If you’ve been injured in a dredging vessel accident, the last thing you will want to do is handle all of the accompanying red tape. But figuring out how much your dredging accident claim is worth can be quite a challenge.
With the experienced dredge accident lawyers from Lapeze & Johns, you don’t have to worry. We do all of the legal heavy lifting in your dredging vessel accident claim, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries.
That said, a dredge accident attorney can help you discover what factors will contribute to the overall value of your claim and can give you an estimate of how much you could potentially secure to help you in your recovery process.
Figuring Out the Basics
First and foremost, we must make clear that every dredge accident case is unique. What your claim will ultimately be valued at depends on the specific circumstances of the incident and the damages you suffered.
There is no set formula that calculates what is owed to you but there are plenty of factors that govern what you will be paid out.
Keep in mind that if you are an injured dredge worker, the Jones Act does cover you since you are now considered a seaman, and this can affect how much you are paid out as well.
Now, the first thing that you want to do is to partner with a maritime accident attorney that is experienced in dredge vessel accidents. Hiring a dredging accident attorney is crucial to securing maximum monetary compensation for your claim as your employer, their company, or their insurance will try to undervalue your claim if you go the settlement route.
Once your consultation with your lawyer commences, the two of you will work together to flesh out the details of your claim in an accurate, factual manner.
Types of questions you may hear from your attorney include:
- Did the company commit negligence?
- Was the dredge vessel that you were working on unseaworthy?
- Is your employer/company paying your maintenance and cure benefits?
- Have you lost wages due to injuries? If so, how much?
- Did you sustain a serious injury?
- Are you disabled now because of your injury?
- Will this injury prohibit you from working in the future?
- Were you a necessary part of the ship’s daily operation?
- Was the ship navigating through an approved waterway?
- Were you assigned to this ship or fleet?
Once these questions have been answered, your dredge accident attorney may have a better understanding of your claim and how much it may be worth.
Typical Compensable Injuries Sustained in a Dredge Accident
Plenty of hazards can cause grievous injury to an unsuspecting dredge worker, including:
- Sprains to tendons and ligaments
- Joint separation
- Cracked skulls
- Spinal cord injuries
A personal injury lawsuit may be filed for any of the injuries listed above as per the Jones Act. The health care provider that treated your injury should have all of the proper documentation detailing the costs associated with treatment. This will be needed to calculate the overall value of your dredge accident claim.
The Factors That Go Into a Dredge Accident Claim
In an effort to accurately calculate these injuries and economical damages, additional factors must be considered:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitative therapy expenses
- Vocational retraining
- Past and future loss of fringe benefits
- Wages loss and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
Some of these factors may be difficult to calculate as they lack a solid value. Pain and suffering is one of these intangible damages that are calculated in a few different ways. Some of the more common ways include:
- By Multipliers – Depending on the severity of your injury, a multiplier between the numbers one through five may be applied to whatever amount was spent on medical bills and lost wages. For instance, if medical costs for a broken arm were equal to $4,000, a multiplier of three may be applied to it, totaling $12,000 paid out in pain and suffering.
- Per Diem – This method involves a certain amount payable per day from the time of the accident until maximum recovery. For example, if it takes you 2 months to fully recover from a broken arm, per diem may allow an amount issued of $100 per day from the time the accident occurred until the arm has completely healed.
Calculations aside, filing a dredge accident claim under the Jones Act is also just as easy as filing for an offshore claim, and if you need help doing so, our attorneys can help.
Trust that the dredge accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns have the legal experience necessary to help you win your dredge accident claim, providing you peace of mind knowing that your case is in good hands.