Injured During A Louisiana Maritime Accident?

Our Louisiana Maritime Accidents Attorneys Can Help

Maritime accidents

New Orleans ∙ Houma ∙ Jena ∙ Lafayette

Louisiana has a substantial number of maritime workers employed in shipping, dredging, maintenance, and the oil and gas industry. The Houston law firm of Stevenson & Murray offers practical legal advice and individualized attention. We also offer highly capable representation to Louisiana maritime accident victims. We then seek full and fair compensation for serious injuries or the loss of a loved one.

When a worker is injured on land, their state’s workers’ compensation laws determine whether they can expect any type of compensation through their employer’s insurance, and state laws often protect employers from civil liability for their workers’ injuries. However, maritime workers are not protected in the same way as workers on land. Therefore, if you work out of Louisiana on any type of vessel or in any maritime operation, including longshore operations on land, you must know the unique legal protections in place for maritime workers in the United States.

Anyone injured while working in any type of maritime operation faces a wide range of potential complications with their recovery efforts. Maritime law is complex, and it’s vital to have an experienced Louisiana maritime accident attorney attending to your case. Your legal representative must have appropriate experience handling cases like yours if you are to reach the best possible outcome for your claim.

Experienced Representation in Louisiana Maritime Accidents

The law firm offers comprehensive service across a full range of Louisiana maritime accident cases, including:

If you want to get a real recovery after a serious or fatal Louisiana maritime accident, then you must act quickly. You must take immediate steps to ensure you follow proper procedures. This then prevents shipping, petrochemical, or insurance companies from unfairly denying benefits and compensation. The capable and highly experienced lawyers of Stevenson & Murray can act quickly to protect your rights and advocate your interests. Consequently, it is critical to act quickly to preserve evidence, gain witness statements, and act within statutory guidelines.

Filing a Jones Act Claim in Louisiana

The Jones Act protects most maritime accident victims. If you work in any maritime operation and spend some time on land and some time at sea, you must prove that you spend a significant amount of work hours at sea to qualify for a Jones Act claim. Unlike workers’ compensation laws in Louisiana that typically shield employers from liability for their employees’ workplace injuries, the Jones Act is specifically designed to allow the victim of a maritime accident to file a civil claim for damages against their employer.

Every maritime employer must follow strict rules and regulations when it comes to maintaining safe and seaworthy vessels. As long as the injured worker did not cause their own injury through negligence or intentional misconduct, any injury that happens while onboard their employer’s vessel is potentially covered by the Jones Act. The damages available to a plaintiff if they succeed with their Jones Act claim include:

  • Maintenance and cure,” which pertains to the total economic compensation they need to recover as much as possible from their workplace injury. “Maintenance” refers to the living expenses the injured worker can’t afford due to their injury, and “cure” refers to the scope of medical care they require to heal as fully as medically possible.
  • Past and future lost income. Any maritime accident can leave the victim unable to work for a significant amount of time. Your Louisiana maritime accident attorney will help you calculate the total impact of your injury on your earning power.
  • Vocational rehabilitation, in the event the claimant cannot return to their previous job due to the severity of their condition.
  • Pain and suffering compensation, which addresses the physical pain and emotional distress that the claimant suffered because of their maritime accident. There is no limit to the amount you can seek for your pain and suffering, but you should consult an experienced Louisiana maritime accident attorney to help you determine a suitable amount.

Your successful Jones Act claim could yield a far more substantial case award than you initially expected if you have the right attorney handling your case. When you choose the team at Stevenson & Murray to be your Louisiana maritime accident attorneys, we will help you determine the best way to maximize the total compensation you receive in the shortest timeframe possible.

We develop an individualized legal strategy based on our client’s unique needs and concerns. We know that every maritime injury case is different, and each victim will have various needs and concerns when it comes to their recovery efforts. Do not assume that hiring legal representation would cost more than you could recover with their assistance or that you can navigate complex maritime laws on your own without any legal counsel. The best way to maximize your recovery from a serious maritime accident is by hiring a Louisiana maritime accident attorney who can confidently guide you through your proceedings.

FAQs

Q: What Counts as a Maritime Accident?

A: A maritime accident is any accident that occurs at sea. However, the term “maritime worker” can apply to any individual who performs work duties in any maritime operation, even if they spend most of their working hours on land. The Jones Act covers most workers injured while performing job duties on vessels, but the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) would apply if you work as a longshoreman in a maritime operation.

Q: Who Is Responsible for a Ship Collision?

A: Every vessel operator must follow the Navigation Rules, or the set of rules governing proper navigation of seaworthy vessels. A great deal of safe sea navigation hinges on communication and careful attention to monitoring instruments. When a vessel operator or any crewmember is negligent in their duty to follow the Navigation Rules, they can face liability for a resulting ship collision.

Q: Can a Maritime Accident Lead to Criminal Charges?

A: In the event that any maritime accident results in severe injury or death, the captain of the vessel and/or the highest-ranking crew members could face civil liability for victims’ damages and criminal charges. Maritime employers are required to follow strict safety regulations and maintain the safest vessels and work environments possible. Any significant or willful failure to meet these obligations can easily lead to criminal prosecution.

Q: Are Punitive Damages Available Under Maritime Law?

A: The Jones Act does not permit a claimant to seek punitive damages, and a claimant cannot seek punitive damages in a seaworthiness claim against an employer. However, an employer could face liability for punitive damages if they took any direct and willful action to prevent the injured claimant from receiving maintenance and cure for a legitimate maritime injury claim. If you are unsure whether punitive damages could come into play in your case, it is vital to have a maritime accident attorney advise you.

Q: When Does the Jones Act Apply to a Maritime Injury Case?

A: The Jones Act applies to most maritime workers in the United States, but some injured workers will need to prove their eligibility to file a claim for maintenance and cure under the Jones Act. The claimant must prove they spent a significant portion of their time working on a vessel to be covered by the Jones Act. In most cases, 30% of work time at sea is sufficient to establish eligibility to file a Jones Act claim.

Contact Stevenson & Murray

If you were injured on a vessel operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Mississippi River, or any of Louisiana’s bayous, inland, or coastal waters, then contact us. The maritime accident and personal injury trial attorneys of Stevenson & Murray could help you seek the compensation you need.

We invite you to call our offices toll-free in Houston, Texas, at (713) 622-3223. We offer a free, confidential consultation. You may also email us now for prompt and honest answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment.