While many may think that icebergs are the greatest threat to passengers and crew members on a cruise ship, this just isn't so. Some of the greatest threats to health and safety exist right on the vessel itself. Louisiana passengers may be exposed to some of these dangers, but the crew of a cruise ship may be at even greater risk. Admiralty and maritime law protects cruise ship employees who suffer injuries on navigable waters.
Without a doubt, suffering a spinal cord injury can change a Louisiana worker's life forever. Even achieving as full a recovery as possible interferes with daily life, and an individual may no longer be able to engage in certain activities, including work duties, as he or she did prior to the accident. This makes pursuing compensation under admiralty and maritime law all the more important for those who work in the industry, especially if secondary complications arise.
Most Louisiana residents use their dominant hand for nearly everything. When a work-related accident leads to a break or fracture in that hand, life can become particularly frustrating, annoying and troublesome. In fact, some employees may not even be able to return to work until reaching a full recovery.
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.
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.
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.
Suffering a serious work-related injury often comes with a significant recovery period. During that time, an injured worker here in Louisiana or elsewhere will incur medical expenses and lose income. If a full recovery is not possible, then other financial losses could occur well into the future. Seeking compensation for those financial losses is not quite as simple for seaman and marine workers. Instead, they rely on the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, respectively, but it is not always clear which act applies to a certain worker's circumstances.
There are moments when those from here in Louisiana get the view of a lifetime on board the ship they work on. Just the noise of the water, the stars and the salty breeze in a quiet corner can often make a rough day worthwhile. However, over time, some of those workers may no longer be able to enjoy the sounds of the water due to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by their jobs.
Working on the vessels that navigate the country's waters from here in Louisiana can provide one with a unique work experience that he or she may never get anywhere else. However, that does not mean that workers do not have anything in common with people who work on land. The back injuries they suffer, for instance, probably end up happening in the same way as on land and are just as debilitating.
Working on a seafaring vessel may be a dream for many Louisiana residents. But anyone who navigates the country's waterways also takes on a certain level of risk. Any number of injuries could happen aboard vessels and may keep workers from their jobs and even cause lifelong repercussions to their health and well-being.