helicopter and airplane accident in the maritime industry

Airplane and Helicopter Accidents in the Maritime Industry

Getting to and from offshore work sites is one of the inconveniences of the maritime industry. While airplanes and helicopters are generally a safe travel option for maritime workers, there’s always an exception. When workers are being transported to and from offshore work sites, an airplane or helicopter collision can be considered a maritime accident. This may allow injured employees or the surviving family members of deceased employees to get the compensation they deserve.

Have you or someone you love been injured while working in a maritime role? Fuquay Law Firm has the experience and knowledge you need to pursue full and fair compensation. Call us at 251-473-4443 to schedule a consultation now.

Common Aviation Accident Injuries

Aviation accidents have the potential to cause serious or even catastrophic injuries. When an airplane or helicopter hits the water, it often falls apart completely because of the force of the crash. Not only do passengers and pilots absorb the impact of the initial collision, but they also have to try to survive as their aircraft sinks around them.

The types of injuries you experience depend on which type of aircraft you’re in, the speed you were traveling at the time of the crash, and how the aircraft hits the water. If the plane malfunctions and starts dropping towards the water too quickly, your head could be thrown back and you could suffer a concussion.

If you are caught up in the rubble of a broken plane, you could get cut by a floating piece of fuselage. When exposed to seawater, a cut can easily become infected. If the fuel in your plane or helicopter explodes, you may suffer chemical burns.

Some injuries commonly reported after a maritime aviation accident include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Organ damage
  • Hypothermia
  • Chemical burns
  • Amputations
  • Disfiguring of the face or other body parts

What Causes Maritime Aviation Accidents?

Many of the same issues that lead to other types of maritime accidents cause aviation crashes. In some cases, an inexperienced or undertrained pilot is the concern. If a company utilizes a pilot with minimal training or sends out a pilot in conditions that they aren’t trained for, tragedy can follow. In other cases, poorly maintained aircraft is the main cause of an accident.

While air travel is often safer than other options, airplanes and helicopters need an enormous amount of upkeep. If a company falls behind on its maintenance schedule or skips routine inspections, it’s easy to miss a safety concern.

Mother Nature is always a threat to maritime workers, and air travel adds another complication into the mix. When inclement weather closes in without warning, pilots are often left scrambling to find safe landing options. If visibility drops, a plane or helicopter full of offshore workers may crash.

Compensation for Injured Workers

Maritime law allows injured maritime workers, including maritime aviators, to receive maintenance and cure. This type of compensation covers your medical expenses and basic living costs while you recover from your work injury.

Pilots who transport offshore workers may be considered seamen under the Jones Act. This allows them to seek additional compensation. The Jones Act goes one step further than general maintenance and cure, permitting injured workers to file a claim against a negligent employer or vessel owner if their negligence causes an accident. Rather than being limited to maintenance and cure, those who file claims under the Jones Act can receive money for pain and suffering, lost future earnings, future medical expenses, and mental anguish.

The Jones Act defines the term “seaman” fairly loosely, which allows a greater number of maritime workers to use it to file a claim. However, you’ll still want to talk to an attorney before moving forward with a claim. Maritime injury claims are more complex than other types of workplace injury claims, and you don’t want a mistake to delay your claim.

Contact Fuquay Law Firm Now to Start Your Claim

If you’ve been hurt in a maritime aviation accident, don’t wait any longer to seek the compensation you’re owed. The team at Fuquay Law Firm is ready to advocate for you. Take the first step right now and set up a consultation by calling us at 251-473-4443 or reaching out online.

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