The maritime industry can be very dangerous. Being a seaman or maritime worker has its own set of occupational hazards and they can be deadly. The injuries that result from off-shore accidents can be life-changing and can often take time away from work to heal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an off-shore work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Morse seaman injury attorneys can handle all of the work of your injury claim so you can rest and focus on recovering from your injuries.
What Can I Do as a Seaman to Seek Compensation?
Land-based workers who get hurt on the job have workers’ compensation from their employer to cover their medical bills. This protection, however, does not extend to sailors or seamen. Instead, the Jones Act, a federal statute, protects wounded sailors and allows them to sue for injuries caused by their employer’s negligence.
Jones Act Eligibility
To be eligible for Jones Act protection, you must fulfill some requirements. First, the Jones Act requires proof that the vessel’s owner, your employer, or another seaman’s carelessness caused your injuries. The statute also gives sailors the right to sue their employer if a design or manufacturing flaw that rendered the vessel unfit for navigation caused their injuries.
Second, you must be a qualified seaman who spends at least 30% of your time working onboard a particular ship, fleet, or off-shore platform. Furthermore, your responsibilities must contribute directly to the ship’s activities or complete its given tasks. If you don’t match at least one of the above criteria, you can still claim benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which covers non-seaman marine workers.
The LHWCA protects harbor employees, dockers, a majority of other maritime workers, and those who work at shipping terminals or shipyards. You must work on or near a navigable body of water to be eligible for benefits under the LHWCA. To put it another way, a considerable portion of your job must include the building, deconstruction, repair, or loading and unloading of vessels.
A Morse seaman injury lawyer can determine which federal law covers you and guide you in your next steps.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Morse, call (337) 777-7777
Deadlines for Filing a Seaman Injury Claim
As a seaman, you have the right to seek compensation for losses such as lost income, decreased earning ability, and pain and suffering (on top of maintenance and cure benefits) if you qualify for Jones Act protection. However, under the Jones Act, you have three years from the date of the accident to file your lawsuit. You must also notify your employer of the accident within just seven days. You could be giving up your right to sue if you go over the time limit.
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), you have one year from the date of the accident to file your injury claim and up to 30 days to notify your employer of the accident.
These deadlines are taken very seriously and are strictly enforced. A Morse seaman injury lawyer can help make sure all of your relevant paperwork is filed properly and on time.
Morse Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Maintenance and Cure
If you’re qualified as a seaman, you may be eligible for maintenance and cure benefits from your employer while you’re recovering. Unlike the Jones Act, maintenance and cure payments are available for you regardless of who caused the damage.
Definition of Maintenance
The term maintenance comes from the employer’s responsibility to give room and board to a seaman while they are working aboard a ship, or in other words, the employee’s ‘maintenance.’
Maintenance pays for the seaman’s rent or mortgage, food, utilities, homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes, which the employer formerly paid on the sea. Because maintenance solely refers to the required expenditures of operating one’s household, it excludes secondary needs such as internet or gasoline.
Definition of Cure
The term “cure” refers to the provision of reasonable medical treatment. When a seaman gets injured or sick while on the sea, their employer and the ship’s owner must give all necessary medical care, emergency medical treatment, surgeries, hospitalization, physical therapy, and transportation to and from doctor’s offices.
An injured sailor should not have to pay anything toward their medical care for a work-related accident; the employer bears this duty.
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What Types of Other Benefits can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
Maintenance and cure can be helpful, but your Morse seaman injury lawyer can fight for so much more to help you during this time. You and your lawyer could pursue:
- Present and future medical bills: This can include physical therapy, prescription drugs, or emergency treatment.
- Lost earnings during recovery: This can include money you would have made if you had been physically able to work.
- Loss of potential income: This is when your accident has resulted in permanent damage that reduces your ability to work long term.
- Pain and suffering: Your accident might cause you long-term pain and suffering as a result of something that was not your fault.
- Emotional trauma: Many accident victims suffer from psychological aftereffects. This could include PTSD or depression.
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
Maritime law can be pretty complex and very difficult to understand. A Morse seaman injury lawyer from our firm can take on the work of your case while you rest and recover. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our representatives.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form