More than 400,000 maritime employees work throughout the United States, including New Orleans, Louisiana. Maritime workers face a higher risk of injury, illness, and death on the job than the average U.S. worker, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a maritime accident, you may be able to recover damages from your employer that could pay your medical bills and other accident-related losses. Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers is ready to look at your case to see how a New Orleans maritime injury lawyer from our team can help you take legal action. We offer a free consultation to help you get started.
How the Jones Act Protects Maritime Workers
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (46 U.S.C. § 30104), also known as the Jones Act, is a federal law allowing eligible maritime employees to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employers. The law applies to “seamen,” or crew members who work aboard or around vessels and those whose work involves a body of water, such as a river, lake, or ocean.
The Jones Act offers injured workers an opportunity to receive “maintenance and cure” benefits from their employer if they are injured while working. As the Legal Information Institute (LII) explains, maintenance covers an injured seaman’s daily living expenses, while cure pertains to injury-related medical costs. A lawyer with our firm can explain concepts like these in detail as they relate to your case.
When to Pursue a Jones Act Case
If a maritime employee can prove their employer’s negligence caused their accident, they can seek to hold them accountable under the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, an injured worker does not have to prove how their employer was negligent. They must only prove their employer’s actions were a factor in causing their injury.
Examples of maritime employer negligence are:
- Failing to provide a hazard-free work environment, such as keeping ship decks free of spilled liquids like oil or grease
- Failing to train employees on how to use tools and equipment properly
- Not keeping machinery maintained or up to date
- Failing to establish or enforce worker safety policies
- Requiring employees to work longer-than-normal shifts or not giving them proper work breaks
If you are injured on the job, you should get prompt medical attention. All injuries are worth a doctor’s examination, no matter how minor they appear. Getting emergency care can also document your injuries and the fact that you sought help right away, which could strengthen your case.
Filing a claim under the Jones Act can be intimidating, but our maritime injury lawyers in our New Orleans office can guide you through it. We will explain your rights and responsibilities under the law and help you fill out the proper claim forms, ensuring you report your injury promptly.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) May Apply to Your Case
If you are unsure whether you are covered under the Jones Act, we encourage you to call our legal team today so that we can review your legal options with you. You may be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
This federal law pays benefits, including health care and rehabilitation services, to workers injured on navigable U.S. waters or in areas related to those waters. This includes employees who load or unload vessels or work to build or repair them.
The LHWCA also pays survivor benefits to dependents if a work injury causes or plays a role in an employee’s death. If you qualify for LHWCA benefits, we can advise you on that option.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 766-3527
Damages You May Collect Following a Maritime Accident
If you can sue your employer for damages suffered in your accident, you could recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses for past, ongoing, and future treatment
- Lost or reduced wages from time missed at work
- Loss of potential future wages
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Wrongful death damages
- Other accident-related expenses
You may qualify for damages not listed here, so consider speaking with one of our attorneys for more specific guidance. A lawyer with our firm can review the details of your accident to determine if you should seek payment for your injuries.
The federal laws about maritime coverage eligibility and other matters can be challenging for a layperson. This is why working with an attorney who understands the complexities of maritime law could benefit you.
New Orleans Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (504) 766-3527
The Statute of Limitations for Maritime Injury Cases
If you are considering pursuing compensation for a maritime accident, it is best to act as soon as possible. You generally have three years from the injury date to sue under the Jones Act, per 46 U.S.C. § 30106.
You generally have one year from the accident or injury date to file an LHWCA claim, per U.S.C. 33 § 913. Missing these deadlines can bar you from seeking compensation for your injuries.
Your lawyer will need time to build a case for your compensation, fill out all essential paperwork, and give your case the attention it deserves. Don’t wait to get legal help.
How a New Orleans Maritime Injury Lawyer on Our Team Can Help Your Case
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can manage your maritime injury case from start to finish. We take care of our clients, anticipating their needs during a challenging time.
We can examine your evidence, collect additional evidence if needed, and value your damages, so you know what your case is worth. We can also communicate with all parties in your case and represent you in all proceedings, making it easier for you to focus on your recovery.
In sum, our duties in your case may include:
- Investigation: Our team will take all steps necessary to gather evidence, obtain witness accounts, and put together a comprehensive case. Because of our proximity to New Orleans, we are positioned to do everything your investigation requires. We may even hire experts to reconstruct your maritime accident.
- Communications: Our firm will handle as much of your case-related communications as we are allowed to. Whether we are dealing with insurance companies, other attorneys, witnesses, or defendants in your case, we’ll do the talking (and listening).
- Administrative Duties: Injury cases can require a significant amount of paperwork. When dealing with the Jones Act and other statutes related to maritime injuries, the paperwork burden may be unusually great. Our firm has attorneys, paralegals, and support staff ready to handle administrative duties for you.
- Negotiations: Negotiations are a pivotal stage in any personal injury case. Our firm will prepare exhaustively for negotiations. When settlement talks begin, we won’t back down until we receive a fair offer. Going to trial is an option we always consider, so we are able to stand firm during settlement talks.
- Trial: If your case requires a trial, this will be our responsibility. Trials are not always necessary, but we have secured substantial judgments for our clients. If we need to take your case to the courtroom, we will be prepared.
Our firm has two primary goals: protecting your rights and securing a fair financial recovery. As we handle your case, we also want to ensure that your mind is at ease. Our team works to achieve client satisfaction by:
- Responding quickly to all inquiries: When you call or email us, you deserve a prompt response. If you don’t reach us immediately, a team member will get back to you as quickly as possible.
- Helping with case-related appointments: We may be in a position to help you get medical treatment or other case-related services. If we can help you, we will.
- Listening: While it sounds simple, listening to the client is not guaranteed with many law firms. Our team will take the time to listen and understand what you’re going through. If you have any requests for us, we will do our best to accommodate them.
- Providing regular case updates: No client should have to repeatedly contact their law firm to find out about their case’s progress. Our firm is proactive with every client, reaching out when there is a significant change in your case’s status.
- Doing everything we can to win for you: Client service includes results. We will serve you by lending you every resource and doing everything in our power to win your case. As a maritime worker, you have certain rights. We’ll pursue a just outcome if your rights have been violated and you’re suffering as a result.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers has a strong reputation among past clients. We have earned that reputation, and we’ll work to add you to our list of satisfied clients.
Our Lawyers Have Recovered More Than $600 Million for Our Clients
With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, we strive to protect all injury victims in New Orleans and elsewhere in Louisiana. Our past results attest to our successful track record.
- We secured a $23 million judgment for a woman’s wrongful death.
- Our trial lawyers got a $17 million verdict for clients whose health care provider overbilled them.
- We won $7 million for a truck driver’s injuries.
- Our firm secured $5.5 million for an injured maritime employee.
We will treat your case with the same care and attention as these successful cases.
We Can Get to Work for You on a No-Win, No-Fee Basis
When you call our firm, you will receive a free, no-obligation consultation right away. Unless and until your case ends with a settlement or court award, you will not pay us anything:
- Out of your pocket
We understand the financial burden you’re carrying right now, and we don’t want to add to it. You must save your money so you can rest easy while we take care of everything else.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers About Your Maritime Injury Case
The sooner you hire an attorney from our team at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, the sooner we can start working for you.
Give us a call today to review your case during a free evaluation and help you plan your legal strategy. You pay no attorney’s fees unless we win.