When you are at sea, every worker’s role is a crucial one. Few others work in as rigorous conditions as a deckhand, a fact that puts them at substantial risk every time they go to work.
If you’ve been injured while working as a deckhand, you need to know about your options for compensation. Fuquay Law Firm can help. To learn more and discuss your case in greater detail, call us at 251-219-0329 to schedule a consultation.
The Role of a Deckhand
Deckhands fill a lot of gaps aboard a vessel, making them a crucial part of the crew. Deckhands perform a wide range of tasks, including:
- Communicating with other crew members and maritime authorities
- Performing maintenance on vessel components and equipment
- Cleaning machinery
- Greasing machinery
- Doing basic repair tasks on the ship
- Helping passengers embark, disembark, and find their rooms
- Loading cargo
Because they can help with such a wide variety of tasks, deckhands are often among the busiest crew members on a ship. This type of work is often extremely physically demanding, not to mention mentally exhausting.
The Dangers of a Deckhand’s Work
The variety of tasks entrusted to deckhands means that they are often at risk for some type of injury. Of course, like any other crew member, they are working in an environment that is inherently dangerous. Anyone working aboard a vessel at sea is subject to the whims of the water and the dangers of the weather.
Deckhands spend a lot of time working with a boat’s most dangerous components, including fuel tanks, heavy machinery, and cargo bays. When a deckhand is working above board, they are at risk of sudden shifts in direction caused by inclement weather. The risk of falling overboard is always present. Beyond that, though, many other injuries are reported by seasoned deckhands.
Repetitive stress injuries are fairly common, especially among deckhands who spend a lot of time loading and unloading cargo. The repetitive motions of repairing machinery can also take a toll on a deckhand’s muscles. Slip and fall accidents are another risk; even if a deckhand does not fall overboard, a fall can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and other injuries.
Traumatic brain injuries, depending on their severity, can leave a deckhand with poor emotional control, limited communication abilities, limited mobility, or other side effects. Deckhands who suffer severe injuries might endure amputation, drowning, hypothermia, or the loss of an eye. Those exposed to dangerous chemicals in the course of their work could end up with chronic illness down the road.
Maritime Law and Deckhands
Deckhands are covered under maritime law, which means they have a right to compensation if a ship owner’s negligence causes them to sustain injuries. This ensures that deckhands, who give their strength and knowledge to the vessels they work on, are not left with nothing after suffering an injury they didn’t cause.
Under the Jones Act, deckhands can receive maintenance and cure. This covers medical expenses for all injuries related to the accident, as well as housing costs, food, wages, and other expenses incurred because of the injury.
However, if you believe you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act, it’s important to work with an attorney with in-depth experience in this area. Getting compensation under maritime law is very different from getting paid by workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim. As a result, it’s important to work with someone who has handled maritime law cases similar to your own.
Find Out How Fuquay Law Firm Can Support You After Your Work Injury
The team at Fuquay Law Firm knows what an important role that our nation’s vessels play in our economy, supply chain, and military force. We believe in helping deckhands, longshoremen, and other maritime workers get the compensation they are owed after an injury.
Too often, a vessel owner might skip necessary inspections or put off important repairs to save money or keep a trip on schedule. When those careless decisions cause deckhands and other employees to get hurt, we step in. Find out how we can help you by scheduling a consultation now. Call our team at 251-219-0329 or contact us online to take the first step.