Injuries at work can be demoralizing and have a tremendous impact on your life and financial well-being. Such an injury may require extensive medical treatment and leave you unable to return to work for several weeks or months.
Fortunately, injured employees are typically protected by workers’ compensation policies. However, different rules apply to dock and wharf employees. Unlike traditional workers’ compensation, claims are filed with the federal government.
For this reason, it may be beneficial to discuss your injuries with a Lafayette dock worker accident lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney may be able to help you understand the applicable laws surrounding dock workers’ compensation and what steps to take before filing a claim.
Employees who work primarily on navigable vessels are usually excluded from traditional workers’ compensation laws. For this reason, many states have grouped dock workers together in this regard with other maritime employees, whom the federal Jones Act provides with a route to collect compensation after a workplace accident. This Act enables maritime employees to sue their employer directly for work-related injuries.
The Jones Act also created a federally-controlled workers’ compensation program to protect people with shipping-related jobs, including dock workers. Filing a claim under this act allows injured employees to receive benefits for medical costs and lost income.
However, Jones Act claims can be complex, and injured dock workers may benefit from additional legal insight. A Lafayette dock worker accident attorney could help gather evidence of an injury and file a claim for benefits through the Department of Labor.
The Jones Act does not specify the injuries that qualify for claims. As such, eligible claimants may file for any injury suffered during employment, including:
Whether an accident results in broken bones or long-lasting pain, any injury that requires a worker to miss work and seek medical treatment can qualify for benefits under the Jones Act. A longshoreman accident lawyer in Lafayette could help an injured person document their injuries, seek appropriate treatment, and prepare a claim.
A dock injury may permanently alter your future. Even after fully recovering and returning to work, you may face mounting medical bills and lost wages. Fortunately, it is possible to financially recover for the damages you have sustained—the Jones Act can provide workers’ compensation benefits to help protect your financial interests after a dock accident.
While filing a claim with the federal government can be confusing, a Lafayette dock worker accident lawyer could help you properly prepare and file a case with the Department of Labor. An experienced attorney could also provide valuable advice and support at every stage of the Jones Act claims process. Reach out today to discuss your accident, the resulting injuries, and the next steps you should take.