maritime law Tag

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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Rollin’…Rollin’ on the River…And You Get Injured. Now What?

It has been said that Louisiana leads the United States in maritime employment. Indeed, the Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain and the entire Mississippi River Delta are some of the most heavily trafficked waterways in the entire country. Louisiana’s waterways are filled with vessels of all kinds. Everything from barges and oil tankers to fishing boats and personal watercraft, to riverboat casinos. All this activity means that boat and vessel accidents are not uncommon. Added to that, by its nature working on or around boats is dangerous work. So, what happens when a riverboat (or “vessel”) worker is injured? Well, just as working on a...

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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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The Number One Most Common and Dangerous Cause of Maritime Accidents Whether at Sea or During Dry Dock.

On a boat, surrounded by water, you might not think that this would be the number one killer of sailors and seamen, but it is. No, it’s not being washed overboard, or falling from a height or getting caught up in the cables. It’s fire. Fires Onboard. Whether out to sea or in dry dock, the most common cause of fatalities and significant damage to the ship’s property is a fire. Fires can start in a number of ways. Engine Rooms, Fires and Explosions. The most vulnerable part of any ship when it comes to fire is the ship’s engine room. Engine-room fires are common because of...

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