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Deckhands serve a vital role in the maritime industry, and vessels could not stay afloat without them. 

However, like other offshore workers, deckhands face a variety of risks while on the job, and unfortunately, they may experience injuries.

It’s important to have a plan in place for those times when the worst comes true. Read on to learn everything you need to know about deckhand accident injuries and deckhand injury claims in Louisiana from The Maritime Injury Law Firm

Deckhand accidents in Louisiana

The work of a deckhand can be dangerous. 

Deckhands operate complicated and heavy machinery that can malfunction, or even be used improperly. Decks can also be wet and slippery, causing them to fall, sometimes even off the boat. In fact, deckhand injuries may be more common than you think.

Here are some common deckhand accidents that may lead to a deckhand injury claim:

  • Slipping and falling
  • Stress injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Back injuries
  • Losing limbs or eyes
  • Head trauma or brain injuries
  • Drowning or death
  • Hypothermia

What is the Jones Act?

When disaster strikes, and you are injured in your duties as an offshore worker, the Jones Act protects your rights to compensation

The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to all 50 states, including Louisiana, and it provides compensation to offshore workers who are injured and cannot work. 

The Jones Act ensures injured offshore workers receive maintenance and cure benefits while their injuries bar them from work. In addition to maintenance and cure benefits, the Jones Act protects an employee’s right to sue if they can prove their employer was even partially at fault for their accident and injuries.

The difference between maintenance and cure

If you are an injured Gulf Coast worker, your maintenance and cure benefits are protected under the Jones Act.

But what is the difference between the benefits?

  • Maintenance is compensation for the cost of living expenses an injured offshore worker incurs while unable to work. Examples include food, insurance, mortgage, utilities, rent, property taxes, etc. Maintenance payments are usually made on a bi-weekly basis directly to the injured worker.
  • Alternatively, cure is compensation for medical expenses an injured offshore worker faces. This includes transportation to and from medical appointments, and the payments are usually paid directly to the doctor.

Does the Jones Act protect deckhands in New Orleans, LA?

Injuries that occur on the job as a deckhand can be a serious matter. If you have a short- or long-term disability, you may not be able to return to work for quite some time. It’s even possible to sustain permanent disabilities as deckhands.

The Jones Act protects all Louisiana maritime employees, and this includes deckhands. As mentioned before, not only does the Jones Act provide maintenance and cure benefits, so injured deckhands can safely focus on their recovery, but it also allows workers to sue if they can prove their employer’s fault in their accident.

A lawsuit can provide further compensation for an injured deckhand, such as compensation for pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.

Contact a New Orleans, LA maritime injury attorney

If you were injured on the job as a deckhand, you are entitled to your full recovery time and financial compensation – especially if employer neglect played a hand in your injuries. You need a determined, knowledgeable maritime attorney and ally in your corner who knows all the specifics of maritime law. 

George Vourvoulais is a New Orleans attorney with 20 years of experience getting justice for offshore workers. Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm today to schedule your initial consultation.

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