The maritime industry is known for careers that are rewarding yet high-risk. If you have suffered due to a maritime accident or work-related injury, you may think there is nothing to be done since the dangers are inherent. However, many maritime injuries are preventable, and the fault might lie with those responsible for the welfare of the workers.
Whether your injury occurred onshore or offshore, there may be legal recourse for what you have suffered. Personal injury lawyers can help you to determine whether a workers’ compensation insurance settlement offer is fair. They can help you make sure that your medical bills, lost work, ongoing related expenses, and pain and suffering are compensated for adequately.
Common Maritime Accidents Lawyers See and Their Causes
While these numbers have gone down in recent years, there are still several common types of maritime accidents that we often see. For example:
- Falling overboard
- Slips and falls
- Chemical burns
- Dock and pier loading accidents
- Toxic fume poisoning
The circumstances surrounding these accidents may vary, but we often see similar causes surrounding their occurrence.
Some factors which may contribute to accidents and injuries aboard ships, oil rigs, and other maritime vessels include:
- Inadequate training
- Defective equipment
- Overworked crew
- Failure to ensure decks have non-skid surfaces
- Debris in walkways
- Adverse weather
While there may be some accidents that are unpreventable, the majority of maritime accidents are due to human error or negligence.
Employers have an obligation to ensure that their maritime workers are as safe as possible, receiving an appropriate amount of training and personal protective equipment. When unsafe working conditions are found onboard and an accident results, the employer and/or supervisor may be held liable for their negligence. If that is true in your case, a lawyer can help you to hold them accountable for what you have suffered.
Maritime-Related Injuries of Which You Should Be Aware
Depending on the kind of maritime accident you were involved in, you may be experiencing a wide variety of life-altering injuries. However, even if there was no specific incident which caused severe injury, there may be other physical consequences related to your work.
Some of the most common maritime injuries include:
- Head injuries
- Broken limbs
- Shoulder injuries
- Repetitive use injuries
Some of these injuries are due to a traumatic event, such as a slip-and-fall or another maritime accident. However, others are due to working without property training or safety equipment. Either way, if you are suffering from one of these injuries, or another kind, you may have legal recourse.
The best way to know whether or not your injuries would be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit is to speak with an experienced maritime injury lawyer.
At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we know that our maritime workers are essential to our community. With 15,670 domestic maritime industry jobs, New Jersey comes in at number 11 in the nation for maritime workers. All of those workers deserve to have their physical safety and legal rights protected.
What to Do After a Maritime Accident and How Lawyers Help
Maritime law protects maritime workers in the event of an accident, and the Jones Act helps protect those injured due to employer negligence. However, when the unthinkable occurs, what immediate steps do you, as a maritime worker, need to take? Notice the following five steps that can help you to be prepared.
1. Seek medical help
Even if you are unsure how serious your injuries are, this is the first thing you should do, in order to give yourself the best chance for recovery. In many cases, without prompt and adequate treatment from a medical professional, accident-related injuries and illnesses can worsen. Protect your health and seek help first.
2. Report your injuries
Make sure that you inform your employer of what happened in a timely fashion, even if you may assume that he or she is aware of what happened, as soon as possible.
3. Gather evidence
It is essential to your future recovery that you collect as much evidence and information as you can right after your injury. This evidence may include photos of the scene where you were injured, contact information for any witnesses, and photos of equipment and your injuries.
4. Do not sign or submit statements to insurers
After a maritime injury, your employer may try to get you to sign a statement, or deal, with the insurance company. However, it is safer to avoid signing any statement or settlement offer until you consult with a maritime injury lawyer. Even if you trust your employer, the work comp insurance company may try to undermine your case, so it is important to protect your rights.
5. Talk with a maritime injury lawyer
Many personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, where they can review your injury circumstances and give you quality legal counsel as to your next steps and possible outcomes. At Judd Shaw Injury Law, we welcome your call 24/7.
Judd Shaw Injury Lawyers Wants to Help You
If you are suffering an injury or illness due to your work on a vessel, rig, or in a shipyard, know that you do not have to suffer alone. Our maritime lawyers have experience handling claims that deal with the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). We want to help you explore your options for compensation and defend your rights.
We know that each case is unique and that every set of circumstances that our clients face has specific challenges. We want to help you build a strong case and to give you the best chance for a full physical, emotional, and financial recovery for you and your family. Call to schedule your free consultation with us at 1-866-909-6894.
Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.