Maritime work is one of the most challenging jobs, and workers can sustain injuries when accidents happen. Whether it’s a serious burn from an onboard fire outbreak, broken limbs due to bad working conditions, or any other form of suffering, you may be entitled to compensation if the accident happened because of negligence (your employer’s or a third party’s).
A Rayne maritime injury lawyer can help you file a claim against the liable party and pursue reimbursement.
What Are the Common Causes of Maritime Accidents?
Many things can cause accidents in a ship, dock, or harbor. Workers can sustain injuries due to several factors, from sharp tools to slippery floors to misuse of chemicals. The following are some of the common causes of maritime accidents:
- Faulty moving parts of a boat/ship
- Toxic chemicals on board the vessel or at the harbor
- Slippery floors
- Fatigue due to poor work practices
- Lack of proper training for workers
- Poor decisions by management
What Should I Do After a Maritime Accident?
The steps you take after an accident can affect your case considerably. Follow these steps to be on the right track:
Report The Accident to Your Supervisor
After getting hurt while working, the first thing to do is notify your supervisor or manager. This step is crucial because the laws that protect maritime workers make it mandatory to notify your employer of an accident at work for your claim to be valid. The supervisor can also help you access first aid and medical assistance.
Document the Accident Scene
You need solid evidence to argue your case and receive compensation following a maritime accident. Take pictures of the accident scene, such as the tools and the conditions that caused the accident. If you are too hurt to document the scene, ask a coworker to assist you.
Seek Medical Attention
Maritime accidents can leave you in a lot of pain and suffering. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible to relieve the pain, prevent further medical problems, and maybe even save your life. Even if you aren’t severely hurt superficially, get medical care to rule out internal bleeding, bruises, blood clots, and bone fractures. Internal injuries can lead to severe pain and even disability if left untreated.
Contact a Maritime Accident Attorney
The laws surrounding maritime accidents can be confusing, so pursuing compensation on your own is not always the best option. The Jones Act protects seamen, while the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act protects workers who work on the harbor. A maritime accident lawyer can determine the law that applies to your case and assist you in filing a claim.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Rayne, call (337) 777-7777
The Difference Between the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Suppose you have been in a maritime accident. You may pursue compensation through two options: The Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) options.
The Jones Act protects seamen, while LHWCA protects employees working around the ship and harbor.
Who Is a Seaman?
A seaman is any worker who is a crew on a sea vessel in navigation. There are three conditions that you need to fulfill to be a seaman. These are:
- Have a job onboard a ship that is in navigation
- Spend at least 30% of your work time on the vessel in navigation
- Contribute to the vessel’s work
Examples of seamen can include:
- Service people
Who Is Protected By LHWCA?
If you don’t qualify as a seaman but do maritime work near navigable waters, the LHWCA could protect you in the event of a workplace injury. Examples of workers who might be eligible for compensation through this act could include:
- Longshore workers
- Ship repairers
- Harbor construction workers
Rayne Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Do I Need a Maritime Accident Lawyer?
While it’s not mandatory to hire a maritime accident attorney, it may help to have someone on your side. Pursuing such a complicated case on your own can be very stressful. Not to mention, the person at fault might deny liability. A lawyer from our firm could help you in the following ways:
- File the claim within the statute of limitations
- Handle all the paperwork
- Value your pain and suffering
- Negotiate the proper settlement for you
How Long Do I Have to File a Maritime Accident Claim?
The statute of limitations is the time frame within which you must file a claim. After that, the case becomes invalid. If you are filing a claim under the Jones Act, federal law provides a three-year statute of limitation. If the claim falls under the LHWCA, you have one year after the accident to pursue compensation.
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What Damages Could I Recover From a Maritime Accident Claim?
Whether mild or severe, a maritime accident can cause physical, mental, emotional, and financial distress. The following are some of the losses you might be able to recover from a maritime accident claim:
- Wrongful death
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages or salaries
- Mental anguish
- Medical expenses
- Lost working capacity
- Diminished quality of life
How Much does It Cost to Hire a Maritime Accident Lawyer?
Most personal injury lawyers use the contingency fee basis to settle legal fees. In this feature, the lawyer only gets paid if they help you win the case, then they take a percentage of your settlement as their legal fees.
Can Your Law Firm Help Me?
Yes. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we have helped many maritime workers receive compensation for injuries sustained at work. We don’t charge any upfront fees, and we only get paid if you get paid. Reach our attorneys serving Rayne at (504) 777-7777 for a free consultation.