Maritime lawyer new orleans - The maritime industry is a significant part of the economy in the New Orleans area, where the ports of Louisiana - the largest in the world - are located. Many people in the state are employed in the maritime or offshore sector, and it is likely that you know someone who works in this field or are involved in it yourself. Working in the maritime industry can be challenging due to the hazardous conditions, such as extreme weather and exposure to toxic substances. If you work in this industry, it is important to have access to a skilled maritime injury attorney in case you become seriously injured or ill in the course of your work.
What Is Maritime Law?
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is the legal system that regulates events and issues that take place on the water. This includes injuries to people. If you are injured while working on the water, you may be entitled to compensation under general maritime law rather than through standard workers' compensation insurance, which typically covers land-based employees. There are two federally mandated programs that provide compensation to maritime workers: The Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). Navigating the process of recovering compensation under maritime law can be complex, so it may be helpful to work with a lawyer who has experience with the specific rules and regulations that apply to the maritime industry. If you have been injured while working offshore, maritime law may be relevant to your case. If you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it may be helpful to seek the assistance of an experienced maritime lawyer in New Orleans. Whether you work on a ship, oil platform, or in another coastal position, you have the right to hold someone else accountable if their negligent actions have caused you to suffer serious injury. Maritime law can be complex, and maritime claims differ from personal injury claims in certain ways. Working with a maritime lawyer in New Orleans can help ensure that you have the legal support you need to maximize your recovery for your offshore injuries.
Offshore Accidents Can Be Serious
Working in the maritime industry can be extremely hazardous, with risks to one's health coming from a variety of sources. The weather at sea can change suddenly, exposing workers to high winds and extreme cold. Falling overboard can lead to hypothermia, even if the person is rescued quickly. Slips and falls, falling into open hatches, and accidents involving moving equipment are all common occurrences that can result in serious injuries. If you are a maritime worker who is hurt on the job, you may be entitled to financial compensation. A maritime accident lawyer can explain the options available to you in detail.
Important Maritime Laws You Should Know
It is important to familiarize yourself with the maritime laws that may impact your case, even though they can be complex. This will help you better understand your rights and options as you pursue a maritime claim. Two laws that may affect your case are the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Understanding these laws and how they apply to your situation can be useful as you move forward with your claim.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that provides protection for injured seamen. It requires maritime employers to maintain a safe work environment for their seamen. If a seaman's employer fails to provide a safe work environment and this failure contributes, even minimally, to the cause of an accident, the employer can be held liable for the injuries sustained by the seaman. The Jones Act allows seamen to seek compensation from their employer to cover the costs of their recovery and relieve financial burdens.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal program that provides protection and benefits to maritime employees who work on the water, such as harbor workers, dock workers, and longshoremen. To be eligible for LHWCA benefits, an injured maritime worker must meet both the status test (showing that they are a maritime employee) and the situs test (showing that their injury occurred in a location covered by the LHWCA). Some workers who may not be eligible for LHWCA benefits include vessel repairmen, seamen, shipbuilders building vessels under 65 feet in length, and aquaculturists.
Filing Your Claim before the Statute of Limitations Expires
In order to have your New Orleans maritime claim considered by the court system, it is important to file it before the statute of limitations expires. The Uniform Statute of Limitations for Maritime Torts allows you three years from the date of the accident or the date your injury is diagnosed to file your claim. If you do not file your claim within this time frame, the court will not hear your case. It is important to be aware of and adhere to the statute of limitations in order to ensure that your claim is properly considered by the legal system.
What You Need to Know about Seaworthiness
If you are a seaman and your claim falls under the Jones Act, it is important to determine whether the ship on which you were working was considered seaworthy. To be considered seaworthy, a vessel must be 100% safe for all workers at all times. If a ship is not functioning properly or does not have the necessary equipment for seamen to do their jobs safely, it is considered unseaworthy. An example of a vessel being unseaworthy might be if the ship's owner delays restocking materials needed by the seamen in order to cut costs, resulting in a potentially dangerous situation for the seamen. In this case, the ship would be considered unseaworthy, and the seamen should not be working on it until they have the materials they need to work safely.
Maintenance and Cure for Maritime Injuries
Seamen who have been injured on the job may seek justice and compensation for their injuries by filing a claim under the Jones Act. In a Jones Act claim, a seaman is entitled to seek damages similar to those that might be pursued in a personal injury claim, including:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of household services
- Damage to your potential future earnings
- Property damages
- Loss of companionship and love
- Interest for your total damages
As an injured seaman, you are also entitled to what are known as maintenance and cure benefits. Maintenance refers to your living expenses, such as housing, food, and utilities, and is intended to ensure that you are able to meet your basic needs while you are unable to work. Cure covers your medical expenses, including any healthcare bills related to your injuries. The value of your claim may include medical expenses such as:
- Costs of prescription medications
- Ambulance fees
- Medical equipment and installation fees
- Hospital bills
- Diagnostic imaging
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Rehabilitative services
Damages for Those Who Aren’t Seamen
As previously mentioned, seamen may seek damages under the Jones Act, while other maritime workers may bring a claim under the LHWCA. Under the LHWCA, injured workers are entitled to receive approximately 66% of their average weekly wages while they are unable to work due to their injuries. The LHWCA covers a range of disabilities, including total partial disabilities, temporary partial disabilities, permanent total disabilities, and permanent partial disabilities, which are not typically covered by state workers' compensation programs. In addition to disability benefits, LHWCA claimants are also entitled to medical expenses related to their work injuries, including transportation costs, and may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation benefits if their injuries prevent them from returning to the same industry in which they were injured.