While every job has risks, there are few occupations as hazardous as those in maritime industries. Injuries that affect Lafayette maritime workers are common, but unlike many other employees in Louisiana, maritime workers are not protected by traditional workers’ compensation policies.
Fortunately, these workers have alternative legal options to help them financially recover for their injuries. If you were hurt while working in a maritime setting, it is possible to sue your employer directly for your losses.
While filing a lawsuit may seem intimidating, a Lafayette maritime injury lawyer could provide significant assistance. In addition to gathering evidence, your personal injury attorney could help prepare a claim, file a lawsuit, and present your case in court.
Recovering Under the Jones Act
Maritime workers are one of the few classes of employees that are not protected under traditional workers’ compensation laws. Instead of requesting compensation through a workers’ insurance policy, maritime workers may file a civil lawsuit directly against an employer.
46 U.S.C. 30104, also known as the Jones Act, establishes this right. This Act states that “seamen” are authorized to file civil lawsuits against their employers for injuries sustained while working on a maritime vessel. “Seamen” include any individuals whose jobs normally require work on or around vessels that travel over navigable waters, including rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Individuals may be asked to demonstrate their service on a vessel to file a lawsuit under the Jones Act. A Lafayette maritime injury attorney could help workers confirm their employment, so they may proceed with a potential lawsuit or pursue compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a maritime injury lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Compensating Injured Maritime Workers
Depending on their positions, maritime workers could be exposed to various hazards, not the least of which are heavy machinery, moving objects, or slick surfaces. As a result, workplace injuries are unfortunately common.
Even if the injury was caused by an injured worker’s own actions, it could still be compensable. Generally, an employee simply needs to demonstrate that an injury happened during maritime work or while on the clock. Common injuries that may justify civil compensation include:
- Slips and falls
- Broken bones, fractures, or separated joints
- Severe cuts and scrapes
- Concussions or head injuries
In short, any injury that requires medical intervention or causes a maritime worker to take time off work could be the source of a potential claim. Injured individuals in Lafayette may wish to connect with a local maritime accident lawyer to discuss ways to pursue a claim.
Lafayette Maritime Injury Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Iberia Parish Maritime Injury Lawyer
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Benefits
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law administered by the United States Department of Labor. It generally applies to workers who are injured while loading or unloading a vessel, or those that partake in the construction and repair of ships.
With the help of a maritime injury lawyer in Iberia Parish, injured maritime employees, harbor workers, and longshoreman could rely on this law for protection and provision after a workplace accident. Benefits under this law may include:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Compensation for lost wages
- Rehabilitation expenses
Unlike most worker’s compensation services, this act also allows injured employees to choose their own doctors and medical providers.
The LHWCA often acts as a mediating party to resolve claim disputes between employers and their injured workers. This allows each of them to discuss issues and voluntarily come to mutually agreeable decisions. If disputes cannot be settled in this manner, the parties must request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Injured workers need to be aware of the filing deadlines under the LHWCA. An accident claim must be filed on form LS-203 with the United States Department of Labor within one year from the date of the injury or accident. Waiting until after this deadline has passed will strip the injured worker of their right to compensation.
Third Party Liability Claims
In addition to receiving state or longshoreman and harbor worker’s compensation benefits, maritime employees may be able to file a claim against a third party for their negligence.
A seasoned attorney may be able to help victims identify the responsible third parties and hold them accountable. Third parties can include the manufacturer of machinery or tools related to an injury, or even the vessel owner if they are not their employer.
Work with a Lafayette Maritime Injury Attorney Today
Maritime accidents could drastically change a person’s life. Even after your injuries have healed, the pressure of mounting medical bills and lost income may directly impact your financial security. While you may not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim as a maritime worker, it is still possible to seek legal remedy for your injuries.
Injured maritime workers are able to hold their employers directly responsible for any losses. Though filing a lawsuit may seem daunting, a Lafayette maritime injury lawyer could help prepare a claim to fight for compensation. Get in touch today to learn how you could recover under the Jones Act.