Louisiana owes much of its strong economy to its thriving maritime industry. While the work can be thrilling, and the pay is often good, it can also be very dangerous. Maritime accidents can be horrific and the resulting injuries can range from minor to fatal. These injuries can take time to heal and often require expensive medical care and time off work to recover.
If you are a seaman or maritime worker and have been involved in an off-shore accident, you could be entitled to compensation. A St. Charles Parish seaman injury lawyer can help.
Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
The maritime industry involves a lot of construction, repair, moving cargo, and using heavy drilling machinery and cranes. All of these activities pose a danger to naval workers, especially if safety, training, and proper procedures aren’t taken seriously and aren’t adhered to. Maritime workers are at risk of experiencing the following:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Fire hazards that could cause severe burns
- Toxic chemicals
- Machinery and equipment hazards
- Exposure to extreme temperatures
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Common Seaman Injuries
Accidents can be a scarily common reality to seamen and other maritime workers. Some of the injuries we see most often in our work with seamen include:
- Serious head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Exposure to toxic materials and chemicals
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Eye injuries
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law created to give injured seamen the right to sue negligent employers directly for compensation. To qualify for a Jones Act claim, you must be considered a seaman.
This means you must work onboard a navigable vessel. You must also contribute your work to the overall mission of the vessel and spend at least 30 percent of your working hours onboard. Oil rigs and drilling platforms can count as Jones Act vessels if they have some form of onboard navigation and aren’t stationary.
It’s important to note that negligence must have played a part in your accident to qualify under the Jones Act. This could be the negligence of a coworker, employer, the vessel owner, or even a parts manufacturer. A St. Charles Parish seaman injury lawyer can help determine the at-fault party and hold them responsible.
Negligence in a Jones Act Claim
Some accidents are unavoidable. But ones that happen due to negligence can and should be avoided. Employers and Vessel owners have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace to every seaman and maritime worker they employ.
When an employer or another party’s negligence at work results in an accident, they are legally responsible. An employer’s negligence can contribute to accidents in a lot of ways, including:
- Inadequate crewmember training
- Not providing proper equipment
- Overworking employees and denying them adequate rest
- Not hiring enough crew for the given tasks
- Failing to service equipment early enough
- Failing to post adequate safety signage
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Land-based maritime employees aren’t eligible for representation under the Jones Act. Instead, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) covers them. If you’re a harbor worker, ship repairman, shipbuilder, shipbreaker, stevedore, longshoreman, or shipping terminal employee, then you could be eligible for LHWCA benefits in the case of an accident.
Negligence does not need to have had a role in the accident for you to pursue damages under the LHWCA. If you have any questions or are wondering which federal law applies to you, a St. Charles Parish seaman injury lawyer can help.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
What Kinds of Damages Can My Lawyer and I Pursue?
Some of the damages you and your lawyer could pursue include:
- Loss of income: your injury could cause permanent damages that no longer allow you to work
- Prolonged pain: as a result of the injuries, you may suffer much pain and have trouble simply completing your daily activities
- Mental anguish: maritime accidents can be brutal and you may have suffered emotionally and mentally, coming away with PTSD, depression, or anxiety
- Medical costs: expenses for treatment can include transport to the medical facility, doctor’s fees, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescription medication, or prosthetics
- Costs for future treatment and care: these costs cover rehabilitation and any other additional care you may need
- Lost wages: you have the right to seek compensation for the time you had to take off work to recover
Can I Afford a Seaman Injury Lawyer in St. Charles Parish?
At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we know that the aftermath of a bad off-shore accident can be one of the worst times of your life: physically, emotionally, and financially. This is just one of many reasons that our seaman injury lawyers work on a contingency basis.
This arrangement means that you won’t have to worry about paying any upfront costs. In fact, 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. No hidden fees. No surprise charges.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in an off-shore accident, our seaman injury lawyers can help. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we’re proud to serve the seamen and maritime workers of St. Charles Parish and their families. Call today to schedule a free consultation.