Types of Maritime Injuries
Working in the maritime industry can be very rewarding–a career in the maritime field may be stimulating, lucrative, and fulfilling. But working in this industry can also be very dangerous, as accidents are common, and workers are at risk of serious injuries. At the offices of the Fuquay Law Firm, our experienced maritime accident lawyers can provide you with the support and representation you deserve if you’ve been injured in an accident at work. Reach out to us directly for your free consultation.
Types of Maritime Accidents and Injuries
From injuries that happen on the dock to those that occur on a maritime vessel, the potential for accidents and injuries abounds. Some of the most common types of maritime accidents and injuries include:
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents and injuries. Wet floors and slippery surfaces can lead to slip, trip, and fall accidents–one of the most common maritime accident types. When a slip and fall occurs, a worker may suffer injuries including bone fractures, soft tissue sprains and strains, a traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury, back and neck injuries, internal injuries, and more. Slip and fall accidents may occur as a result of wet surfaces, spills of substances, objects in walking areas, falling objects, uneven walking surfaces, and more.
- Falling overboard accidents and injuries. Falling overboard is one of the most serious types of accidents and may have fatal consequences for an involved worker. Falling overboard may occur when objects and materials are being moved (i.e. loading and unloading cargo), when fishing and handling fishing gear, as a result of being struck by a heavy object, due to a slip and fall, and more. Falling overboard could result in a serious traumatic brain injury, injuries to extremities, and drowning or near-drowning, the latter of which can cause long-term brain damage.
- Equipment accidents and injuries. On a maritime vessel, as well as on the dock, there are often various types of heavy equipment and machinery that are essential to the work. For example, fishing vessels may require large nets and the equipment to hoist them, bilge pumps, and more. When equipment is defective or is negligently maintained or operated, those who are around the equipment are at risk of serious injury. Type of equipment- and machinery-involved injuries might include getting caught in or in-between equipment/machinery, entanglement injuries, struck by object injuries, limb amputation injuries, and more.
- Fire and explosion accidents and injuries. Fires and explosions are not uncommon on maritime vessels, especially those vessels which transport or utilize hazardous materials, chemicals, and substances, including oil and gas. When an onboard fire or explosion occurs, the results may be devastating for those involved. Burn injuries, amputation injuries, hearing loss injuries, inhalation injuries, and more are all possible. In some cases, fire and explosion accidents result in worker fatalities.
- Hazardous material exposure. In addition to substances that are flammable or explosive leading to maritime accidents and worker injuries, maritime vessels often also transport hazardous materials. When workers are exposed to these materials, they may develop occupational injuries, illnesses, or diseases, ranging from chemical burn injuries to cancer.
- Repetitive motion injuries. In addition to the range of acute accidents and injuries that maritime workers may be at risk of suffering, some workers are also at risk of developing repetitive motion injuries. These types of injuries, which typically affect the soft tissues, are a result of performing the same task in the same position for an extended amount of time. Repetitive motion injuries–while taking months or years to develop–can be extremely painful and disabling and should be treated seriously.
Causes of Maritime Accidents and Injuries
The vast majority of maritime accidents and injuries are entirely preventable, and would not occur but for defective equipment and machinery, poor training and management, and worker or employer negligence.
- Defective equipment and machinery. On a maritime vessel and on a dock, it is critical that all of the equipment and machinery that workers use is safe when operated as intended. Failing to properly maintain or repair machinery can lead to defects that are life-threatening. In addition to improper maintenance and repair, some equipment and machinery may be defectively manufactured or designed, putting maritime workers’ lives at risk.
- Improper training and management. Equipment may be working properly, but if the person who is operating it hasn’t been adequately trained, the operation can be extremely dangerous. The same is true for a range of maritime worker tasks and responsibilities–proper training, management, and oversight are key for everyone’s safety and wellbeing. This includes ensuring that all safety regulations are properly adhered to.
- Even when equipment is safe and workers are properly trained, the negligence or carelessness of an employer or an employee may lead to serious accidents. For example, a maritime captain may decide to take a vessel out in unsafe conditions–a decision that another captain facing similar circumstances would not make. Or, an employer may fail to maintain a maritime vessel in safe condition by failing to ensure spills are cleaned and walking surfaces are maintained, thereby putting workers at risk of a slip and fall accident.
Get Help If You’ve Been in a Maritime Accident
For maritime workers who have been injured on the job, it can be challenging to know what one’s rights are and whether or not compensation is guaranteed or available. At the offices of the Fuquay Law Firm, our maritime accident and injury lawyer has extensive experience representing workers in accident and injury claims, including claims related to the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act. Attorney Richard W. Fuquay will aggressively advocate for your right to compensation and help you attain the settlement that you deserve.
Our law firm understands what you’re going through and how devastating a maritime injury is. You’re not alone. For help navigating the claims process and recovering the settlement you deserve, call the Fuquay Law Firm today. Our lawyer offers free consultations and works on maritime injury cases on a contingent-fee basis, which means you will never have to pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call today at 251-219-0329 or send us a message directly to get started.