Offshore Accident & Maritime Lawyer in Denham Springs
Being a gulf state, Louisiana’s economy depends on the water: from the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, to the thriving ports along the Mississippi, and the thousands of fishing, shipping, and other maritime businesses provide thousands of well-paying jobs to hard workers in our state.
Of course, working on the water can be notoriously unpredictable. Ports, oil rigs, and boats are dangerous workplaces, and more prone to accidents than their counterparts on land.
If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident near Denham Springs, you deserve answers for your pain, suffering, and other damages. You need an experienced injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf against your employer, their insurance, and other parties who’ll try to keep you from recovering your just compensation.
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Common Causes of Maritime Accidents
According to research, about 80% of all offshore accidents are directly attributable to negligence or improper safety. This means that fully four-fifths of all accidents on the water are preventable, and that if you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, there’s someone liable for your damages.
The main causes of serious or even deadly offshore accidents include the following:
- Unmaintained heavy machinery aboard ship that’s more likely to malfunction
- Inadequate safety protocols
- Inadequate or missing personal protective equipment
- Long hours and overwork leading to fatigue
- Overexertion, such as lifting too-heavy loads
- A lack of training leading to inexperienced workers
- Drug abuse, alcohol use, and other reckless behavior
- Falling from heights or overboard
Common Injuries Resulting from Louisiana Maritime Accidents
If you’re involved in any of the above accidents on a maritime rig, you could come away with one or more of the following injuries:
- Mild or serious burns
- Slip and fall injuries
- Neck injuries, back injuries, and spine injuries
- Injuries resulting in long-term disability and an inability to work
- Limb amputations
- Paralysis, including partial and total paralysis that could be temporary or permanent
- Eye injuries up to and including blindness
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
- Hearing loss
- Wrongful death
When a maritime worker is injured in the course of their job, their family could lose their only source of income. They could also face mounting medical bills, and with no way to pay them due to recovery, a possible disability, or even funeral costs, it can be hard to know where to turn.
Thankfully, there are a number of maritime personal injury laws that provide an avenue to seek compensation after being injured due to someone else’s negligence aboard ship or on dock.
What Is Maritime Law?
The laws that apply on land don’t apply on the water. In that jurisdiction, a different set of laws, termed maritime law or admiralty law, govern what behaviors are legal or not, how to determine liability in accidents, and who can be charged. Prior to the 1920s, maritime workers had little recourse to claim compensation if they were injured while working, leading many to leave the profession altogether.
In the 1920s, the U.S. Congress passed a number of laws protecting workers’ rights on and around the water, including the following three:
- The Jones Act protects workers qualified as seamen from injuries they sustain on the job. It allows them to seek financial compensation from the company, captain, or other party that caused their injuries due to negligence, recklessness, or an unseaworthy vessel. However, the Jones Act only applies to those who spend at least 30% of their working time aboard ship.
- The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (*LHWCA) protects workers on harbors and in shipyards from their employers’ negligence. Harbor work can be just as dangerous as work at sea, and much more dangerous than similar jobs fully inland. The LHWCA only applies to longshore workers and operators, ship builders, ship breakers, ship repairmen, and harbor construction workers.
- The Death on the High Seas Act (DHSA) allows the families of those who die at sea to seek financial compensation for the costs associated with their death. While the other acts listed here only apply to maritime workers, the DHSA also applies to passengers of cruise ships, airplanes, and other vessels who die over international waters.
Maritime work is some of the most dangerous in the country—the Occupational Health and Safety Administration found that maritime workers are more than twice as likely to be injured than people in similar jobs on land. If you’re injured while working offshore, these laws provide a path to seek justice for the costs you’ve borne.
Why Do I Need a Maritime Lawyer?
As mentioned above, maritime law is quite different than other types of law. A personal injury lawyer who’s experienced in cases on land doesn’t necessarily know the different requirements and expectations of a maritime injury case. For this reason, it’s vital to hire a maritime personal injury lawyer who knows maritime injury law well.
The Denham Springs maritime injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have 679+ years of combined legal experience practicing maritime law, and we know what it takes to get you the compensation you need to move on from your injuries. We’ve helped clients recover compensation from dozens of the following accidents:
If you or a loved one has been injured at their maritime job, give Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys a call at 225.888.8888 today. We’ll give you a free consultation about your case and start preparing to fight for your rights.
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