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St. Tammany Parish Shipyard Accident Lawyer

The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports that shipyard workers have a rate of injury that is two times that of general construction workers. There is a complex series of laws that may offer assistance to someone injured in a shipyard accident, but different factors determine which law applies. It may be incredibly difficult for a layperson to know where to look for compensation. A seasoned St. Tammany Parish maritime injury lawyer could assist someone injured in a shipyard accident in fighting for the benefits they deserve.

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Could Help Shipwrights

Most injured shipyard workers can collect benefits under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). This law requires employers to provide living expenses and medical care to their land-based workers engaged in traditional maritime occupations. Workers covered by this law include:

  • Longshore workers
  • Stevedores
  • Ship builders, repairers, and breakers
  • Harbor construction workers

The injury must have occurred on navigable waters or adjoining areas like terminals, harbors, piers, wharves, docks, and areas where vessels are loaded or unloaded. Sometimes workers who are not engaged in the occupations listed above can receive LHWCA benefits if their work takes place on or near navigable water.

Some people are excluded from receiving benefits under LHWCA. These include seamen (people who spend at least 30 percent of their working time on the navigable waterways), U.S. government employees or employees of a foreign government, people whose intoxication caused their injuries, and employees who intended to injure themselves or others. People who are eligible to claim benefits under state worker’s compensation laws might also be denied LHWCA benefits, but it may be difficult to determine when these exceptions might apply without the help of a local shipyard injury attorney.

Negligence Claims Available to All Maritime Industry Workers

Virtually anyone who is injured in a shipyard accident may file a negligence claim as long as they are able to show that someone else’s carelessness or recklessness led to their injuries. A negligence action is available not only to injured workers, but also to ship passengers, visitors to the shipyard, and many others. A maritime lawyer in St. Tammany Parish could investigate a shipyard accident and identify any potentially negligent parties who might be liable for damages.

There are several elements the injured person must prove to win a negligence case. First, they must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff and breached that duty. Next, the injured party must demonstrate that the breach was the cause of the accident, and that the plaintiff suffered actual damages.

The damages available in a negligence claim can be substantial. Damages might include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. There are some differences in the damages available to persons covered under the LHWCA and the Jones Act, so it may be wise to consult legal counsel for advice about a specific case.

A St. Tammany Parish Shipyard Accident Attorney Could Steer You in the Right Direction

The laws surrounding the maritime industries are complex, and sometimes employers and negligent parties will take advantage of the fact that most people are not familiar with this niche area of law. Consulting with a St. Tammany Parish maritime attorney shortly after a shipyard accident could ensure that you do not waive any of your rights. Make an appointment today to discuss your case with experiences legal counsel.