Rollin’…Rollin’ On The River…And You Get Injured. Now What?

Georgia B. Day

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 vessel has its own dangers and requirements, maritime law has its own particular rules.

Maritime Accidents and Injuries.

There are a number of laws that provide injured maritime workers with the ability to file a claim for compensation, such as the:

  • Jones Act
  • Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and
  • Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA).

The type of claim an injured maritime worker files depends on his job and where the injury (or death) occurred.

The Jones Act.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the “Jones Act,” is a federal statute that applies to seamen injured on ships, offshore oil rigs, barges, tug boats, tankers, riverboats, shrimp boats, trawlers, fishing boats, ferries, water taxis, and all other vessels on the ocean or intra-coastal rivers and canals. It also applies to commercial divers and other underwater personnel.

This law allows injured seamen to sue their employer for the damages he or she has suffered as a result of a work-related injury.

While the law allows “any seaman” injured in the course of his employment to recover damages against his employer, the key to recovery under the Jones Act and the general maritime law is the term “seaman.” Unfortunately, the law does not define the word “seaman.”

However, generally speaking, any worker who spends more than 30 percent of his or her time on a vessel in navigation qualifies as a seaman under the Jones Act. Those who don’t qualify as “seamen” under the Jones Act, might be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act.

Need to Know More About Maritime Law and Your Situation?

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a maritime accident, call us. have We are experienced maritime attorneys and we offer FREE consultations. We have offices in Baton Rouge, and we serve Baker, Denham, Gonzales, Port Allen, Prairieville, New Orleans, and Zachary. Call 225-200-0000 ToDay to schedule your free consultation or contact us here.

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Justin A. Day

A proud graduate of Southern University Law Center and former president of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Justin is best known for providing his clients with the personal attention they need while fighting hard to get them the compensation they deserve. Justin and his team are not afraid to take on the tough cases or fight the good fight. Dedicated and tenacious, for over 18 years, Justin has consistently achieved superior results for the clients he serves.

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Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day

Georgia B. Day is an experienced personal injury and worker’s compensation attorney. A former Administrative Law Judge for the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Georgia is driven by a desire to obtain justice for individuals injured in the workplace and those who have been injured due to the carelessness of others. Georgia takes pride in providing her clients with the best possible representation. Polished and professional, Georgia is best known for her excellent work ethic, obtaining superior results, and her responsiveness to clients.

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