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Offshore Injury & Maritime Law in Louisiana


Louisiana is home to the largest maritime workforce in the country. According to 2015 data from the federal government, the industry was responsible for $11.3 billion in overall economic output. More than 400,000 jobs belong to the state’s maritime industry. That is more than 20% of the total workforce. Jobs in this field are expected to remain in high demand for several years and come with a high risk of injury. Our Louisiana maritime lawyers at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC are here to help.

Louisiana, with such a high rate of maritime employment, plays a vital role in overall commercial transportation. Other commercial interests rely heavily on maritime work to transport cargo. Within this industry, other trades, including oil and petrochemical companies and businesses that import and export, are tied inextricably to the success of the ports in the United States and maritime work in the state. Louisiana is second only to Alaska in mileage of navigable waterways, with an impressive 2,800 miles.

Since Louisiana plays a vital role in this field, with major port cities including New Orleans, Fourchon, and Baton Rouge, the state faces an increased risk of maritime injury. Laborers experience a greater level of danger, as maritime occupations are recognized as one of the most hazardous in the workforce.

List of Ports in Louisiana

There are 32 ports in Louisiana that handle all manner of goods and services coming into and out of the United States. Our Lapeze & Johns Louisiana maritime attorneys represent maritime and offshore workers employed in the state’s ports on the coast and in the rivers. These are just a few of the state’s great ports and what they accomplish annually:

Port of South Louisiana

The port is the largest in the state and the largest tonnage port in the western world. Its 54-mile-long stretch along the Mississippi River handles more than $200 million short tons of cargo each year. Occidental Chemical Corporation (a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum), DuPont (a chemical, plastics, and energy company), and Monsanto (an agricultural company) all have berths in this port, as do many other large companies.

Major industries represented here include crude oil, chemical, and steel imports, as well as agricultural exports. The port is also home to the Globalplex Intermodal Terminal, which sees the transference of dry imports and exports. More than 55,000 barges and 4,000 vessels enter the port for business every year.

Port of New Orleans

Also along the Mississippi River, the Port of New Orleans moves cargo including coffee, steel, and agricultural products, and is one of the busiest thoroughfares for international trade. The wharves, berths, and terminals are used for many maritime activities – i.e., repair work, supply vessels, fuel, and shipping. The second largest port in the state, it has a wharf at which 15 vessels can dock at a time. Many cruises also embark from this location. Considered a deep-water port, it is a major hub for intermodal transit, with six railroads serving the port’s import and export role.

Port Fourchon

Port Fourchon is on the Gulf of Mexico; known as the Gulf’s Energy Connection, much of the work done there is part of the oil industry. Many offshore drilling operations, major pipelines, and oil platforms use the port as a land-based hub. It serves most of the oil production operations, including deep-sea exploration in the Gulf. As the industry grows, the port expands its facilities and capabilities to serve the needs of the many companies that regularly come to Fourchon to work. More than 250 companies use this port as a basis for operations, and many are contractors who routinely work for energy giants such as BP.

Other Louisiana Ports

While these ports stand out for their size, opportunities, and locations, there are many other inland, deep-draft, and coastal ports in use daily as a base of operations. These ports include:

  • Port of Alliance
  • Port of Avondale
  • Port of Greater Baton Rouge
  • Port of Bellevue
  • Port of Burnside
  • St. Bernard Port
  • Port of Gramercy
  • Port of Gretna
  • Port of Geismar
  • Port of Terrebonne
  • Port of Krotz Springs
  • Port of Lake Charles
  • LOOP Terminal
  • Port of Morgan City
  • Port of Iberia
  • Port of Ostrica
  • Plaquemines Parish Port, Harbor and Terminal District
  • Port of Shreveport-Bossier

At Lapeze & Johns PLLC, we handle maritime injury cases for all ports in Louisiana.

Risks Inherent in Maritime Industry

Most maritime jobs require some form of certification or licensing, even at the entry level. The work involves inherent risk, and workers require training on large equipment including cranes, offshore platforms, and barge operations. The industry’s possibility of injury is high and many maritime incidents are life-altering, as affected workers may never be able to do their jobs again. Commercial fishing, offshore drilling, and longshoreman are at particularly high risk for injury on the job.

Some of the most common offshore injuries include slips and falls in wet conditions, oil drilling machinery problems, drowning, and onshore vehicle accidents. Head injury, serious burns, broken limbs, and repetitive motion injuries are commonly associated with this work. Federal maritime law typically covers any accident that involves a seaman or longshore worker, but some accidents are handled at the state level. After a serious maritime injury, consulting an experienced Louisiana maritime lawyer may be the best way to determine your rights and help you obtain fair compensation.

Securing a Maritime Attorney in Louisiana

If you are injured as a seaman or longshore worker during the normal course of work at one of the ports of Louisiana, on the river, or at sea, you may need the assistance of a firm that understands the intricacies of maritime law. Workers often have access to more compensation than they might receive at the state level. At Lapeze & Johns PLLC, our Louisiana Maritime Lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of maritime injury law and help you get the compensation you need to recover.