Seamen deal with hazardous conditions regularly while on the job. Working in the elements, far from medical attention, and using heavy machinery all contribute to the danger associated with this work.
If you or a loved one has been injured in the New Iberia area of Louisiana, you could be eligible for financial compensation. A New Iberia seaman injury lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury lawyers can help.
Common Causes of Seaman Accidents
Seamen face a variety of challenges and hazards daily. There are countless ways to potentially get injured on a vessel or rig. Some of the most common hazards causing injuries include:
- Falling overboard or off of the vessel
- Incomplete training
- Collisions with other vessels
- Collisions with bridges, piers, or docks
- Unsafe or malfunctioning equipment
- Slips and falls
- Towline accidents
- Explosions or electrical fires
- Dangerous wave conditions
- Inclement or dangerous weather
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving New Iberia, call (337)-547-2777
Common Injuries to Seamen
As you likely realize, working as a seaman is risky. Unfortunately, injuries are common due to the many risks associated with maritime work. Common injuries can include:
- Internal injuries (including internal bleeding)
- Back and spine injuries
- Broken and fractured bones
- Loss of mobility or dexterity
- Organ damage
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Exposure to disease or toxic materials
New Iberia Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337)-547-2777
The Jones Act
A seaman injury claim is treated differently than a more traditional, land-based personal injury case. Land-based workers can turn to workers’ compensation, which does not apply to seamen and other maritime workers.
The Jones Act is an essential piece of maritime legislation passed back in 1920, under the name “the Merchant Marine Act.” If you have been injured in the course of your work as a seaman, the Jones Act allows you to sue a negligent employer directly for compensation for your injuries. Under the Jones Act, workers are considered seamen when they spend 30 percent or more of their working time aboard a navigable ship.
If you are not sure if your work would qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, a New Iberia seaman injury lawyer can answer your questions and determine which legal path would be right for you.
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Other Important Maritime Safety Laws
While the Jones Act is important for seaman injury cases in New Iberia, it is not the only law on the books. These other maritime laws are in place to ensure that employers provide a safe work environment for their employees. If an employer is negligent (meaning not providing due care) and causes an injury, you are likely protected by the Jones Act. Two other important laws regarding maritime injuries are:
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): The LHWCA protects maritime workers not covered under the Jones Act. It provides benefits to injured maritime workers who work on or near navigable waterways, including harbor workers, dockworkers, stevedores, shipping terminal employees, shipbuilders, shipbreakers, and ship repairers.
- Death on the High Seas Act: The Death on the High Seas Act was created to protect the families of seamen and maritime workers who died in a nautical accident. This act might entitle you to compensation if a wrongful death occurred due to negligence more than three nautical miles from the shore. A New Iberia seaman injury lawyer can answer your questions, see what damages you may be eligible for, and gently guide you through the legal side of this difficult time.
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Statutes of Limitations
A statute of limitations is the time limit within which you must file a lawsuit. Under the Jones Act, you have three years from the time of the incident to file your lawsuit. You must also notify your employer of the accident within just seven days. Under the LHWCA, you have one year to file your injury claim and up to 30 days to notify your employer of the accident.
These deadlines are taken very seriously and missing any of them could mean giving up your right to seek compensation. Your New Iberia seaman injury lawyer can help make sure all relevant paperwork is filed properly and on time.
What Kinds of Damages Can my Lawyer and I Pursue?
Every case is different, but if your injury qualifies, you and your lawyer could pursue:
- Medical Care Costs: Medical care costs can include doctor visits, surgeries, testing, medications, and any kind of necessary therapy. Medical care cost damages are not only for past medical care, however. You may also be eligible for compensation for anticipated medical care in the future.
- Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering are also claimed in many cases. Pain and suffering refer to an accident’s toll on a victim. Pain and suffering can be physical, mental, or emotional anguish that often accompanies major or life-altering injuries.
- Lost Wages: If you suffered an injury as a seaman, you have likely missed time at work. You may still be unable to perform your work or at least not to your expected level. With a seaman injury lawsuit, you can claim any wages you have missed because of your injury.
- Future Wages: If you are still unable to work and may not be able to work for some time, you may be able to claim future wages as well. This can protect you and your family throughout your recovery.
- Wrongful Death: If someone has lost their life, a family member may claim compensation, including loss of consortium, loss of companionship, final medical bills, and even funeral and burial costs.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand that every dollar is important. Talking to a New Iberia seaman injury lawyer from our firm comes with no upfront costs or charges. We’ll review your case in a free consultation.
In addition, our seaman injury lawyers in the New Iberia area 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.
Call or text (337)-547-2777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form