New Orleans Maritime & Admiralty Law Attorneys
Injuries or deaths that occur on or near navigable waters — for example, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans — are usually governed by “admiralty” or “maritime” laws. The laws affecting personal injury accidents on or near navigable waters (maritime accidents) are substantially different from the laws that govern other types of accidents, so it is important that you hire a maritime accident lawyer who is skilled in dealing with maritime injury cases.
We handle the claims of injured seamen, captains, deckhands, tool pushers, engineers, drillers, divers, roustabouts, roughnecks, pilots, passengers, recreational boaters and all others participating in maritime-related activities aboard all types of vessels, ships and floating structures, whether on rivers, local waterways, territorial waters, international waters or the high seas, including:
• Drilling rigs
• Cargo ships, tankers, diving tenders, tugs, push boats, barges, dredges, work boats, crew boats, service boats, supply vessels, riverboats and ferries
• Other commercial ships, boats and vessels
• Passenger ships, boats and vessels, including cruise ships
• Recreational watercraft
For a free initial case evaluation, please call 504-828-1224 or contact us online. We can visit you in the hospital or your home if injuries prevent you from traveling to our office.
Jones Act Seamen
Injuries or deaths that occur on or near navigable waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, are usually governed by “admiralty” or “maritime” laws.
One of those maritime laws, the Jones Act, provides special rights to a seaman or member of the crew of a vessel to sue his or her employer for damages as the result of injuries caused by the employer’s negligence. An injured seaman is also entitled to make a claim under the general maritime law against the owner or operator of the vessel for any defect or unsafe condition of the vessel or its equipment — known as an “unseaworthy” condition — that causes injury.
Regardless of fault, when a seaman is unable to work due to an on-the-job injury or illness, that seaman is entitled to receive “maintenance” from his or her employer. “Maintenance” provides a seaman a daily allowance for meals, room and board. A seaman who is injured or becomes ill on the job is also entitled to recover “cure” – medical care – from his or her employer. Penalties (punitive damages) can be assessed against the employer for the willful and wanton disregard of the maintenance and cure obligations to seamen.
The evaluation and determination of seaman status is often very complicated and should be entrusted to an attorney who has a great deal of experience and knowledge in dealing with admiralty and maritime laws.
Generally, a seaman is an employee: (1) whose duties contribute to the function of the vessel or accomplishment of its mission; and (2) who has a connection to a vessel in navigation (or to an identifiable group of such vessels) that is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature.
Find out if your claim may be covered under the Jones Act and the general maritime law by calling 504-828-1224 or contacting us online.
Maritime law has been a regular part of our practice for more than 30 years, so we know the unique laws and procedures that govern maritime cases.
Other Maritime Workers
Maritime workers who do not qualify as Jones Act seamen may have other maritime remedies available to them in the event of injury or death on or near navigable waters.
For example, longshoremen, workers involved in shipbuilding or vessel repair, harbor workers and workers aboard fixed platforms on the outer continental shelf are entitled to disability and medical benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). These workers, or their families, can also sue vessel owners and operators or other third parties for the negligence that caused their accident and injury or death.
Passengers on crew boats, cruise ships and recreational boats also have rights under the general maritime law against the vessel owner and operator for the harm they have negligently caused.
We handle the claims of seamen, captains, toolpushers, engineers, drillers, deckhands, roustabouts, roughnecks, divers, pilots, passengers, recreational boaters and all others participating in maritime-related activities aboard all types of vessels, ships and platforms, whether on local waterways, the outer continental shelf, territorial waters, international waters or the high seas, including:
• Drilling rigs and offshore platforms
• Cargo ships, tankers, diving tenders, tugs, push boats, barges, dredges, work boats, crew boats, service boats, river boats and ferries
• Other commercial and passenger ships, boats and vessels
• Recreational watercraft
Passengers injured on crew boats, cruise ships and recreational boats also have rights under the general maritime law against the vessel owner and operator for the harm they have negligently caused.
Cruise ship liability cases are also complex. Cruise ship operators may include special provisions in their contracts that require claimants to file any claims against them in a different state, and your contract may also include other provisions that make it difficult to file your case. For this reason, it is especially important that you seek experienced legal counsel immediately to preserve your right to fair compensation for your injuries and other damages.
BP Oil Spill
Our firm also represents people injured as a result of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Many of the workers we represent were involved in the BP oil spill cleanup in the gulf and along the shoreline and were exposed to the oil and dispersant chemicals. As a result, scores of these workers have suffered various injuries, including respiratory problems, rashes and headaches. Many BP workers were not provided the proper equipment and safety clothing to do this work.