According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Workers at marine terminals have higher fatality, injury, and illness rates than other workers in the U.S.” Maritime accidents happen more frequently than most people realize. In many cases, these accidents result in some form of injury, severe damage, or even death.
We Understand What You’re Going Through
Suffering injuries after a maritime accident is stressful. On top of the recovery process, you may also have expensive medical bills and lost wages to worry about.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries from a maritime accident, you may be entitled to benefits. Call the Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux to receive a free case review. Our Houma maritime lawyers understand what you’re going through. You deserve to be compensated for your losses. In order to determine your legal options and if you qualify for benefits, our team of attorneys will need to review the specific details of your case.
What Is Maritime Law?
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, governs the maritime industry. It also provides protection to workers who sustain an injury while on the job. There are several important maritime laws, so it’s important to be aware of which ones may apply to your case.
The Jones Act
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act allows injured seaman to obtain compensation. However, not all maritime workers are considered seaman. To be considered a seaman and receive benefits under the Jones Act, you must spend at least 30 percent of your time on a vessel.
Keep in mind that states do provide workers’ compensation for employees injured on the job, however, injured maritime workers will likely have more benefit options under the Jones Act.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
Workers who are not recognized as seamen may be covered under this act. This allows victims who don’t fall under the Jones Act law to receive benefits for their losses. To learn more about LHWCA, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.
Types of Compensation Available
Compensation is a financial award that can help cover expenses related to your accident. If you suffered injuries while on the job, you may be compensated for:
Depending on the nature of your injuries, recovery time can range from weeks to months or even years, resulting in an overwhelming amount of medical bills. You may be awarded compensation to help cover any medical expenses related to your accident.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to physical pain, severe injuries can affect you mentally and emotionally, as well. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering to account for the traumatic impact your injuries have had on your life. While compensation cannot change the damage that’s been done, it can help you move forward after your accident.
Your injuries may cause you to miss significant time from work while you recover. If your injuries limit and/or prevent you from working, you could be compensated for any lost wages.
Common Reasons Maritime Accidents Occur
Maritime accidents can happen for many different reasons, including:
- Equipment failure
- Poor maintenance
- Lack of training
- Inclement weather conditions
5 Common Injuries Due to Maritime Accidents
While there are countless types of injuries that can occur after an accident, the most common include:
- Broken limbs
- Chemical burns
- Head injuries
- Slip and falls
4 Tips to Consider After an Accident
After a maritime accident, it can be difficult to know how to proceed. However, your actions immediately following your accident are important because they will either support or damage your right to benefits.
To help protect your legal rights, our team of Houma maritime lawyers have shared the following tips for you to keep in mind after an accident:
- Remain calm and inform your supervisor of the accident.
- Make sure to collect evidence. This can include witness statements and photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident. Evidence is an important component in successful claims. Without solid evidence, it can be challenging to obtain benefits.
- Receive an evaluation by a medical professional. Failing to seek medical treatment can damage your right to benefits. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to receive medical attention immediately after a maritime accident, even if your injury and/injuries appear to be minor.
- Talk with an attorney who is experienced in this area of the law. Maritime law is complex and difficult to understand without legal guidance. Lawyers who are familiar with maritime cases know what it takes to build a strong case on your behalf.
These tips may help protect your rights after an accident and can potentially increase your chances of receiving any compensation you’re owed.
Is There a Deadline to File a Claim?
Victims of maritime accidents have a set amount of time in which they can file a claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. In Louisiana, injured workers who fall under the Jones Act have three years from the date of their accident to file a claim, while those who are not considered seamen typically have a year to file.
In some cases, this deadline may be even shorter. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney who is familiar with the deadlines that apply to your case. Failure to file within the appropriate amount of time may result in little to no compensation.
Injured in an Accident? Call Our Law Firm
At the Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux, a personal injury law firm in Louisiana, we are committed to providing competent legal representation to the residents of Houma. While we do handle maritime accidents, we also represent car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, and other types of personal injury cases.
If you or a loved one was injured in a maritime accident, please don’t hesitate to contact our law office. We know the challenges injured workers face, such as filing a claim for damages. However, you don’t have to handle the legal system alone.
Our team is passionate about helping injured workers receive the justice they deserve. From our attention to detail to our intimate knowledge of maritime law, you can trust that your case is in qualified hands.