Working off-shore in New Orleans can be hazardous. It’s just the nature of the job. Maritime employees are exposed to danger constantly. When you’re working on offshore jack-up rigs, crane barges, oil rigs, or multi-level vessel services, there’s a risk of getting injured at any time.
A New Orleans off-shore accident lawyer from our firm can help you pursue compensation if you’ve been injured in an off-shore accident.
Common Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
There are many causes of off-shore injuries, and many of them are preventable. Negligence can cause a lot of maritime injuries, both on and off-shore. Some of the most common causes can include:
- Equipment failure and malfunction, due to poor maintenance
- Unsecured or improperly stowed gear
- Fire and electrical hazards
- Improper use of toxic chemicals
- Extreme weather exposure
- Slips and falls
- Lack of adherence to safety protocols and lack of training
- Barge and tugboat accidents
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving New Orleans, call (504) 766-3527
What Should I Do After an Off-Shore Accident?
Your first actions after a maritime accident can be crucial to your case and your health. You should:
- Get medical attention. Seek treatment immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Waiting for any length of time can worsen injuries.
- Report the accident to your employer. This should be done as soon as possible after obtaining medical care.
- Gather evidence. If you are physically able, you should take photos of the scene, write down important details about the accident in a notebook, and gather statements from any eyewitnesses. If you aren’t physically able, a New Orleans off-shore accident lawyer could do this for you.
New Orleans Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (504) 766-3527
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides medical care, vocational rehabilitation services, and compensation to employees injured at work on or near navigable waters in areas like docks, harbors, and shipping terminals.
This means the LHWCA can apply to ship repairers, shipbreakers, shipbuilders, longshore workers, harbor construction workers, and those who work loading and offloading cargo.
If a loved one was a maritime worker who was killed at work in one of these jobs, the LHWCA can often provide death benefits. A New Orleans off-shore accident lawyer can gently guide you through the legal process of filing this claim.
The Jones Act
Seamen have their own laws in case of injury. To qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, you must be an active crew member working on a navigable vessel and spend more than 30% of your time aboard the ship.
The Jones Act provides legal grounds for you to file a civil suit directly against your employer when you’re injured working on a vessel. However, under the Jones Act, negligence must have played a part in the accident to file for compensation.
Statutes of Limitations
Under the LHWCA, you have up to one year to file your case from the day of your injury. You also need to report your accident to your employer within 30 days (though this should be done as soon as possible). The deadlines are different under the Jones Act.
Under the Jones Act, you have up to three years to file your injury claim and must report the off-shore accident to your employer within seven days. Failure to meet these mandates could strip you of your legal right to pursue compensation.
Documents You May Need
Fighting for your compensation requires a lot of preparation. You will need to provide documents that prove you were injured while at work. Jones Act claims must also include proof of negligence. Some of the key documents you may need could include:
- Proof of service on a vessel
- Records of injury
- Accident report
- Medical records
- Correspondence from your employer regarding the accident
- Photos of the accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses
In case of the death of a loved one in an off-shore accident, you should also be prepared to provide the following documents in addition to the other information:
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificates of the surviving dependents
- Certification of the funeral expenses
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How Much Compensation Might I Be Entitled to?
Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, you might be entitled to the following benefits in your compensation:
- Medical and ambulance expenses
- Cost of X-rays, tests, and surgeries
- Cost of medication and prosthetics
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Mental health expenses
- Loss of wages during recovery
- Lost potential for income after a disability
How Can a New Orleans Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Help?
Maritime law is complex and can be difficult to understand at the best of times. When you’re injured and in pain, tackling your own case can be a monumental undertaking. A lawyer from our firm could help by:
- Giving you a free case evaluation
- Filling out all the paperwork and filing your claim
- Determining the extent of the damage and calculating the compensation you could pursue
- Investigating your case to determine cause and liability
- Reviewing available evidence like photographs, video footage, police and medical reports, and safety data
- Interviewing any available eyewitnesses
- Explaining all the legal jargon and keeping you in the loop during the process.
- Negotiating with insurance companies
When all this is done, we can use it to build your case. When you’re hurting, it can be hard to pay attention to all the details. A lawyer from our firm can watch your back and provide you with legal advice. Our team can take on the stress of your case and provide you with ample time to heal.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’re ready to represent you and fight for your compensation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t pay any legal fees unless we win, and you receive a settlement.