Louisiana has one of the largest and most successful maritime industries in the United States. Many Louisiana residents and workers, at one point, have been employed in the maritime industry or have family members employed in the maritime industry.
Unfortunately, the maritime industry and recreational use of Louisiana waterways result in thousands of maritime and offshore accidents each year due to the negligence and/or fault of other people or entities.
If you or a loved one has been injured, it is important to contact the Lafayette offshore accident lawyers at Gaar Law Firm. We can help you seek financial recovery under the various bodies of law that govern both Louisiana and the international waterways of the Gulf of Mexico.
Contact us or call 800-549-1083 to schedule a free consultation.
Exploring Your Compensation Options
There are several acts that work to protect and compensate injured seamen. These acts include:
- The Jones Act: Unlike nearly every other body of law, the Jones Act allows an injured worker to sue his or her employer for the employer's or a co-worker's negligence during work. An employer has a duty to exercise care by providing a reasonably safe work environment, training about safety in the workplace and adequate equipment. The Jones Act allows an injured worker to sue his or her employer for lost wages, mental and emotional anguish, and pain and suffering.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act: A person injured as a result of negligence may be entitled to sue the vessel's owner. This would provide you with a cause of action similar to the Jones Act in that you would be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and past and future lost wages if you are injured as a result of negligence. Injured longshoremen can recover these additional damages on top of the weekly benefits and medical benefits owed under the act. This provides the injured worker substantial recovery that would otherwise not be available under many bodies of law.
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA): Any person working on a fixed platform off the coast of Louisiana would qualify as a longshoreman under the OCSLA. This means that any person injured in an oil platform accident should qualify to receive the increased benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, rather than settling for state workers' compensation. In addition, any person engaged in the loading or unloading of vessels, ship building, ship repair or ship servicing should qualify as a longshoreman and harbor worker. If you are engaged in the maritime industry in any capacity other than as a crew member aboard a vessel, you should contact us to find out if you qualify for the increased workers' compensation benefits.
Offshore or maritime litigation involves some of the most complicated laws that any attorney can handle. Many attorneys present themselves as "maritime attorneys," when the truth is they have no idea how to handle a maritime case. The true sign of an "experienced" trial attorney is when you get referrals from other lawyers.
At Gaar Law Firm, we have enjoyed more than 58 years of combined experience in the maritime and admiralty trade. This experience and knowledge of the various bodies of law and their intraplay with Louisiana state regulations provide us with a unique understanding of the recovery available to injured people and their families.
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Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule a free initial consultation.
We take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. This means it will cost you nothing to have an attorney on your case. We collect our fee when you collect from the person or people responsible for your injuries.