Offshore Accident and Maritime Injury Lawyer in Hammond
With its proximity to the Gulf Coast, Hammond is home to large-scale production facilities, chemical plants, and oil refineries. Thousands of Louisiana residents work in the maritime industry aboard tankers, crew boats, lay barges, spars, and offshore platforms.
Unfortunately, every year many of these workers suffer serious or even fatal injuries in offshore accidents. Everyone who works on the water, from seamen to roughnecks and everyone in between, play a vital role in the economies of Gulf Shore states like Louisiana. These jobs come with significant risks—accidents on waterways, offshore rigs, and platforms are all too common in our state.
Workers involved in these accidents can sustain severe and sometimes life-changing injuries. Permanent disabilities and chronic injuries resulting from maritime accidents can render workers unable to return to work and earn the income they and their families relied on. In the most tragic cases, maritime workers leave behind a family who depended on their income and don’t know where to turn. If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime accident, reach out to Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today and we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.
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Common Injuries Caused By Offshore and Maritime Accidents
Maritime jobs are some of the most dangerous in the country. Studies have shown that injuries are more likely on or near the water than similar jobs on land, including construction, municipal work, and others. Some of the most common injuries sustained in maritime and offshore accidents include the following:
- Burns from fires or explosions
- Electric shocks from malfunctioning or poorly shielded equipment
- Amputations and other catastrophic injuries
- Slips, trips, or falls, sometimes from a height
- Brain injuries and other head trauma from falling materials or equipment
- Toxic chemical exposures
- Injuries caused by overexertion
- Spinal cord and other neck and back injuries
- Injuries caused by fatigue
- Hearing loss or eye injuries
- Broken bones, crushing injuries, and others from heavy machinery
What Causes Maritime Accident Injuries?
Studies have shown that 80% of all offshore accidents are directly attributable to negligence or the lack of proper safety protocols. This means that at least 80% of all maritime accidents are preventable, so if you’ve been injured in one, there’s probably someone who can be held liable.
A few of the more common causes of maritime accidents include
- Unmaintained or improperly maintained heavy machinery
- Missing or inadequate safety and protective gear
- Lack of proper training
- Falling overboard
- Plant or machine explosions
- Alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and other reckless behavior
What Protects Maritime and Offshore Workers on the Job?
Before 1920, maritime workers were largely on their own if they were injured. There were no legal protections or guarantees for many of these hard-working people, and if they were injured on the job, they were often left unable to work at all.
However, in 1920 the U.S. government passed a number of laws that provide a path for injured maritime workers to recover compensation from the parties responsible for their damages. These laws include the Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
For oil and gas industry workers, shipping industry employees, and other workers categorized as seamen, the Jones Act provides them a legal avenue to recover compensation for damages they receive while at sea. This act allows workers to seek payment from the individuals or companies liable for their injuries due to recklessness, negligence, or an unseaworthy vessel.
The Jones Act only protects workers qualified as seamen under the act. To qualify, a worker must spend at least 30% of their working time aboard a ship. If you’re not sure whether you qualify for Jones Act protections, give the maritime injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys a call for a free consultation.
Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA)
The DOHSA provides an avenue for families of people killed over international waters to seek compensation from the liable parties. This Act applies not only to seamen, crew, and other offshore workers, but to passengers of cruise ships and aircraft. However, the DOHSA only applies to deaths occurring on the “high seas,” which begin 12 miles away from shore.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
Studies have shown that shipyard and harbor jobs are some of the most dangerous in the country, with greater rates of injury than even construction and demolition. Harbor workers and longshoremen are especially at risk for toxic exposure, crushing injuries, broken bones, and other injuries caused by the heavy machinery and materials they work alongside.
The LHWCA allows workers to seek damages for their workplace injuries from their employer or other liable party. However, the law doesn’t protect everyone in the shipping industry, which is why it’s important to find a competent offshore accident lawyer to represent you.
Why Do I Need a Hammond Maritime Injury Lawyer?
Maritime law, also called admiralty law, is a distinct area of law with its own courts, its own procedures, and its own laws. You need a personal injury lawyer with experience in maritime injury claims to represent your interests, navigate the complex legal landscape of maritime claims, and help you get the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled.
The maritime injury lawyers in Hammond at Gordon McKernan have decades of experience in maritime and admiralty claims. We’ve helped hundreds of clients recover millions in damages from negligent oil companies, shipping companies, and more.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Hammond maritime accident, call us at 985.888.8888 for a free legal consultation today. You won’t owe us a dime until we win or settle your case.
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