Lake Charles Maritime Accident Lawyer

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Lake Charles Maritime Accident Attorney

The life of a maritime worker can be treacherous. Workers on offshore oil rigs, natural gas wells, and support vessels face harsh conditions and are often far from first responders and other emergency services.

Offshore and maritime positions are among the most dangerous in the world, but they’re an important part of Louisiana’s culture and economy. Our experienced maritime accident lawyers understand the relevant laws and state statutes that protect Louisiana’s maritime workers. If you’ve suffered an offshore or maritime injury, don’t hesitate to call us for an evaluation of your case.

Offshore and maritime positions are among the most dangerous in the world, but they’re an important part of Louisiana’s culture and economy. Our experienced maritime accident lawyers understand the relevant laws and state statutes that protect Louisiana’s maritime workers. If you’ve suffered an offshore or maritime injury, don’t hesitate to call us for an evaluation of your case.

Types of Workplace Injuries

What Are The Maritime Accident Statistics?

A maritime accident can be devastating to an individual and their family.

According to a report conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), onshore and offshore oil and gas extraction industries have a collective fatality rate seven times higher than all other workers in the general population of the United States.

According to recent maritime accident statistics from the European Maritime Safety Administration, between 2011 and 2018, there were 23,073 maritime casualties and incidents involving activities related to offshore or maritime operations. 696 of these cases resulted in fatalities, and 7,694 persons were injured.

Who Is More Likely To Be Affected in Offshore Accident?

Occupational fatality rates are more common in Louisiana compared to other states. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Louisiana ranks 6th among all states for fatal occupational hazards. More specifically, middle-aged, white (non-Hispanic) males are most at risk. Louisiana occupations with the highest fatality count include jobs involving natural resources, construction, maintenance, oil and gas extraction, transportation, and material moving.

What Are Common Maritime Injuries?

Most maritime injuries aren’t fatal; however accidents happen, and workers do get hurt. Common non-fatal injuries suffered by maritime workers include:

  • Burns: fires and explosions, hot machinery and fluids, and highly flammable materials are common and can cause significant injury.
  • Neck & Back Injuries: These common injuries are not usually fatal, but a neck or back injury can affect a seaman’s ability to work and maintain an earning potential.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the spine are serious and can often result in paralysis, loss of mobility, or function.
  • Eye Injuries: An eye injury can lead to blindness or severely impair a worker’s ability to maintain a maritime position. Exposure to sparks, flying debris, dangerous equipment, and other dangers pose a serious risk to the sensitive tissue of the eye and surrounding areas.
  • Slips & Falls: These accidents are common ship and platform injuries and often range in severity.
  • Amputation: Loss of limb can result during an offshore accident or later as a result of medical treatment. Whatever the case, amputations have long-term effects on both the individual and his or her family.
  • Brain Injuries: Maritime workers that suffer a serious brain injury often have trouble with cognitive and neurological functions, which can severely affect their ability to maintain their position as a maritime worker.
  • Audio Trauma: Regular exposure to loud machinery can result in permanent hearing loss, which directly impacts a worker’s abilities and his or her quality of life.

What Are The Basics Of Maritime Law?

There are two basic types of maritime workers: seamen are workers that spend most of their time aboard a vessel, ship, or boat; the second type of maritime worker is everyone else who works on or near the water.

Whether you work near the water or out at sea, all maritime workers are afforded certain protections under maritime law. Compensation for a maritime injury will depend on which of these two categories is relevant to your case.

Unlike most occupations, injured seamen are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation. Maritime law, or admiralty law, is a broad legal term used to describe a body of regulations that govern the U.S. and international contracts, torts, injuries, and offenses that occur on the water. Maritime workers are protected by general maritime law, which includes provisions such as maintenance and cure, personal injury, and piracy.

More specifically, general maritime law helps ensure all maritime employers operate safe and seaworthy vessels; the provisions also include a seaman’s owed transportation, wages, lodging, and medical services received throughout the length of a voyage. According to maritime law, it is the ship owner’s responsibility to ensure the vessel is safe and seaworthy, or reasonably adequate in design, maintenance, and character to perform its intended functions.

In other words, if a vessel isn’t safe, for any reason, the owner can be held liable for injuries sustained on the job, even if the owner isn’t found to be at fault or negligent. Even if it’s a clear case of negligence, you will still need the help of a maritime injury lawyer to help you file an injury claim.

What Is The Jones Act?

Louisiana is oil and gas country, which means the state’s economy is tied to industries and jobs that put Louisiana workers at risk.

In the event a fellow crew member or shipowner is the cause of an accident, the Jones Act enables a seaman or his surviving spouse or dependents to file a claim against the employer or vessel owner.

The Jones Act, historically known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a U.S. federal statute that allows seamen to sue their employer for negligence damages. The law has extremely low standards for proving negligence. Unlike a car accident, where a defendant’s negligence must be the main cause of a crash, the Jones Act accepts any degree of negligence, however small, when assessing a maritime injury.

If a vessel owner, employer, or maritime crew member played any part in your accident or injury, you may be eligible to pursue negligent damages under the protections of the Jones Act. Remember, occupational injuries may require ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, or other extended services. Settling a case before receiving maximum medical improvement is not recommended since you can’t be sure all medical expenses will be paid.

If you’ve been injured or suffered an illness working on the water, the lawyers at the Cox Law Firm want to hear from you. Don’t wait! Each maritime claim has unique circumstances and may be subject to requirements you are not aware of, including statutes of limitations, compensation limitations, and more. We take all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingent fee basis. We only get paid if we win your case. Call 337-436-6611 or toll-free at 800-836-3702 to schedule a free evaluation of your case.

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