Jobs on ships and oil rigs – as well as in shipyards and harbors – often involve working long hours under strenuous conditions. As a result, many of these jobs come with inherent risks. If you or somebody you love suffered injuries in a maritime accident, an Opelousas maritime injury lawyer from our firm could pave the way for your financial recovery.
Sea law is complex, and personal injury claims may involve one or more federal laws. Our attorneys serve clients on Louisiana’s coast, so we are familiar with the nuances of these laws and can help you navigate them. You deserve a legal advocate who can fight for compensation while you heal. Free consultations are available when you call.
Our Firm Can Help You Navigate Maritime Law in Louisiana
When you hire a personal injury attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, you get our whole team’s support and guidance. We provide comprehensive legal services, taking care of each phase of your case so that you can recover without worrying about:
- Investigating the incident that caused your injuries
- Identifying who is responsible for your damages
- Compiling evidence to support your injury claim
- Navigating Louisiana’s maritime laws
- Filing paperwork on time
- Calculating the value of each damage you suffered
- Evaluating settlement offers
- Since we approach each case with fresh eyes, this is not an exhaustive list of our services. Our attorneys may need to take other steps to guide your case, such as representing you in court. We’ll make sure you know what to expect from the process and notify you as developments occur in the case.
Previous Clients Praise Our Personal Injury Services
Our firm strives to give each case the time, resources, and energy required to achieve a successful outcome. In our time serving communities like Opelousas, we’ve earned a five-star rating based on more than 400 reviews by treating each client with the respect, compassion, and dignity they deserve. You can hear from a few of our past clients below:
- “I have nothing bad to say about Laborde Earles they have done an excellent job with my case and I would hire them immediately in the future should the occasion arise…” – Alfred Leeper
- “Pleasure to work with! Highly recommend this firm for anyone who has been hurt or injured!” – Gregory Millien
- “Exceptional service. I was treated with care and integrity every time I was in touch with Laborde Earles.” – Bill Weber
We don’t take this praise for granted – our attorneys continue to aim high when it comes to the client’s experience. Trust that when you choose our firm, you can feel confident in your case every step of the way.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Opelousas, call (337) 777-7777
Overview of Maritime Law
United States federal law recognizes maritime professionals as unique and essential contributors to the national flow of commerce. As such, there are special laws at the federal level intended to protect maritime workers by giving them and their families access to compensation in the case of workplace injuries or fatalities.
Some examples of common maritime injuries that may give rise to a claim include:
- Falling overboard
- Crushing injuries
- Chemical exposure or burn
- Toxic fume or smoke inhalation
- Electric shock
- Onboard explosion
- Slip and fall injuries
- Broken bones or lacerations
Unlike employees in other industries, maritime workers are often not covered under workers’ compensation policies. Below, we’ve broken down the federal laws that offer coverage for these and other injuries in place of Louisiana’s workers’ compensation program. We can review your case to determine which to file a claim under – as well as any other legal options you may have.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act extends coverage to “seamen,” defined as sea-based employees who spend more than 30 percent of their time working on a ship in navigable waters. A Jones Act claimant must show that management was negligent in maintaining the vessel and that this failure to provide safe working conditions caused them to suffer injuries.
For example, a ship that is understaffed, has malfunctioning equipment, operates under unsafe orders, and/or provides inadequate staff training could be subject to a Jones Act claim.
The Death on the High Seas Act
If a maritime worker loses their life in waters more than 3 nautical miles from the United States coast, certain relatives of the deceased’s may seek compensation for their loss through the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). To do so, the claimant must prove that the employer, shipowner, or another party was responsible for the death due to negligence or the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
According to the United States Code 46 § 30302, the damages available to a prospective DOHSA claimant are limited to pecuniary – or measurable out-of-pocket—expenditures. Unlike a wrongful death claim, this cause of action forbids the collection of damages like pain and suffering and loss of consortium and society.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
A third federal law covers maritime workers who work on land. Unlike the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers:
- Shipbuilders and repairers
- Harbor or dock construction workers
- Longshore operators, whether at sea or on land
In other words, this law applies to injuries that may occur during the loading, unloading, building, or repairing of a vessel.
The LHWCA provides for a claims process through a Department of Labor oversight body responsible for workers’ compensation claims. After a claimant – or their maritime accident lawyer – submits the proper documentation and claim form, the body reviews the request. If the body rejects a claimant’s application, an administrative law judge (ALJ) can hear the dispute.
Opelousas Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Call Our Firm to Hire a Maritime Injury Attorney in Opelousas Today
After suffering from a maritime workplace injury in Opelousas, you may be facing a long recovery period, pain, significant time away from work, and serious financial burdens. An attorney from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you seek compensation. We also provide legal support for families who lost loved ones to shipyard and offshore injuries.
Our team will analyze your claim to determine which maritime law or combination of laws would result in the best possible outcome for you. Contact our team today for a free case assessment at (337) 777-7777 so that we can get you on the path to financial recovery.
Call or text (337) 777-7777 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form