 30% of your on-duty hours aboard the water vessel. Also, the accident must have happened when the vessel was in navigation and you were on duty. For an accident on a docked vessel, you would sue under a different set of laws known as the Longshore and Harbor workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for a seaman accident claim is three years from the date of the accident. Once the three-year period lapses, you lose your right to seek compensation. Another important deadline in the Jones Act is that of notifying your employer of the accident. You must report the accident to your employer and you must do so within just seven days of the accident.
Missing this deadline could also mean giving up your right to pursue compensation. Your Metairie seaman injury lawyer can help make sure that all of your paperwork is filed on time.
Metairie Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
What Damages Can a Seaman Injury Lawyer Help You Pursue?
As stated earlier, seaman injury accidents are very complicated because a different set of rules governs them. However, your Metairie seaman injury lawyer can help you pursue the compensation you need. Some of the damages you and your lawyer can sue for are:
- Wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional damage
- Medical expenses
- Transportation costs for getting you from the accident to the hospital
- Funeral costs
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Reduced quality of life
- Property damage (and so much more)
How a Metairie Seaman Injury Lawyer Can Help
The moment our firm takes on your case, your lawyer can take over all of the work of your case to make sure you have time to devote to healing from your injuries. At the same time, we handle all the details, focusing on seeking your compensation. Your lawyer’s duties can include the following:
- Analyzing the details of the case to determine who was at fault
- Gathering evidence such as eyewitness statements, medical records, police reports, etc.
- Scheduling appointments to brief you on the case proceedings and also court appointments if necessary
- Working with professionals such as medics to be able to gauge how much medical bills will cost you currently and in the future
- Filing a compensation claim with your insurance company
- Negotiating with the insurance company and your employer’s legal team for a fair settlement
- Giving you legal counsel and answering any questions you may have
- Representing you in court if necessary
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Will My Lawyer Contact Insurance Companies on My Behalf?
Immediately after the accident happens, your employer’s insurance company could reach out to you and try to offer a settlement amount. Often the amount they will offer will be less than what you deserve. It will be hard to know how much is enough because you don’t have experience with seaman injury cases, so that’s where your lawyer comes in.
After finding out who the at-fault party in the accident was, your lawyer can contact their legal counsel to file a compensation claim. After lengthy negotiations, the attorneys could come to an agreement on an appropriate settlement amount. If your lawyer still thinks you deserve more than their final offer, your lawyer could take the matter to court. However, most cases are usually settled out of court to avoid lengthy court proceedings.
How Much does a Seaman Injury Lawyer Cost in Metairie?
Many lawyers in Metairie use an hourly rate or fixed rate to price their services. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency basis. Our Metairie seaman injury lawyers know that this could be one of the hardest periods of your life, physically, emotionally, and financially.
By using a contingency basis, you won’t have to pay us a dime until and unless you receive compensation. If we win, and you receive compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we don’t win and you don’t get compensated, we won’t charge you anything. No upfront costs, no hidden charges.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Contacting a lawyer quickly allows us to guide you through the next steps in the claims process as soon as possible. Also, this can allow your lawyer a chance to gather evidence while it’s still fresh—before anyone starts forgetting fundamental details. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’re proud to serve the Metairie area. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.