In Rayne, Louisiana, a seaman or maritime worker may be injured for all kinds of reasons while working. The maritime industry can be very dangerous. The heavy machinery that’s often required, the risky nature of working on the water, and even simple human error can all be catalysts for maritime accidents, and the injuries sustained can change your life.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker and have been injured in just such an accident, we can help. A Rayne seaman injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation while you rest and focus on recovering from your injuries.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act was created to allow injured seamen the right to sue their negligent employers for compensation when that negligence results in their injury. To qualify, you must work on a navigating vessel, contribute to its overall mission, and spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard.
Negligence is very important in a Jones Act case. Your Rayne area seaman injury lawyer can help you determine who is at fault for your accident and hold them responsible.
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Rayne, call (337) 777-7777
Is My Employer Liable for My Seaman’s Injury?
Under the Jones Act, employers are considered negligent when they fail to provide their employees with a safe place to work. This includes:
- Adequately maintaining equipment used by employees
- Removing or minimizing hazards
- Ensuring that enough competent crewmembers are hired for the given tasks
- Providing training for any inexperienced crewmembers
- Ensuring that safety protocols are followed
- Providing employees with a seaworthy vessel
In this context, “seaworthiness” refers to a vessel that is safe for use in its intended service, kept in good repair, and regularly maintained and evaluated. An unseaworthy vessel should not be operated because it lacks proper safety devices or is otherwise unfit for its purpose.
In that case, a vessel could be deemed unseaworthy if it does not have adequate containment systems for hazardous cargo such as oil or chemicals. It would also be considered unseaworthy if it lacked the necessary safety instruments or was in disrepair in any way.
Rayne Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Can I File a Jones Act Lawsuit Against the Vessel Owner?
If you were injured on board a vessel, you might be able to recover damages from the owner of that vessel. Under the Jones Act, owners of vessels are responsible for the acts and omissions of those who operate the vessel. Owners are required to keep the ship in a reasonably safe condition.
However, owners are only liable for injuries that occur while the vessel operates within the scope of their employment. So if you were injured during non-working hours, your employer may not be liable for any claims arising from your accident.
What Is Maintenance and Cure?
The Jones Act provides injured workers with many rights and protections. For instance, you may receive what’s known as maintenance and cure while you’re in recovery from a maritime work injury.
Maintenance refers to a stipend that pays for daily necessities like rent, food, and electricity. Additionally, the Jones Act requires employers to pay for all medical expenses related to their injuries. This is what’s referred to as “cure.”
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What Other Kinds of Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
If your injuries are severe, you may qualify for much more than basic maintenance and cure. If you were injured in an off-shore accident, you could potentially receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of future earnings
- Future medical care
- Vocational rehabilitation
Your Rayne seaman injury lawyer can help determine which damages you may qualify for and ensure that you are adequately represented throughout the entire litigation process.
How Can a Rayne Seaman Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Seamen often face unique challenges when seeking compensation for injuries sustained aboard a ship or vessel. Maritime law is complex and differs significantly from land-based laws. Your lawyer can guide you through these challenges and help you know what to expect. Additionally, your lawyer can:
- Investigate your accident to determine who was responsible
- Speak to eyewitnesses and gather evidence
- Explain anything you find confusing
- Work with your doctor to determine the severity and extent of your injuries and the potential cost of treatment over time
- Calculate the value of your settlement
- Negotiate with the insurance company and your employer’s attorneys
- Represent you in court if necessary
Can I Afford a Seaman Injury Lawyer in Rayne?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand that an off-shore accident can be one of the hardest times of your life: physically, emotionally, and financially. Unexpected injuries often come with unexpected medical bills, and if you’ve had to take time off of work to heal, this financial strain can be increased.
This is one of the many reasons that our seaman injury lawyers in Rayne work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about paying anything upfront. If we win, and you obtain compensation, your lawyer will simply take his or her fees out of a percentage of your total settlement package. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything.
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers
Being a seaman is no easy task. It takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we proudly serve the seamen and maritime workers of the Rayne area and their families. If you suffer an injury while working onboard a ship (or in any maritime environment) our seaman injury lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.