Question

What types of maritime worker injuries typically qualify for compensation under federal maritime law in Louisiana?

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Answered by: D'Ann R. Penner

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Answer

Federal maritime law – also called admiralty law – covers many types of workers, including

offshore oil workers, commercial divers, commercial fishermen, offshore construction workers, dredge workers, cruise ship workers, and harbor and dock workers. 

The types of injuries workers can suffer include:

  • Repetitive use injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Low back sprains and strains
  • Burns suffered in explosions and chemical leaks
  • Inhalation or exposure injuries
  • Falls on slippery surfaces cause neck and spinal cord injuries and broken bones
  • A brain or head injury, also call a TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Billy pugh or derrick basket accidents, which can cause workers to fall into the sea, break bones and cause amputations 

The Federal Protections Available To Injured Maritime Workers

There are several protections in place to ensure that injured seamen, longshoremen, harbor workers and others who work at sea or on a vessel get the money they need to provide for their family and receive all of the medical care they need to recover to the fullest extent. These protections include: The Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the doctrine of maintenance and cure, Death on the High Seas Act, and unseaworthiness claims. 

Maritime Law Is Different Than Workers’ Compensation

General maritime law provides more compensation than workers’ compensation. If you are injured while working at sea, for example, no matter whose fault it is, your employer must provide medical care and room and board. This is known as maintenance and cure. The Jones Act also ensures that additionally injured seamen receive past and future lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and general damages. An attorney who works specifically with maritime law will be able to advise you of your rights to compensation under the federal protections available.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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