Maritime work comes with a range of occupational hazards that can lead to substantial accidents for seamen and other maritime workers. While many safety laws and regulations govern the industry, it is sadly impossible to avoid these accidents completely.
If you’re a seaman or maritime worker who has sustained injuries while working for a maritime company, you can seek damages. A Slidell seaman injury lawyer from our firm can help you pursue compensation.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
Accidents at sea can often be caused by natural events, such as storms, earthquakes, and the like. Many other off-shore and land-based maritime accidents can be brought about by man-made factors, including:
Poorly maintained machinery or equipment
- Vehicular traffic accidents (for example, a truck carrying cargo in and out of a ship that hits a worker)
- Electrocutions, fires, and explosions
- Lack of properly trained crewmembers
- Vessel unseaworthiness
- Lack of safety signage
- Slips, trips, and falls, including overboard falls
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Lack of adherence to safety protocols
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
- Navigational errors or negligence
For a free legal consultation with a seaman injury lawyer serving Slidell, call (337) 777-7777
Maritime Laws That Help Seamen and Other Maritime Workers
When it comes to maritime law, two of the most significant pieces of federal legislation are the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that allows seamen to sue their negligent employers for compensation. By “seaman,” the Jones Act refers to a maritime worker who:
- Spends at least 30% of their working time onboard a vessel in navigation (meaning a vessel in operation, capable of moving, afloat, or in navigable water)
- Plays a role in performing the functions or achieving the goals of the vessel
One of the most crucial parts of The Jones Act is the low burden of proof required to prove your employer’s negligence. If you could establish that the company was responsible for at least 1% of your injury, that would be enough.
Note that Slidell and other Louisiana-based seamen have no more than three years to file a lawsuit from the date of their injury under the Jones Act. You must also inform your employer of the accident within just seven days.
Damages You and Your Lawyer Can Pursue as a Seaman
The Jones Act allows you to pursue the following types of compensation:
- Living Maintenance – The daily stipend paid to the seaman to cover their room and board costs until they are fully recovered (rent, electricity, food, etc.)
- Medical Cure – Covers the seaman’s medical expenses, including prescription medication and transportation costs
- Lost Wages – A portion of the money the seaman would have earned until the end of their voyage or contract had they not been injured or fallen ill at work
- Additional Benefits – Extra benefits are available to injured seamen who can prove that their accident was at least partly due to their employer’s negligence or another crew member’s. Your Slidell seaman injury lawyer can determine exactly which damages apply to your situation.
Slidell Seaman Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits to maritime workers who are not legally categorized as seamen and those who sustain work-related injuries on or near navigable water. This includes harbor workers, shipbuilders, dockers, shipping terminal employees, and more.
It is important to file an accident report with your employer within 30 days and file your LHWCA injury claim within one year of the accident. If a loved one has died in a maritime accident, you could be eligible for survivor’s benefits. A Slidell seaman injury lawyer can tell you more and gently guide you through the legal side of this difficult time.
Status and Situs Tests to Establish LHWCA Eligibility
Eligibility under the LHWCA depends on two key tests: Status and Situs. The goal of the Status test is to ensure that the claimant is indeed a maritime worker, defined as a person who performs duties that add to the maritime attributes of their employer’s business. Examples are longshoremen, forklift operators, truck drivers moving containers in and out of ships, etc.
The Situs test is concerned with where the maritime worker’s accident actually occurred. According to the LHWCA, if you sustained your injury while working on or near navigable water, you pass the situs test.
There are four categories of disability that the LHWCA provides:
- Temporary Partial Disability – Equivalent to two-thirds of the worker’s loss of earning capacity
- Temporary Total Disability – Equivalent to two-thirds of their average weekly wage
- Permanent Total Disability – Equivalent to two-thirds of their average weekly wage; may be modified based on national average weekly wage hikes
- Permanent Partial Disability – Paid according to a detailed schedule of various impairments (from loss of an arm to loss of hearing), as found on the Department of Labor website
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know that after a bad injury, all you want is to recover, yet still be in a position where your loved ones can financially depend on you. Hiring a professional to handle the job can give you enough room for recovery. It can also give you peace of mind. A Slidell seaman injury lawyer from our firm can handle all of the work of your case so you can focus on rest and healing. Call us today to schedule your free case evaluation