When Louisiana workers suffer serious personal injuries as a result of an accident caused by a ship or other vessel, their claims are governed by the Jones Act, which is a federal component of maritime and admiralty law, rather than under the state's personal injury laws. Available claims and damages must thus be sought through the nation's maritime law, which has different procedures and laws than other types of personal injury cases.
Under the Jones Act, it does not matter if the injury suffered occurred on the water or if it occurred on land. If a navigable vessel was involved, maritime and admiralty law governs. The claim must first be presented to the company that owns or operates the vessel, and a civil lawsuit may not be filed until six months after the claim has been presented to the company in writing.