If you suffered an offshore injury in Louisiana, you may be wondering whether you are racing against the clock.
A statute of limitations is not meant to stress you out, but instead to make sure cases are being filed as soon as possible.
Injuries are time-sensitive and filing sooner rather than later means your memory of the events is clear and your compensation isn’t delayed by years and years. For example, waiting 10 years to file an injury claim can mean losing evidence to time or losing quality of life waiting for compensation.
The good news is that the statute of limitations isn’t that long. Depending on your situation, it’s at most three years. Consulting our Maritime Injury Law Firm attorneys means you can trust that we will figure out where you stand and file under the right laws.
In this blog, we’ll explain the different factors influencing the statute of limitations for an offshore injury.
What are you entitled to in Louisiana offshore accidents?
Overall, maritime law protects workers by ensuring their right to maintenance and cure, which are defined as the following:
- Maintenance: your employer is obligated to provide you with compensation for your cost of living while you recover
- Cure: your employer is required to cover the cost of your medical care and treatment
There are two big pieces of legislation that cover maritime workers. Both can be considered protections for worker’s compensation but they differ a little depending on the terms of your employment.
- The Jones Act: protects seamen by guaranteeing the following:
- A safe work environment
- Right to choose their own doctor after an offshore injury
- Compensatory damages like pain, suffering, and lost wages
- Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA): protects other workers not covered by Jones act and guarantees the following:
- Compensation for days not worked because of offshore injury
- Medical care for recovery
- Rehabilitation services until you are ready for work again
However, if you were injured while working for the government or aboard a U.S. vessel, you would file according to different laws.
- Federal Employer’s Compensation Act: You must file under this law if you are employed by the U.S.
- If you are employed by a private company but suffered an offshore injury on a government-owned vessel, maintenance and cure would come from the United States, not your employer
How much time do you have to file your claim?
When it comes to statutes of limitations, maritime law does set out rules, but depending on where the offshore injury happened, the time you have to file a claim can vary.
In general, the statute of limitations for offshore injuries is usually three years.
In Louisiana, personal injury law sets the statute of limitations to one year. And for claims against the government, the limit is two years. But these are just the time frames at first glance. How much time you have would depend on the facts of your case.
So while overall it’s not a whole lot of time, it’s still important to consult our experienced team at the Maritime Injury Law Firm so you know how much time you have and can prepare the best case possible.
How can you know where you stand in Louisiana?
If you’ve suffered an offshore injury in Louisiana, there are a few steps you can take.
One of the most important things you can do is collect information. Not only will this help your fight for fair compensation, but knowing all the pieces of your story means we can prepare for all the moving parts of an offshore injury claim.
We want to know:
- The terms of your employment
- What kind of vessel you worked on
- What kind of offshore injury you sustained
- Where the incident happened
Maritime law can be tricky to figure out but we have the experience to handle your case so don’t get lost trying to figure it out on your own.
Filing on time is necessary for an offshore injury case. Not filing on time can mean having your case tossed and losing out on compensation and damages you may have been entitled to.
Contact our experienced Maritime Injury Law Firm attorneys
We’ve got 20 years of experience fighting for our clients, all along southern Louisiana to the Gulf Coast. Suffering an offshore injury is enough of a burden. Don’t waste time worrying about where to start or what to do – we’ll persevere through the process together. Get in touch with us today.