Maritime injuries and the law

Adventures on the water can be a ton of fun, whether they come in the form of sailing, deep-sea diving or some other activity. Those who work in Louisiana's waterways and oceanfronts know being at sea can also be a load of work that comes with its own set of hazards not typical in land-based jobs.

One of these dangers is slip-and-fall accidents, mishaps the Maritime Injury Guide says result from a number of hazardous conditions often present on sea vessels. Lack of proper housekeeping is one of those.

Another is having equipment that ends up sliding around the wet, slippery deck because it lacks proper bracing. The slippery conditions create yet another risk.

When a maritime worker sustains injuries from slipping and falling aboard a sea vessel, he or she has the right to specific coverage, according to the Maritime Injury Guide. Treatment for the injuries, lost wages and any needed therapy are provisions general maritime law makes for injured employees.

The Federal Bar Association, in giving case summaries, also mentions a seaman's entitlement. He or she "is entitled to maintenance and cure if he is injured or falls ill while in service of the ship and it extends during the period when he is incapacitated to do a seaman's work and continues until he reaches maximum medical recovery."

The Association notes "maximum medical recovery" is an expectation that the injured has recovered to the maximum potential and will not continue to improve. One of the primary goals of the courts in cases based on the Doctrine of Maintenance and Cure is balancing doing right by the injured worker while keeping him or her honest about the injuries.

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