According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private employers, and 5,250 American workers lost their lives due to workplace injury or illness.
The most common workplace injuries in the U.S. include:
- Motor vehicle accident injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Lifting and overexertion injuries
- Injuries from being hit by a falling object
- Injuries from inhaling toxic fumes
- Loss of hearing
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, you owe it to your family to speak with a trusted attorney skilled in Louisiana workplace injury law. It’s important to understand your rights and options under Louisiana workers’ compensation and other laws before you sign any documents that might limit your ability to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Accidents at Louisiana oil and gas refineries
The energy industry employs more than 45,000 workers, from refineries in the energy corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and off-shore rigs and tankers in the Gulf of Mexico to every corner of our state.
Energy sector workers deliver the power to run Louisiana and the nation. But it doesn’t come easily and the work required can be dangerous. That’s especially true in Louisiana’s oil and gas refineries. In them, typical industrial hazards like heavy equipment, falling objects, noise, and confined spaces come together with extreme pressure and heat, explosive and highly flammable chemicals, and toxic fumes to create a particularly threatening mix to worker safety. We were reminded of these dangers in March 2020 when a fire at Exxon’s second largest refinery in the U.S. located in Baton Rouge burned for more than seven hours, halting production there for the foreseeable future (luckily, no workers were injured). The incident followed recent major fires at two Exxon refineries in Texas that together injured dozens of workers.
If you are a Louisiana refinery worker who has been injured on the job, you owe it to yourself and your family to talk to a skilled attorney with experience in Louisiana workers compensation and negligence law. At Charbonnet Law Firm, our trusted legal team can help you navigate a fair settlement for your injuries so you can focus on recovering.
Workplace Injuries and Maritime Law in Louisiana
The nature of ships and boats create unique dangers for workers. Slip and fall injuries are common because decks and stairs are often wet and uneven. There is of course the risk of going overboard or falling especially as a ship makes contact with a dock, another vessel, or other object. Exposure to toxic chemicals from cargo to cleaning supplies, and the risk of being hit or pinned by moving or falling objects, from cranes to tools, are additional risks. Fire, electrical shock, and being trapped in enclosed spaces are additional dangers aboard a ship or boat. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2018 fishers and related fishing workers had an on-the-job fatality rate that was 20 times that of the average worker, making it the second most deadly industry in the U.S.
While a level of risk is to be expected, often workers are injured because someone else failed to carry out their duties, for example, ignoring safety protocols, not maintaining the vessel, or not training or improperly supervising employees.
If you’ve been injured at work, a complex mix of state and federal laws (including the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act) may apply to your case, each with its own courts, deadlines, rules and procedures. Liability may fall on a ship’s owner, captain, crew or other party. Winning fair compensation for your injuries often requires enlisting the help of a skilled attorney with experience in Louisiana workers compensation and negligence cases, and maritime law.
Construction Accidents in New Orleans
Last year’s Hard Rock Hotel building collapse in downtown New Orleans, a disaster that killed three workers and injured dozens, is a stark reminder of what can go wrong at an unsafe construction worksite.
Construction can be dangerous work that often involves heavy, powerful equipment and tools, dangerous heights, and electrical and fire hazards; not to mention pressure to work quickly under tight construction schedules. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in 2018, more than 21 percent of all worker deaths in the private sector were in construction, placing it among the most dangerous industries in the U.S.
The leading cause of death in the construction industry (excluding highway collisions) are what OSHA calls construction’s “Fatal Four.” These “Fatal Four” were responsible for nearly 60 percent of the 1,008 construction worker deaths in 2018: falls (338 deaths); struck by object (112 deaths); electrocutions (86 deaths); and caught-in/between accidents (55 deaths). “Caught-in/between” accidents refers to workers killed when caught-in or compressed by equipment, objects, collapsing structure, or materials.
If you’re a worker who has been injured on a construction site, your employer may have failed in their responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. You owe it to yourself to speak with an attorney before you sign any settlement.
Other Workplace Injuries in Louisiana
Louisiana’s roadways, warehouses, retail outlets, and restaurants are also common sites of on-the-job injuries. If you have been injured on the job, contact the trusted legal team at The Charbonnet Law Firm today.
Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana
Workers’ Compensation in Louisiana can provide compensation if you’re injured on the job. It’s meant to keep you afloat and get your back to work as quickly as possible, but it limits both the amount and type of the compensation you can receive.
The categories of compensation covered by Louisiana Workers’ Compensation are:
- Temporary Disability Benefits
- Supplemental Earnings Benefits
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
- One-Time Award for Catastrophic Injuries
- Medical Benefits
- Mileage Reimbursement for Doctor’s Visits
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Death Benefits
- Funeral expenses
Neither temporary nor permanent disability benefits cover your entire lost salary, and their categories of injuries and percent of benefits can be complex. There also may be means of recovering compensation for pain and suffering and other losses outside of the workers’ compensation system. That’s why it’s so important if you’ve been injured on the job to talk with a trusted attorney who can help you navigate the process of receiving the best possible compensation for your injuries.
Contact The Charbonnet Law Firm Today
If you’ve been injured on the job in Louisiana, we can help. Let our dedicated legal team give you a clear picture of your claim and what to expect. Our team will work with you at every step to win the compensation you deserve. At The Charbonnet Law Firm, our clients have the peace of mind of knowing their legal interests are being protected so that they can focus on healing and getting back to their lives. Call us today.