If you are a maritime worker who was seriously injured while working at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, maritime law gives you the right to seek compensation for the damages resulting from your injuries. The Port Fourchon accident attorneys at The Lambert Firm have been representing maritime workers injured in accidents at Port Fourchon and other Gulf port facilities since the 1970s. Our extensive knowledge and expertise in maritime law gives us an advantage few law firms can equal.
About Port Fourchon
Port Fourchon is located about 100 miles south of New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to being the state’s southernmost port, it’s also one of the most important, with over 400 large supply vessels traversing the port’s channels each day. Port Fourchon services 90% of all deep water drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico; it’s also the land base for LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port), which handles 10-15% of the nation’s domestic oil and 10-15% of the nation’s foreign oil, with over 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day being transported via pipelines through the port. Inland cargo barges reach Port Fourchon primarily through Bayou Lafourche.
Some of Port Fourchon’s more notable features include the E-Slip, a 500-foot-wide slip with legs between 24 and 28 feet in depth, and Belle Pass, a 2,600 feet long, 1,200 foot wide jetty system that serves as the entrance to the Port.
If you’ve worked in the maritime industry, you probably recognize a lot of these names:
- Baker Marine Solutions
- C&C Offshore, Inc.
- Gulf Offshore Logistics
- Halliburton Energy Services
- Crane Worldwide Logistics
- BP/British Petroleum
This is a short list of the over 250 offshore oil exploration and production companies and maritime service companies that utilize Port Fourchon as a base of operation.Section Close DIV
Common Port Fourchon Injuries
Port Fourchon also serves as a popular destination for recreational boaters and sports fishermen from all over the nation.
Employer negligence, human error, defective machinery and tools and lack of proper training are leading causes of Port Fourchon accidents. These accidents include slips, trips, collisions, groundings, falling overboard, fires, explosions, crane and forklift accidents, transfer mishaps and exposure to harmful chemicals, to name a few.
Port Fourchon accident injuries can be mild – minor cuts and abrasions; serious – bone fractures, burns, traumatic brain injuries, back and spinal cord injuries; and in some cases, even fatal – drowning. The most common injuries include:
Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability. It is also the most common on-the-job injury.
While not always catastrophic, back injuries can severely impact an offshore worker’s ability to perform his job, affecting his future earning potential.
The loss of limbs or digits may occur during an offshore accident, or be necessary as a result of the injuries sustained in an accident as part of your medical treatment.
This activity is highly effective but can be quite dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Sandblasting injuries can happen in the workplace when equipment is not properly maintained or used.
It seems maritime workers face serious risks there, too. More than a quarter of seafarers exhibit signs of depression, according to a recent study.
Maritime workers can spend months having no contact with friends or family, facing some of the harshest working conditions to be found in any job. How do these stresses impact the mental health of seamen and other maritime workers?
These injuries can be among the most severe, with long-term physical and emotional scars.
Of all the risks maritime workers must contend with, one of the most dangerous is exposure to harmful chemicals. Exposure to hazardous chemicals, whether by inhalation or direct contact, can result in serious, long-term health problems for maritime workers. In worse case scenarios, chemical exposure injuries can even lead to death.
Perhaps the most important point about water blasting injuries is that they may not appear severe immediately after the accident. The water blasting injuries may not even be terribly painful. Make no mistake, this injury is extremely severe.
Water blasting injuries are similar to gunshot wounds but have the added danger of contaminated water. If the water jet cuts through a shoe or sleeve and punctures the skin, it may only appear as a small bruise. What has actually happened is that contaminated water has been shot inside the body and will cause infections.
When a person exerts themselves in a hot environment, their body attempts to maintain a stable internal temperature by circulating blood to the skin and sweating. As temperatures rise, it becomes more difficult to cool the body and maintain a safe internal temperature.
High levels of humidity, such as we experience in the Gulf Coast region, also make it difficult for sweat to evaporate and cool the skin. Prolonged exposure to heat and high humidity can cause a host of heat-related health problems.
Injuries to the spine can lead to paralysis and loss of limb function.
When working on a vessel, on a dry dock or anywhere that has confined spaces and moving, heavy objects, head injuries can occur. Head injuries are especially common in the maritime industry due to the nature of the work.
Maritime workers are surrounded by cranes, crawling through confined spaces and walking through doors with low hanging beams. Anyone who has ever set foot inside a tug boat has seen that the doorways and manholes do not look like they were made for adults. Often times it is even hard for a smaller adult to squeeze through these openings. Because of this, bumps on the head are common events.
Welding fumes are hazardous to any welder, especially when working in confined spaces. Confined spaces such as tanks, cabs of mobile equipment and large shovels can prove to be exceptionally hazardous to welders and others exposed to welding fumes.
Two of the biggest causes of hypothermia for maritime workers are exposure to cold weather and immersion in cold water. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Immersion in cold water is especially dangerous and can lead to unconsciousness or even death in as little as 15 minutes.
Workers who suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have problems with long-term cognitive and neurological functions.
Climbing from the shore to the deck of a ship is how most gangway injuries happen. The gangway is the name of the stair, ladder or bridge structure that allows access to and from the deck of a ship, boat, dry dock or any type of vessel or marine structure. Gangway security is an important part of shipyard safety.
After a maritime accident, PTSD and other emotional trauma can be just as serious of a health problem as a physical injury. Even a near miss accident — one in which a maritime worker genuinely feared for their life — can result in severe emotional stress. The Jones Act and other maritime laws allow maritime workers to seek damages for the negligent infliction of emotional stress (NIES) — so long as they were within what the courts refer to as the “zone of danger” during the incident.
Many people think of PTSD as something only war veterans experience. The truth is, anyone who has experienced a traumatic event can develop PTSD, even maritime workers. Under the Jones Act, maritime workers who suffer from job-related PTSD after a traumatic event may be able to seek compensation if their condition was the result of negligence on the part of their employers, captain or co-workers.
Louisiana’s Southernmost Airport and Maritime Transfer Accidents
In addition to the traffic on the water, Port Fourchon is a busy airport as well. Approximately 15,000 people per month are flown to offshore locations supported by Port Fourchon, usually by helicopter.
Landing a helicopter or lowering passengers onto a moving ship or oil platform is always a tricky job. According to the CDC, transportation accidents were the leading cause of fatalities in offshore oil and gas operations between the years 2003-2010.
Seventy-five percent of these transportation accidents involved helicopters. Mechanical failure, pilot error, fire and bad weather were the leading causes of offshore helicopter accidents. (It should be noted that all of these helicopter accidents occurred in Gulf of Mexico offshore operations.)
The maritime transfer accident attorneys at The Lambert Firm have helped maritime workers and their families obtain the compensation they deserve after an injury or death caused by a Port Fourchon helicopter accident.Section Close DIV
Nationally Recognized Attorneys
Compensation for Port Fourchon Maritime Accidents
Maritime accidents can happen at any time in a busy port facility like Port Fourchon. If these accidents were caused by negligence, such as the unseaworthiness of a vessel, an injured maritime worker may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, living expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The first step to getting the compensation you deserve is to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly experienced Port Fourchon accident attorneys. We’ll perform a complete case review and determine the best course of action to obtain the compensation you are entitled to. We’re one of the nation’s leading maritime injury law firms, having obtained billions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
Compensation may include:
- Past medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Over $1 Billion Recovered For Our Injured Clients
Frequently Asked Questions about Port Fourchon Maritime Worker Accidents
If you’ve been injured and are unable to work after being injured in a Port Fourchon accident, we know you have many questions. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions our maritime attorneys hear:
Our Port Fourchon injury attorneys represent clients on a contingency basis, meaning that you do not pay anything unless and until we win compensation for you.
Statutes of limitation apply in port maritime accident cases; if you wait too long, the courts may refuse to hear your claim. We urge you to reach out to the Port Fourchon maritime accident attorneys at The Lambert Firm without delay.
Port workers may be protected by several different laws depending on the nature of their employment. Some of the maritime laws that may apply include:
If an employer is “arbitrary and capricious” or “willful or callous” in delaying, denying or terminating maintenance and cure benefits, maritime law allows an injured Mississippi River worker to take legal action that includes punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to estimate this because the circumstances of each case are so different. In some cases, it may take take a few months to resolve a case. In other cases, it can take a year or longer.
Injured port workers sometimes decide not to explore their legal options because they fear being put on a “blacklist” and unable to get another job in the maritime industry.
While we can’t say for sure whether any “list” is floating around among maritime employers, we feel strongly that this should NOT be a factor in deciding whether to pursue a claim. Maritime workers, including workers in ports, on inland waterways and offshore, are protected by laws against blacklisting or otherwise retaliating against workers.