Working on an oil rig or the docks puts you in a unique legal situation. Any accidents that occur offshore in navigable waters or areas onshore that are involved in maritime activities may be under the jurisdiction of maritime law. It is important that you contact an Lafayette offshore accident attorney who has experience handling maritime accident cases if you or a loved one has suffered from injuries caused by this type of accident.
Maritime or admiralty law is federally enforced, and federal law will still apply if a plaintiff decides to pursue a lawsuit in state court. While the majority of cases involve seamen and longshoremen, there is legal precedent for maritime law to be applied in cases of recreational accidents on navigable waters.
In our area of Louisiana, there are several jobs that involve maritime activities. Any accidents that occur during the course of work at these jobs will require the representation of an attorney who is knowledgeable in maritime law. If you are injured on the job it is also important that you contact a workers compensation attorney in Lafayette, LA.
Maritime law combines a complex set of precedents, old doctrines, international treaties, and private contracts into a unified set. Attorneys who specialize in offshore industries are proficient in understanding and applying maritime law in legal cases. Those who do not specialize in the practice are often ill equipped to handle the intricacies of offshore injury cases.
Types of Accidents
As most accidents that occur under maritime jurisdiction are work related, the majority of cases heard in Louisiana courts involve offshore oil rigs and international commerce. Accidents that are commonly heard in offshore injury cases include the following:
- Cable snaps or breaks
- Slip and fall accidents
- Equipment malfunction
- Maintenance related negligence
- Jack-up rig accidents
- Gas leak
- Burn injury accidents
- Chemical exposure
- Wrongful death
A few of these categories are quite large and the number of circumstances for equipment malfunction and maintenance negligence are broad. A seaman has the right to file a lawsuit in the event of any of these accidents if a suspicion of negligence is present. It may be difficult to receive compensation for injuries in the absence of a lawsuit filed under maritime law.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act provides those who work offshore with the same statute that protects workers onshore, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA). It allows them to file legal action against employers at sea and receive damages for negligent actions. It also provides plaintiffs with the right to a jury trial, which is normally not allowed under general maritime law. Regardless of liability, the act also provides for some medical and living expenses to be paid to injured seamen.
Those who work as longshoreman and in shipyards, in general, have rights under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. It provides several types of benefits for longshoremen who are injured and provides compensation for a deceased longshoreman’s family. Maritime workers who are covered under this act include anyone who works in direct association with maritime activities who is not covered by state worker’s compensation law. The act also provides for occupational diseases that may be contracted during the course of work.
Maintenance and Care
Any seaman who is recovering from an injury or illness related to work is entitled to certain coverage by his or her employer. Generally, this means room and board during the time of recovery. The employer will also be required to pay for medical expenses associated with the injury or illness to a reasonable amount, as well as transportation to and from treatment facilities.
Brandt & Sherman Offshore Accident Lawyers
A Lafayette offshore accident attorney at Brandt & Sherman understands maritime law and have been defending the rights of those who have been injured offshore for years. Those who are injured offshore may not understand rights under maritime law and may be suffering due to soaring medical expenses while trying to service their daily financial obligations.
Let our team of attorneys help you understand your rights and fight for what you deserve so that you can focus on getting well. From investigation to settlement, we’ll be there to guide you through the process so that you can receive the compensation needed to get back your quality of life.