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.
Due to pervasive awareness campaigns, most people know about the dangers of drinking and driving-the impairment it causes and the increased possibility of becoming involved in an accident. Drinking and driving is considered a serious problem, which is why some people may hesitate to get behind the wheel if they have been drinking. Not many people feel the same way before operating a recreational boat.
According to the executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, July is the busiest boating time of the year. It is estimated that millions of boaters will take to the waters during the extended 4th of July weekend. With more boats on the water, the chance for recreational boating accidents also increases-this is perhaps why July is also the deadliest month on the water, as the most fatalities take place during this month as well.
Summer is here. Louisiana's children are out of school, adults are utilizing their vacation time, and family outings are becoming more common. As a result, many individuals and their families are finding themselves planning more extravagant trips. Amongst these may be taking a cruise. While these massive ships can be a lot of fun for Louisianans and their families, they can also be quite dangerous. This shouldn't be too surprising, as accidents can happen anywhere. Yet, when an individual is injured onshore, the legal process can be pretty straightforward. However, when an individual is hurt on a cruise ship, a different set of laws may apply.
Louisianans engage in a significant amount of work offshore. These individuals, like their counterparts who work on land, can be subjected to workplace injuries. When an onshore worker suffers an on-the-job injury he will likely qualify for workers' compensation benefits. By accepting these benefits, an injured worker agrees not to file a lawsuit against his employer. Offshore workers, on the other hand, are provided the right to sue their employers when they are injured on a vessel. The Jones Act, a federal law, provides these rights.