Maritime & Offshore Accident Lawyer in Shreveport
The variety and extent of maritime workers in northern Louisiana is substantial: our state is home to hundreds if not thousands of seamen, roustabouts, roughnecks, derrickmen, drillers divers, captains, motormen, boatswains, crane operators, floormen, rig mechanics, tool pushers, and more.
These men and women are crucial to the economy of Gulf Coast states like Louisiana, and their jobs entail significant risks. Many accidents are uniquely prone to happening on offshore platforms, waterways, and ports.
Flammable substances and heavy machinery make for a dangerous environment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that fatal contacts with equipment are the second-highest leading cause of death in offshore and oil drilling accidents.
Workers involved in these maritime accidents can experience painful chronic injuries, catastrophic injuries, or permanent disabilities, rendering them incapable of continuing their work and earning a living. In many cases, these workers also have spouses and children that they’re suddenly unable to pay for.
However, by filing a maritime accident injury claim with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, these workers can begin the process of receiving compensation for their injuries after an offshore accident. Nearly 80% of maritime accidents involve negligence or preventable errors, which could have been stopped with proper safety measures.
What Causes Maritime Accidents in Shreveport?
Shreveport is a major center of the oil and gas drilling industry, which means that oil and gas workers suffer a lot of injuries in Caddo Parish and the surrounding areas. Many injuries in the field and on the Red River are the direct result of poor protocols or carelessness and could be avoided. Some of the most common causes of maritime accidents include
- Machinery that’s been poorly maintained or not maintained at all
- Insufficient protective gear for the job at hand
- Lack of sleep and fatigue due to long hours on the job
- Lack of training leading to inexperience
- Safety protocols that have been neglected
- Reckless behavior, including horseplay, drug, and alcohol abuse
- Poor decision making
If you’ve been the victim of an offshore injury due to any of these causes or others, you could be eligible for financial compensation. Reach out to the experienced maritime lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation as to your case.
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Common Maritime Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that shipyard workers are more than twice as likely to suffer an injury than their counterparts in construction and other land-based industries. The risks facing offshore workers include
- Injuries from slips and falls
- Electric shocks
- Broken bones
- Chemical burns
- Hearing loss
- Head and brain injuries
- Injuries from exploding machinery
- Neck and spinal cord injuries that could lead to paralysis
- Eye injuries leading to temporarily or permanently impaired vision
- Exposure to toxic chemicals and fumes
- Injuries from piracy
Maritime Injury Law
Maritime occupations are among the most dangerous in the country. For this reason, the United States has passed multiple laws to provide seamen and their families an avenue to recover compensation in the event of an injury or untimely death while working. While all maritime law was written with workers’ safety and security in mind, the following three, in particular, serve to protect offshore workers as they go about their jobs.
Prior to the passage of the Jones Act, workers in the shipping industry had no legal recourse for recovering damages from an onboard injury. In fact, before this law the shipping industry as a whole was mostly unregulated, meaning sick or injured workers had to try to get by as best they can, even when their employers caused their injuries.
The Jones Act allows workers qualified as “seamen” legal rights to seek financial compensation from those responsible for their injuries due to negligence, recklessness, or a vessel that’s unseaworthy. In order to qualify for these protections, a worker must spend at least 30% of their working time aboard a ship. While most shipping jobs meet this requirement, you can always talk to a maritime injury lawyer with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation about your legal rights.
Death on the High Seas Act
If a seaman or other worker is killed in international waters due to another person’s negligence, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) allows their family to recover damages from the parties responsible. This act was written to hold oil companies, shipping companies, and their owners accountable for their workers’ safety.
In addition to workers, the DOHSA protects passengers of ships and aircraft in or over international waters as well. The law allows family members of passengers who’ve died in a preventable accident to seek compensation for the victim’s death.
Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Jones Act only covers workers on ships. However, the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows shipyard workers to seek compensation for their work injuries as well. Shipyard workers can be just as at-risk of injury as their colleagues at sea, and can experience crushing injuries, toxic exposure, and other serious conditions.
Not all jobs are protected; only the following workers qualify under the LHWCA to seek damages after a work injury:
- Longshore workers
- Ship builders
- Ship breakers
- Ship repairmen
- Harbor construction workers
Why Do I Need a Dedicated Maritime Lawyer?
Maritime and admiralty law are quite different from other areas of law, and complicated to boot. It’s important to hire a lawyer with specific experience in maritime law to ensure your case gets the attention it deserves.
The Shreveport maritime injury lawyers with Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are particularly experienced in Jones Act claims, though we’ve helped clients recover compensation in a variety of offshore accident lawsuits. If you’ve been in an accident on an oil rig, tug boat, jack-up, submersible, or other vessel, let our maritime attorneys help you.
Call the injury lawyers with a proven record of results. We’re committed to each of our clients, and we won’t get paid until you do, that’s the G Guarantee. Give us a call at 318.888.8888 for a free consultation today.
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