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Metairie Louisiana Legal Blog

Should you sue a third party for your injuries?

Longshore workers are unable to sue their employers after on-the-job injuries.

However, if someone other than your employer caused your injuries, you have the right to sue. But is it worth the trouble to sue someone else, when the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act already provides benefits for injured workers? In this blog post, we will answer that question.

Performing the same motions again and again could cause injuries

Most Louisiana workers perform the same tasks repeatedly while on the job. The more repetitive those actions become, the higher the risk of suffering injuries due to repetitive stress. It may take some time for at least some of those workers to connect their pain to their work.

Some Louisiana workers may not even realize that their job duties are responsible for their pain even though at least one out of every eight people suffer due to on-the-job stresses on their bodies. As it turns out, somewhere around 60 to 75 percent of the work-related injuries reported involve repetitive stress. For harbor and longshore workers, repetitive stress injuries could easily occur.

Charts show which countries have the most DBA cases

Longshoremen and harbor worker have some of the most dangerous and unpredictable jobs in the nation. Most of the contractors and employees that work oversea face even more challenges due to their unfamiliar surroundings.

For decades, the United States Department of Labor have released Defense Base Act (DBA) case summary charts detailing the amount of cases created in each nation. While it doesn’t reveal the total amount of injuries and deaths in the countries, it does showcase which types of environments may present more hazards to oversea workers than others.

Spinal cord injuries have several effects on civilian contractors

Working in any industry comes with certain risks for injury -- there's no way around it. The difference from industry to industry is often the severity of common injuries, how long it takes to recover from them and what lasting effects sufferers could endure. For instance, civilian contractors from Louisiana who work on military installations across the globe could suffer from one or more effects caused by a spinal cord injury.

Many of the body's processes require input from the spinal cord in order to happen. For instance, the body sweats when too hot and causes goosebumps when too cold in order to help regulate the temperature of the body. In many instances, people with spinal cord injuries lose these crucial abilities below the injury site, which makes it necessary to use means outside the body such as blankets or fans with temperature changes others may not even notice.

Admiralty and maritime law and commercial fishing deaths

Louisiana residents who work on the country's navigable waters can tell others how dangerous it can be. Television reality shows such as "The Deadliest Catch" brought these hazards to the public, but viewers may not truly understand how possible and devastating deaths on commercial fishing vessels are. In many instances, the fate of surviving family members hinges on successfully navigating admiralty and maritime law.

Recently, three commercial fisherman lost their lives in an accident on the West Coast. Rough waters are nothing new to many who work in the industry, but that does not stop them from going to work each day. The demand for their products keeps them going, especially in times when it is not easy to bring in the fish and crustaceans consumers crave.

How doctor selection works for longshore and harbor workers

Longshore and harbor workers should know their rights to medical services. In this post we will explore how you choose your doctor.

The medical services and supplies that the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (LHWCA) provides is outlined in section 907 of the law. Employers must offer medical treatment for the injured worker.

Do you have questions about the LHWCA?

Those who work on a vessel or on a dock here in Louisiana are probably already aware of the fact that if they suffer a work-related injury, they may not qualify to file a workers' compensation claim under the state's system. Instead, they may fall under either the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or the Jones Act. Determining how to pursue compensation for on-the-job injuries -- whether through the LHWCA, Jones Act or state system -- can be problematic. 

It could depend on how long an individual is on a vessel or his or her job duties, for example. Crew members and captains would probably file claims under the Jones Act. Dockworkers would probably fall under the LHWCA. Secretaries, data processors and security personnel would file workers' compensation claims.

Did you suffer a TBI or a head injury? They aren't the same

Louisiana residents who work as seamen or dock workers could easily become involved in an accident. Of the many injuries they could suffer a blow to the head is considered one of the most serious for a variety of reasons. However, what many people do not realize is that there is a difference between a traumatic brain injury and a head injury.

A head injury often involves the skull and the outer layers of the brain -- above the dura matter, which is a tough membrane inside the skull. Two other layers provide a barrier between the skull and the brain. People often bleed faster from injuries above the dura matter since it is arterial bleeding.

What rehabilitation services does the DBA offer?

Overseas defense base contractors are at high risk of sustaining severe injuries. Though some injured workers may be able to continue work, others aren't as fortunate. Though the Defense Base Act does provide compensation for potentially permanent disabilities, many injured people worry about the future.

Thankfully, the DBA offers vocational rehabilitation services. These programs help permanently disabled workers learn new skills that can help them get new jobs. Defense base workers and their loved ones should know what these services are.

4 benefits available for maritime workers with impaired senses

The damages that a maritime worker could receive on the job could have lifelong consequences. Despite this, there are workers who are able to find jobs while learning to cope with their disability.

However, some conditions are harder to recover from than others. Many maritime employees are at risk of losing or significantly damaging their hearing or their vision on the job, either through an accident or poor working conditions. It can be difficult to find work for these people afterwards, so workers and their loved ones should be aware of how the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) can help.

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