maritime law Tag

Don’t Wait Around Too Long: Maritime Injury Statute of Limitations and Your Claim.

The dangerous working conditions prevalent in the maritime industry frequently lead to injuries or even death for maritime employees. If you are injured while working on a ship or in the dockyards, you have legal rights. In general, claims for maritime torts or injuries to seamen occurring on navigable waters during traditional maritime activities can be brought under the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act. *We caution our readers to consult with experienced maritime counsel if they believe they may have a maritime claim, because this is a very complex and specialized area of law that cannot be detailed in a mere blog post and...

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A Leading Cause of Maritime Injuries: Fatigue.

You might be surprised to learn that a leading cause of maritime industry injuries is not slippery decks, bad weather, or falling overboard. It’s fatigue. The Maritime Industry and Its Dangers Working at sea, on the rivers, or in the shipyards can be very dangerous. It cannot be denied that the maritime industry is an important one. It provides hundreds of necessary and well-paid jobs. But it’s also undeniable that working on riverboats or ships, and in ports, or in and around the docks, is dangerous, dirty, work. Many workplace injuries that occur in the fishing and shipping industries are more than just bad: they are  frequently fatal. Maritime employees face dangers from...

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Maritime Pilots: Navigating a River of Dangers.

Maritime workers, especially those who work on vessels, have dangerous jobs. Even the smallest error can lead to a serious injury or even death. Seamen live and work in small spaces crammed with equipment. They work long hours and frequently work in bad weather conditions. All of this, plus, in some instances, lack of safety procedures, proper maintenance or training, makes maritime work a treacherous, if lucrative, business. River and Bar Pilots River and bar pilots are specially-trained mariners that guide vessels through congested or hazardous waters. They usually work on pilot boats in harbors or near river mouths. Harbors are especially dangerous areas to work because of the heavy...

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What Happens if You Have a Dispute About Your LHWCA Claim?

If you are a longshoreman, harbor worker, or someone who works “near” the water but not “on” it— like most people who work on the docks, in shipping terminals or shipyards, if you are injured while at work, you generally (there are exceptions) cannot proceed under your state’s workers’ compensation laws to recover for your injuries. Instead, you may be able to recover for your injuries under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (“the Act” or “LHWCA”). [Note: Because this is a specialized and complicated area of law, you should always consult with maritime counsel where you live.] What the LHWCA Does The LHWCA is...

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3 Important Things You Need To Understand About the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

If you work on the navigable waters of the United States or in the adjoining areas, such as docks, piers, terminals, wharves, or areas where loading and unloading of vessels takes place, you need to know about the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). What is it? Very briefly, historically, those working on the navigable waters of the United States were not entitled to compensation if they were injured. The LHWCA is a federal law. It can pay injured maritime employees who qualify under the law’s specific rules, compensation, medical care and vocational rehabilitation services. The LHWCA also provides benefits to specific survivors and dependents if the injury to the...

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Giant Cranes Used In The Maritime Industry Pose Serious Dangers to Workers.

Louisiana’s waterways are a major part of our culture and our economy. In fact, Louisiana leads the United States in maritime employment. While a lucrative and important industry here in the South, working in, around, or on, fishing vessels and riverboats is dangerous work. Maritime workers are frequently subject to bad weather, malfunctioning equipment, and human error caused by a lack of training or fatigue. On board and onshore accidents in this industry are not uncommon. In fact, ports and sea terminals are among the world’s most dangerous workplaces. One necessary piece of equipment poses a significant danger to maritime workers on land and at sea. What is it? The crane. Crane Accidents Cranes are a necessary and...

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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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What is “Maintenance and Cure”?

Working aboard a ship—any type of ship— is a dangerous and demanding job. Injuries are not uncommon. However, because seamen are not land-based workers, when it comes to being compensated for a work-related injury or an illness (whether work-related or not), their legal rights are far different from those enjoyed by non-seamen. Injured Seamen and Compensation Unlike the majority of land-based employees, seamen are not entitled to file a worker’s compensation claim against their employer if they get injured while at sea. Instead, the rights of injured maritime workers are governed by federal law and general maritime law. The type of claim...

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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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