Boating is a popular recreational activity in Louisiana, both in state waterways and off the state shores in the Gulf of Mexico. However, just like people can drive recklessly or negligently, people can operate a boat recklessly or negligently. For example, a boater may be speeding, intoxicated or distracted, leading to a recreational boating accident. While many people understand that car accidents can lead to personal injury lawsuits brought under state law, they may be surprised to hear that sometimes boating accidents fall under federal maritime law.
Thousands of Louisiana residents are offshore workers. Each day they work hard to earn an income, but at the same time, they probably realize that they face a certain degree of danger each day as well. Injuries for offshore workers are, unfortunately, somewhat common. And that is because there is such a wide range of causes of offshore injuries.
Many Louisiana residents work offshore or on ships that are involved in international commerce. These individuals, like workers on land, may occasionally be in danger on the job. However, there are likely to be differences in how injured workers offshore or on ships pursue financial compensation for any incidents they are involved in. This is where the Jones Act comes into play.
Many of our readers have probably heard of Admiralty and Maritime Law, with Louisiana being a coastal state. However, since this is an area of the law that not many people have contact with, unlike, for example, personal injury or criminal defense law, some people might not be familiar with what all is entailed in this unique area of the law. So, what does one need to know about Admiralty and Maritime Law?
Each day hundreds of people in America are injured on the job. Louisiana isn't immune to this troubling problem. However, unlike many other states, Louisiana has many people among its population who work offshore, oftentimes on boats or oil rigs. Getting injured offshore can be much more difficult than instances when an injury on the job occurs on land.
Naturally, many people see the distinction between driving a vehicle-commonly on the road-and a boating vessel-commonly on a body of water-and assume that the distinction means that actions that violate the law pertaining to each mode of transport will be different. However, this is not the case in Louisiana-the law in the state considers driving a boat the same as driving a car and this means boaters who drink and drive also receive a DWI following a recreational boating accident.
As the weather finally improves across the country, Louisiana residents may be getting their boats ready for short voyages out onto the waters with their family and friends. However, boat safety is just as important as vehicle safety, if not more, as cold water is added to the equation in a recreational boating accident.
Recreational boating accidents are just one example of a situation where a Louisiana resident may become injured on a boat or other vessels at sea. Admiralty and maritime accidents can take place in a number of situations, ranging from a slip and fall on the vessel to a near-drowning. When the incident takes place during the course or scope of the injured workers employment, both general maritime law and the Jones Act cover it. This means compensation can be sought.
Boating is a pastime Louisiana residents engage in as a method of unwinding. With the calm blue water and slight waves rocking a boat, those fortunate enough to be near the water often find themselves going out on a boat as the weather improves. With relaxing and enjoyment comes alcohol and with alcohol comes an increased chance of a recreational boating accident.
Though Louisiana residents live near bodies of water and often enjoy their weekend by engaging in activities that involve them, such as recreational boating or waterskiing, they may not be aware what laws apply if they are involved in a recreational boating accident.