If you suffered injuries in a maritime accident, you cannot get fired for working with an attorney to seek financial compensation. Seamen and longshore and harbor workers have protections under the law that allow them to pursue compensation through legal action or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
You Have the Right to Pursue a Personal Injury Lawsuit or LHSCA Claim
Employees who work on an operational vessel in navigable waters can sue their employer for workplace injuries, according to 46 U.S.C. §30104. This is a provision of the Jones Act. This federal law allows for legal action against an employer because workers’ compensation does not cover seamen.
You have the right to hire legal counsel to represent you in any lawsuit you pursue. You cannot get fired for working with an attorney. Shipyard workers and dock workers who suffer injuries in a maritime accident can seek compensation through the LHWCA. Employers carry insurance to pay LHWCA claims.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), it is unlawful for employers to fire or discriminate against a worker for filing an LHWCA claim or testifying in an LHWCA hearing. This includes terminating an employee for hiring an attorney to assist with the claims process.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
You Can Seek Compensation for Your Losses
Seamen, longshoremen, and harbor workers face many hazards on the job. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that marine transportation workers suffer fatal accidents at a rate six times higher than all U.S. workers. Maritime workers are at risk for:
- Slip and falls caused by wet and slippery surfaces
- Heavy machinery accidents
- Falls from elevated heights
- Heavy lifting and repetitive motion injuries
- Conditions caused by exposure to toxic substances and chemicals
- Drowning accidents
- Getting struck by a moving object
- Getting caught or crushed by machinery or cargo
If you suffered an accident, you may have thousands of dollars in medical bills and cannot work. You might be entitled to financial help paying for your treatment and household expenses.
Compensation Under the LHWCA
LHWCA claims include awards for medical treatment, such as:
- Medical supplies
- Diagnostic testing
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Costs associated with traveling for treatment
You can also seek compensation for your lost wages. If your accident led to a disability, you might be entitled to a portion of your wages for the duration of your disability. You may also receive awards to pay for vocational rehabilitation.
If your loved one died because of a maritime injury, you could seek death benefits. The decedent’s spouse and children may be entitled to a portion of their wages. These benefits also include up to $3,000 for funeral expenses.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
If you have the right to sue your employer or a third party, you can seek the costs of your past and future accident-related medical care. You can also pursue your lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and personal property damages.
You may be eligible for non-economic damages as well. These awards compensate accident victims for the negative physical and emotional impact of their injuries. You could receive damages for:
- Loss of a limb
- Chronic pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
If your loved one’s accident resulted in their death, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue compensation on their behalf. This may allow you to receive compensation for your emotional pain and suffering and the loss of your loved one’s financial contributions and companionship.
Proving Your Employer is Financially Responsible for Your Injuries
To win compensation, you need to prove that your injuries happened at work. Employers have a legal duty to provide their workers with a reasonably safe work environment. You could also have a case for negligence if your accident resulted from poor employee training, poor equipment maintenance, lack of safety protections, or harmful substances.
Gathering evidence can take time. You cannot get fired for working with an attorney, and our lawyers can help you build your case using wage records, accident reports, medical records, medical bills, eyewitness statements, surveillance videos, and more.
Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Evaluation
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you seek the compensation you need. If you suffered injuries in a maritime accident, call our office at (337) 777-7777. A member of our team can help you learn more about your options for seeking financial awards.