Offshore Injuries. In Louisiana, we enjoy one of the largest and most successful maritime industries in the United States. Unfortunately, the maritime industry and recreational use of Louisiana waterways result in thousands of maritime and offshore accidents each year as a result of the negligence and/or fault of other persons or entities. Injuries caused in these capacities may entitle the injured party and his or her family to financial recovery under the various bodies of law that govern both Louisiana territorial and the international waterways in the Gulf of Mexico.
There are several acts that work to protect and compensate injured seamen. These acts include:
- The Jones Act: Unlike nearly every other body of law, the Jones Act allows an injured worker to sue his employer for the employer’s or a co-worker’s negligence occurring during work. An employer has a duty to exercise care by providing a reasonably safe work environment, training about safety in the workplace, and providing adequate equipment. The Jones Act allows an injured worker to sue his employer for lost wages, mental and emotional anguish, and pain and suffering.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act: A person injured as a result of negligence, may be entitled to sue the vessel’s owner for any negligence causing injury. This would provide you with a cause of action similar to the Jones Act in that you would be able to recover damages for pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and past and future lost wages if you are injured as a result of negligence. The injured longshoremen would be able to recover these additional damages on top of the weekly benefits and medical benefits owed under the act. This provides the injured worker substantial recovery that would otherwise not be available under many bodies of law.
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA): Any person working on a fixed platform off of the coast of Louisiana would qualify as longshoremen, under operation of the OCSLA. This means that any person injured on one of these offshore platforms should qualify to receive the increased benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, rather than settling for state workers’ compensation. In addition, any person engaged in the loading or unloading of vessels, ship building, ship repair or ship servicing, should qualify as a longshoremen and harbor worker. If you are engaged in the maritime industry, in any capacity other than as a crew member aboard a vessel, you should contact the Gaar Law Firm, to find out if you qualify for the increased workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’ve been injured in an offshore accident in Louisiana, or any other Gulf Coast state, you may be entitled to damage awards to cover the cost of recovering from your injury, including lost wages. Commercial boat and oil rig personal injury law is what we do. If you have a maritime personal injury claim, time is important. Call Timmy the maritime attorney at the Law Office of Timothy B. Moore, LC immediately.
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