maritime industry Tag

February 1-7 is National Burn Awareness Week. A Little Bit About Burn Injuries.

The early part of February is always National Burn Awareness week. Burn injuries are among the most devastating and excruciating personal injuries one can suffer. Here in Louisiana, where our economy thrives on oil drilling and commercial fishing, burn injuries are not uncommon. Burn Injuries and Explosions A major risk of working on oil rigs or commercial fishing boats is fires. Some fires are caused by materials catching on fire, others are caused by explosions. The effects of an explosion are devastating. For example, who doesn’t remember the 2010 Deepwater Horizon catastrophe? The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig caused a fire on...

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Fish Processing Dangers and Injuries

In Louisiana, we’re not strangers to hard, dirty, dangerous work. Like commercial fishing. Louisiana’s wild-caught seafood industry provides jobs for 26,403 people; generates income totaling $484 million; and sales of more than $1.3 billion. While Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry may be lucrative, it’s also dangerous. In fact, the death rate on-the-job commercial fisherman is an astounding 29 times higher than the average of occupational-related deaths across the country. While all maritime jobs are risky, commercial fishing positions are exceptionally so. It’s the most dangerous industry in the country. Workers face long hours, fatigue, rough seas and big equipment that can cause catastrophic injuries...

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What is the Doctrine of Unseaworthiness?

Maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, is made up of statutes and caselaw governing legal disputes originating on navigable waters. “Navigable waters” include all bodies of water that are capable of being used for interstate or foreign commerce. Rivers that flow into the ocean or cross state lines come within maritime jurisdiction. Personal injury cases that are governed by maritime law have specialized rules and raise unique issues. That is why, if you have a case governed by maritime law, you need an attorney who specializes in this area of law. One of the unique areas of maritime law we...

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Different Types of Claims Brought in Oil Spill Lawsuits.

In April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig (which was drilling for BP) exploded off the coast of Louisiana. The explosion caused a fire on the platform, and ultimately the Deepwater Horizon sunk. Eleven workers died and 17 were injured. The blowout caused a massive offshore oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill is considered to be the largest accidental marine oil spill in the world, and the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history. It is no exaggeration to say that the effects of the BP oil spill will be felt in the Gulf of Mexico region for decades. The...

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3 Facts You Should Know About the Jones Act.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly known as the Jones Act , is the foundational federal law that governs the maritime industry in the United States. While lots of laws can be complicated and confusing, admiralty law or maritime law is in a class by itself.  Maritime law has its own substantive and procedural rules that are separate and distinct from common law and it takes years to master its nuances. However, it has some basic concepts as well. Here are 3 things that you should know about the Jones Act. Only a Seaman Can Sue His Employer for...

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Are You Eligible Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) for Compensation for Your Shipyard Injury?

You can probably recite the articles of the Constitution that give you the right to not incriminate yourself, the right to free speech, or the right to bear arms, but how about the constitutional article that dictates which law (federal or state) governs maritime (“admiralty”) cases? Give up? It’s Article III of the Constitution. Article III gives the federal court original jurisdiction over all cases of admiralty or maritime law. As far back as 1789, Congress granted to the district courts exclusive original jurisdiction in civil cases in admiralty and maritime matters. Why not give that power to the state courts? Because maritime suits often...

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Why You Need to Act Under the Jones Act if You Are an Injured Riverboat or Offshore Oil Rig Crewmember.

If you work on land and are injured during the course of your employment, in exchange for waiving your right to sue your employer for negligence, you can recover for your lost wages and medical expenses through the workers’ compensation provided by your employer. State workers' compensation statutes are intended to eliminate the need for litigation, by having the employee give up his/her potential claim for pain-and-suffering awards, in exchange for not having to prove that his/her employer was negligent. But, what if you don’t have a land-based job? What if you work in Louisiana’s maritime industry? Then you will need to look...

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Not Always Smooth Sailing: 3 Common On-Board Accidents That Could Kill You.

The Port of South Louisiana on the Mississippi river is the nation's largest port in terms of tonnage. The port handles more than half of all American grain exports. About 60,000 barges along with 4,500 to 5,000 deep-draft vessels come through the port each year. Whether you work on the river or aboard one of the huge ships waiting to take on cargo, working in the shipping industry is dangerous business. In addition to slipping and falling (a common occurrence on ships) here are 3 of the most dangerous situations riverboat mariners regularly encounter. Being Thrown Overboard. Falling overboard is...

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