Maritime jobs are more common than people realize. “With over 80 percent of global trade by volume and more than 70 percent of its value being carried on board ships and handled by seaports worldwide, the importance of maritime transport for trade and development cannot be overemphasized,” states the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
While this particular job field is vital to our economy, it’s also dangerous for the countless laborers who work to ensure that our society functions effectively. Although there are strict procedures and guidelines that maritime workers and companies must follow to stay safe on the job, accidents can still occur.
If you or a loved one sustained a maritime injury, call our law firm today. At The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux, we understand the legal system is often tedious and time-consuming. Furthermore, these types of cases include multiple details that must be reviewed to determine what legal options are available for your case. If you have grounds to file a claim, our New Iberia, Louisiana, maritime lawyers can help you with the legal process.
Four of the Most Dangerous Maritime Occupations
Maritime occupations are often risky for workers. Some of the most dangerous maritime occupations include the following:
1. Deck Operations
A deck operator is an important position in the maritime industry. They help safely navigate and operate the vessel at sea and in port. Furthermore, they are held responsible for the maintenance of deck equipment, passage planning, ship stability, and other important duties.
Longshoremen are in charge of loading and unloading ships. This particular job is risky and can potentially lead to serious injuries. Since these workers are typically hauling large amounts of freight on and off of vessels, it can be tiresome and strenuous on the body. Some of the most common injuries longshoremen can suffer include being crushed by cargo and falling on the deck.
Fishermen work in hazardous and unpredictable environments. For example, weather conditions and slippery floors can create serious injuries. Also, they spend long periods of time on board ships. Any time a fisherman is at sea, unexpected injuries can occur. According to an article by Forbes, “In 2017, fishers and related fishing workers had the highest fatal work injury rate in the country with 99.8 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.”
4. Oil Rig Workers
Oil rig workers are exposed to extremely treacherous circumstances, including humid conditions, heavy machinery, and chemicals. Time stated, “By any measure, drilling for oil and gas offshore is one of America’s most dangerous professions. The risks are unavoidable: workers are on shift for an average of 12 hours a day dealing with highly combustible materials on a platform where cranes swing heavy equipment constantly overhead.”
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a maritime accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Types of Maritime Cases Our Firm Handles
Our law firm handles numerous maritime accident claims, such as:
- Rough water claims
- Cases involving drilling, welding, or cranes
- Offshore drilling rigs
- Slip and falls
- Unsafe conditions on ships or boats
- Toxic exposure claims
While these are examples of the types of cases we represent, our practice is not limited to these alone.
Laws That Govern Maritime Accidents
Maritime accidents are handled differently than accidents that happen on land. Some of the distinct laws governing maritime accidents include:
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is intended to provide compensation when an injury occurs secondary to the negligence of a fellow seaman, the owner of the vessel, the captain, or another member of the crew. This act is influenced by the comparative negligence rule. In other words, if an injured victim’s actions contributed to the accident in any way, the compensation they may be entitled to obtain could be reduced.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, “provides for the payment of compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees disabled from on the job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of a vessel, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Death on the High Seas Act
This act allows a family member, such as a spouse, to recover damages for a loved one who died on international waters.
Most Common Injuries in the Maritime Industry
The most common types of injuries in maritime accidents include the following:
- Chemical burns
- Head injuries
- Eye damage
- Falling overboard
- Winch injuries
- Broken bones
- Loss of hearing
Since the maritime industry is comprised of many different jobs, injuries will vary.
What to Do After an Accident
If you or someone you know was injured while on the job, it’s important to keep in mind that the steps you take immediately following an accident can impact any potential compensation you may be qualified to receive. Below are suggestions from our New Iberia, Louisiana, maritime lawyers that may help you with your case:
- Report the accident to your employer – It’s imperative to promptly inform your employer after the accident. If you wait to report the accident, you may potentially damage any compensation you’re entitled to.
- Take photos and document the accident – If possible, capture photos of the scene of the accident and your injuries. Additionally, document your account of how the accident occurred and that of anyone who witnessed the incident.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you believe your injuries are not severe, it’s in your best interest to be evaluated by a medical professional.
- Contact an attorney – Maritime law is complex and there are various laws governing workers who are injured while on the job. Our team is familiar with these specific laws and can review your case to determine your legal options. If you are entitled to compensation, we can help you receive the amount you are rightfully owed.
The moments after a workplace accident can drastically impact your claim. If you use these tips, it may help you protect any compensation you’re able to receive.
Types of Compensation Available
Compensation is a monetary award given to an individual who suffered injuries and damage due to the negligent actions of another individual. Examples of damages you may be compensated for include the following:
In some cases, injuries may require extensive treatment, such as physical therapy or additional surgeries. Compensation can be awarded to help cover those costs.
If you are unable to work as a result of your injuries, compensation can cover lost wages.
If you experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your loss.
Every maritime accident is different, and multiple factors are taken into consideration in order to determine what legal options are available. If you are entitled to receive compensation, the amount will depend on the severity of your injuries and other circumstances. Our team of experienced attorneys can review the various aspects of your case and calculate a reasonable compensation amount.
We Protect the Rights of Injured Victims After Maritime Accidents
At The Law Offices of Blaine Barrilleaux, we understand how devastating and life changing an accident can be for an individual and their loved ones. As a personal injury law firm, we represent clients who have suffered injuries as a result of a maritime accident.
With nearly 20 years of legal experience, we know how to navigate the legal system to help you build a strong case. We are knowledgeable about the laws that govern these types of accidents, which will be to your advantage.
Our team understands the worry and stress injured victims face after an accident, especially when medical bills are piling up and their injuries prevent them from working. With our law firm, you don’t have to handle the legal system alone. Our team will gather the necessary information to build your case while you focus on your recovery.
For more information about your legal options, it’s vital to speak with an experienced attorney.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our New Iberia, Louisiana, maritime lawyers, please give our law office a call at (337) 989-1212 or complete our free, immediate case evaluation form. We have offices in Lafayette and Metairie to better serve the people of Louisiana.