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Louisiana Maritime Law Blog

Who's eligible to file an injury claim under the Jones Act?

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, has many different functions.

Perhaps one of the most important aspects is that it provides mariners or seamen with an avenue through which they can sue their employers if they are injured at sea. This provision is important, especially since existing maritime law doesn't allow these individuals to qualify to receive workers' compensation coverage.

How to prevent dock worker injuries in Louisiana

Working on a dock can be very dangerous. There's so much going on that you could lose track of a piece of equipment or even forget to put on your hard hat. Either way, you could wind up involved in an accident that could put you out of work for an extended period. You need to stay as safe as possible when at work on a Louisiana dock so you don't find yourself sitting in the hospital.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure dock safety is check all vehicles used at the dock. When the vehicles are not being operated, they should be locked so they do not roll away, causing an accident that could wind up being incredibly tragic.

The types of maritime injuries suffered in Louisiana

Working in the maritime industry can be very rewarding. It can also be extremely dangerous. You face the perils of working on the water on a daily basis. You are at the mercy of the sea most of the time. This can be incredibly stressful for not only you but also your entire family. What if you get injured working on the water? Here are some of the most common maritime injuries suffered by workers in Louisiana.

Hypothermia is a very common maritime accident, especially during the winter months. If you fall into the water and fail to get out in time, you could develop hypothermia. This can lead to very serious health issues, including the need to have a limb amputated if it suffers enough damage to the blood vessels.

Crews forced to evacuate tug after multiple fires

Multiple fires on a tug operating in United States waters just off the coast of Mississippi have led to the crew having to abandon ship this month. Another fire in May that took place on a tug named Uncle Robert occurred just off the coast of New Orleans, Louisiana. The fire on Uncle Robert began in the engine room as the tug was moving barges full of scrap metal. This tug fire was a serious one.

When the crew found the fire in the engine room, they attempted to get the tug to dock. This effort was unsuccessful as the tug ran into another vessel. This caused injury to three crew members. A fireboat was sent from New Orleans to assist the tug in putting out the fire.

Who can file a Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation claim?

If you work in a maritime profession, then you've likely heard of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). It's a federal law that protects those working on the United States' navigable waters in case they are seriously injured or die while building, repairing, unloading or loading vessels.

Benefits a worker may receive under the LHWCA are generally provided through their employer's own insurance policy. They're intended to cover an injured employee's vocational rehabilitation and medical care. Occupational diseases, such as hearing loss, are considered to be injuries according to how LHWCA is written. LHWCA benefits can also be extended to the survivors of those who die on the job after being hurt or becoming ill.

Can a seaman sue his employer?

You may have been working on your ship for almost 20 years. As with any job on the very unpredictable seas, sometimes it can be very dangerous. You have been taking the proper precautions, until one day those very rough seas caused something to fall on you and you are injured. What do you do?

Do you understand boating under the influence?

Just the same as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, operating a boat under the influence is every bit as dangerous. This is why there are boating under the influence laws in place.

In addition to state laws, there are also federal laws to help prevent boating under the influence.

Cruise ship workers are at risk of serious injury

Cruise ship workers are responsible for many tasks, ranging from food preparation to providing all types of assistance to guests. While they do their part in keeping the ship running smoothly, they often overlook their own health and well-being.

Unfortunately, hard work and long hours are often combined with dangerous conditions. As a result, it's possible for a cruise ship worker to suffer some type of injury. These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Electrical shock
  • Slip-and-fall
  • Fires
  • Equipment failure
  • Heavy lifting
  • Disease outbreak

Commercial diving hazards: Trouble could be lurking

Are you employed as a commercial diver? If so, it goes without saying that you probably enjoy every aspect of your job. This is anything but your standard day-to-day employment arrangement.

Of course, as a commercial diver, you're taking on many potential hazards and risks as the result of your employment.

5 top tips to stay awake on the job

Oil rig workers in the Gulf have long shifts. Sometimes 14 hours long. And while energy drinks are sweet and cold and contain enough caffeine to keep every set of eyes in a small village open for weeks, there are better, and healthier, ways to stay awake and alert on the rig.  

According to articles by and the Mayo Clinic the following will help you stay bright eyed and bushy tailed on the job. The top five ways to stay awake are:  

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