Most maritime workers do not receive the same worker’s compensation as onshore workers do. However, this doesn’t mean various federal and state laws do not protect them. Many hazards can occur offshore in work environments, involving vessels and heavy equipment. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights if you have suffered from a maritime accident injury.
A New Iberia maritime injury lawyer with Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you sue your employer for damages you suffered on the job. We will gather evidence that supports your claim or lawsuit and fight for your recovery at trial if we don’t reach a settlement. We can review your claim with you during a free consultation when you call.
Maritime Injuries and Possible Damages
Maritime professionals are essential to keeping our nation running. U.S. federal laws offer protections to help them obtain compensation if they are hurt or fatally wounded in the workplace.
Common maritime injuries in the workplace that could lead to a claim include:
- Head injuries
- Loss of mobility
- Broken bones
- Amputation of limbs or digits
- Occupational illnesses or diseases
- Toxic exposure
- Electric shock
- Neck, back, or spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Cuts, bruises, and burns
- Slip and fall injuries
Depending on your job and injury situation, you can seek compensation to cover various damages, including:
- Medical care costs: All past and future costs, including doctor’s visits, surgical procedures, medication, diagnostic testing, and physical therapy
- Lost wages: Wages you would have earned during your injury period and recovery process that prevented you from working
- Pain and suffering: The mental, emotional, and physical toll of the accident and your resulting injuries
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving New Iberia, call (337) 777-7777
A General Overview of Maritime Injury Laws
Any injuries that require medical treatment or make maritime workers miss work could be the basis of a claim. As noted earlier, workers’ compensation policies do not cover maritime workers. However, several other federal laws do.
When our New Iberia maritime injury lawyer reviews your potential claim, they will determine if you can file it under any of the legal options listed below:
The Jones Act
Because maritime workers have no protections under traditional workers’ compensation laws, they may sue their employer directly under the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. 30104). Any worker on a seafaring vessel is considered a maritime worker and eligible as a “seaman” under the act. This act defines a seaman as any worker on a vessel who navigates rivers, oceans, or offshore waters. Examples of offshore vessels include:
- Floating barges
- Diving vessels
- Cruise ships
- Cargo ships
- Fishing boats
- Other work-related water-worthy crafts
Under the Jones Act, you can file a formal lawsuit against your employer if you experience an on-the-job accident or injury to their negligence or a crewmember’s negligence.
The law is in place to ensure that employers maintain a safe work environment that prevents unnecessary injuries and wrongful deaths. Your accident must result in a severe or permanent injury or disability to file a claim under the Jones Act.
Proving Seaman Eligibility, Filing a Jones Act Claim
When filing a claim under the Jones Act, you must first confirm your eligibility as a seaman and prove this status. There will also be evidence you need to prepare. The completeness of your documentation could influence the level of compensation you receive.
Where possible, make sure to collect these where possible:
- A copy of the accident report
- Notes and contact details from witnesses of your accident
- Medical bills related to your injury or accident
- Medical reports linking your injury to the accident
- Out-of-pocket receipts, including medication and transportation expenses
These are the steps to expect when filing a claim:
- Filing a claim with your employer’s insurance company
- Supply proof of your damages and injuries
- Show that your injuries were a result of negligence by your employer or negligence by a crewmember
Three Years to File
U.S Code 46 § 30106 outlines the Jones Act’s statute of limitations. It states that individuals must file a formal civil action within three years of the incident. While you don’t have to see an employer’s doctor under the Jones Act, it is best to inform your employer of your injury immediately.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation ACT (LHWCA) federal law covers maritime workers who work on land, such as:
- Longshore operators, whether at sea or on land
- Shipbuilders and repairers
- Harbor or dock construction workers
Any injuries maritime members in these groups suffer will likely occur while vessels are being built, repaired, or loaded and unloaded.
Injured parties who want to pursue an LHWCA accident claim for benefits must submit a form and documentation themselves or through a lawyer. The United States Department of Labor must receive the paperwork within one year of the injury date. If the oversight body that reviews the claims rejects the application, an administrative law judge (ALJ) can hear the dispute.
Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act (DOSHA) allows designated surviving family members of a deceased maritime worker to seek compensation for their loss. DOSHA covers workers who died in waters more than 3 nautical miles from the U.S. coast. Claimants must prove how the decedent’s employer, shipowner, or another party was responsible for the death due to negligence or an unseaworthy vessel.
Per United States Code 46 § 30303, DOSHA claimants’ damages can only recover measurable out-of-pocket (pecuniary) expenditures. They cannot collect damages such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium and society.
New Iberia Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Reach Out to a New Iberia Maritime Injury Lawyer for Support
Maritime injuries can cause significant physical and mental consequences that significantly impact your life. Our Iberia maritime injury attorney can help you navigate intimidating legal processes.
We will negotiate with insurance companies, represent you in court, gather all the required evidence and documentation, and more. Let us focus on getting you the compensation you deserve while you prioritize your recovery from injuries or navigate the wrongful death of a loved one.
Call us at (337) 777-7777 for your free consultation today.