Spinal cord injuries are, without question, traumatic and, for some, permanently life-altering. If you sustained a spinal cord injury as a worker in the maritime industry, you have rights—including the right to claim compensation.
Our New Iberia maritime spinal cord injury lawyers know maritime work is hard and dangerous, and the laws governing injury compensation are complicated. The team at Laborde Earles applies our decades spent fighting for justice to each case as if it’s our only case.
Making a Claim for Spinal Cord Injury Compensation
Suppose you injured your spinal cord while working in the maritime industry offshore or in or near navigable waters. In that case, you can pursue full and fair compensation via an insurance settlement or jury verdict. Our maritime spinal cord injury attorneys in New Iberia, Louisiana, will guide you in the appropriate direction.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
How the Jones Act Applies to Spinal Cord Injuries for Seamen
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, known as the Jones Act, extended rights granted to seamen by the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA). (“Seamen” under the Jones Act refers to the individual, regardless of gender.) This law allows you to file a lawsuit against your employer if you sustained an injury while working at sea.
You could also pursue compensation if your spinal cord injury were due to the ship or boat being unseaworthy. However, it’s critical to note that the Jones Act and the unseaworthiness doctrine are the only two paths for a seaman to pursue compensation for a personal injury.
To claim under the Jones Act, you must have spent 30% of your time working on a vessel “in navigation,” and that work must contribute to the work or operation of the vessel. Our spinal cord injury lawyers will explore your eligibility during your initial consultation.
Maintenance and Cure Claim
Once we determine your spinal cord injury is work-related, we’ll help you file a claim for compensation that covers your living expenses and medical costs—your “maintenance and cure” under general maritime law.
If your employer’s negligence contributed in any way to your spinal cord injury—which can include negligence by the vessel’s owner, captain, or other crew members—you could file a claim that covers more than just “maintenance and cure,” such as:
- Lost wages from the time of your injury. This category also includes the difference in wages if you had to take a lower-paying job, or lifetime wages if you can no longer work.
- Medical costs beyond what you may have collected from a maintenance and cure claim, including long-term care, rehab, in-home care, and adaptation of your home or vehicle if your needs and abilities have changed.
- Pain and suffering, both current and projected.
- Loss of companionship.
Statute of Limitations
The Jones Act establishes a three-year statute of limitations for filing a claim.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
Unseaworthiness Claims for Maritime Spinal Cord Injuries
You could file an unseaworthiness claim if you sustained a spinal cord injury due to the vessel, equipment, or crew not being reasonably adequate for the intended job.
Did you work on or adjacent to navigable waters in the maritime industry and sustain a spinal cord injury on the job? Then, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) is typically your path to pursuing a claim for compensation.
One key difference between the Jones Act and the LHWCA is that you do not need to prove negligence to file for appropriate compensation under the LHWCA. Again, our maritime spinal cord injury attorneys in New Iberia will help you determine where to file your claim based on your job and circumstances.
To file a claim for compensation under the LHWCA, your injury must be:
- Reported within 30 days of sustaining the spinal cord injury (there are exceptions to this timeframe, as our attorneys will explain).
- Filed as a claim within the one-year statute of limitations, although exceptions exist for this timeframe as well.
The LHWCA provides for:
- Temporary total or partial disability
- Permanent total or partial disability
- Transportation costs
- Vocational rehab
There are numerous steps to filing an LHWCA claim. Our maritime injury attorneys can guide you through the complicated route in pursuit of an appropriate compensation settlement.
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers and Spinal Cord Injuries
Our New Iberia maritime spinal cord injury lawyers aggressively advocate for our clients. We’re fiercely proud of our combined 350 years in the legal arena, and we’ve used that experience to help clients recover more than $600 million in compensation settlements and verdicts.
When you’ve suffered a severe maritime injury like a spinal cord injury, monetary compensation might not get you back to where you were before the accident. However, it can help you carve a new path in life.
In the legal community, our peers have generously acknowledged the value of our work, recognizing us with these honors:
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
- AV Preeminent Highest Level of Professional Excellence Martindale-Hubbell
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
- Super Lawyers at SuperLawyers.com
- Trucking Trial Lawyers Top 10
What Our Satisfied Clients Say About Our Work
Our clients’ recognition means everything to us—even more than what our peers say. Here’s a sample of what past clients have to say:
“The Laborde Earles staff was perfect. They made sure through the whole process that me and my family were taken care of. I highly recommend them. Thanks again.” — Zack
“They are very professional, and they will get you the best service. Miss Jeanne Laborde and Miss Kimberly Fontenot are the best fighting for your case and protecting you.” — David
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Contact Our Maritime Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Today
Call our office today to schedule a free initial consultation. The team at Laborde Earles wants to learn what happened to you and answer your questions. We are the Louisiana attorneys who care. Your future matters to us; we will help you fight for it.