Maritime Equipment Injuries
Working on a cargo vessel, oil drilling rig, or dockside is hard physical labor. It can be made all the more dangerous with the presence of heavy equipment, bulky shipping containers, and dangerous drilling equipment.
Dangers associated with cranes, winches, turbines, forklifts, heavy cables, and pipe tongs are present under many circumstances. Maritime professionals also have to contend with rough seas and heavy winds, which can make working with heavy equipment even more perilous.
As a maritime worker, you rely on your employer to provide a safe working environment — to ensure that you’re provided with the right equipment and the right training. When a maritime industry employer, or a company the employer works with, fails in that obligation, employees may be hurt or killed.
Some common causes of equipment-related injuries on vessels, drilling platforms, or dockside involve:
- Improperly maintained and inspected equipment
- Equipment that isn’t properly bolted, tied, or secured
- Workers who aren’t properly trained in the safe use of equipment
- Workers who aren’t provided with proper safety gear
- Workers who aren’t provided with the right equipment for the job
- Insufficient crew members assigned to work with a piece of equipment
- Equipment that is defective when acquired by the employer, contractor, or owner of the vessel or rig
All of these accidents are preventable if the employer, contractor, or owner takes the proper precautions with regard to its equipment.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we help people who were injured in serious accidents to restore what they’ve lost and to make their lives whole again. Our team of maritime accident attorneys has a reputation for obtaining fair compensation for injured seamen and other maritime workers who are hurt in equipment-related accidents.
Dangers of Negligent Equipment Operation
Human error is one of the biggest challenges in ensuring the health and safety of maritime workers. While mistakes are bound to occur, many equipment-related injuries are the result of negligence. Unfortunately, negligence continues to be a leading factor in maritime accidents.
Negligent practices like inadequate employee training, failure to take proper safety measures, and having insufficient crew members assigned to work with a piece of equipment, can lead to devastating consequences for maritime workers and their families. A failure to operate equipment safely can result in explosions, fires, electrocutions, mechanical failures, workers being struck or crushed by machinery, chemical exposures, and falls. Many of these accidents are preventable with the proper safety practices and precautions.
Why an Equipment Injury Lawyer Can Give You the Compensation You Deserve
When you’re hurt because someone else failed to take safety precautions with equipment on a marine vessel, drilling rig or platform, or at port, the person or company responsible for ensuring your safety may be guilty of negligence. Laws that govern maritime industries may allow you to sue your employer or a liable third party for negligence and to recover compensation of your losses.
If you were hurt in a maritime equipment accident, odds are your losses were significant. Because the type of equipment used in maritime industries tends to be large and heavy, an equipment-related accident can result in very serious injuries. Common injuries we see in maritime equipment accident cases include:
- Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries
- Crushed or amputated limbs
- Back or spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Torn ligaments
- Multiple bodily injuries, also known as polytrauma
These are all types of injuries that require lengthy recovery periods resulting in significant medical expenses. They’re also injuries that prevent you from working at least temporarily — and may result in long-term or permanent physical limitation.
Through a lawsuit, you may be able to receive compensation for past and future:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical limitations
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
The legal process is designed for people just like you — good people who experienced the tragedy of a serious injury and who need financial help to get through their physical recovery. A lawsuit is a way to attempt to put you back in the position you were in before you were injured. That is what The Krist Law Firm, P.C. is here to do.
When you’re injured because of someone’s negligence, you may have a right to compensation that helps you get your medical bills paid and to be able to pay your mortgage and other bills when your accident has left you unable to work. There’s nothing wrong with exercising this right — and by doing so you may be protecting your future and your family. Let us help you with your financial recovery so that you can focus on your physical recovery.
Maritime Accident Laws
When you’re considering a maritime accident lawsuit, it’s important to know that the laws governing equipment-related injuries on boats, ships, offshore rigs or platforms, or at port are complex. There are numerous laws that may apply, and which law or laws apply to your situation will depend on your specific circumstances.
You may be able to bring a claim under the Jones Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act, or legal doctrines such as Unseaworthiness or Maintenance and Cure — or some combination of these statutes and doctrines. If you’re a family member of a maritime worker who was killed, you may have a case under the Death on the High Seas Act or other federal or Texas laws.
To succeed in your case, you have to file your lawsuit or make your claim under the right maritime law or laws. That requires the help of a Houston maritime accidents lawyer who has a detailed knowledge of maritime laws and how they apply to your situation.
Experienced Representation For Your Equipment Accident Case
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our team of attorneys has decades of experience successfully handling maritime accident claims. We have won cases involving a broad range of maritime accidents and injuries. Our lead trial lawyer, Scott Krist, recently obtained one of the largest published recoveries in Texas history for a case involving a single maritime plaintiff.
In addition to extensive experience, we also have the resources and skills to take on large companies such as shipping companies or oil companies. We’re not afraid to take cases to court. When we do, we’ll back up your claim with some of the most knowledgeable experts in the country.
The compensation you are able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. When you call us for a free initial consultation we can explain your options and the potential outcomes you may expect, and then we’ll get to work fighting to get you the maximum compensation possible.
Types of Cases and Injuries We Handle
There is no question that the maritime industry involves certain inherent dangers. Some of the most common dangers revolve around commonly used materials that become hazardous. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50,000 U.S. workers suffer falling object injuries every year. Another common piece of equipment used on shipping vessels, oil rigs, and fixed platforms is grating, which comes in a variety of materials and is used to cover floor openings and provide flooring on which workers walk and stand while performing their duties. Over time, grating can become corroded, warped, or otherwise faulty, which can lead to serious injuries for workers.
In addition to falling object injuries and fault grating accidents, our maritime injury lawyers have handled numerous cases involving equipment-related accidents and injuries in maritime industries. Just a sampling of some of the types of accidents and injuries we can handle includes:
- Crane Vessel Injuries
- Winch-Related Injuries
- Turbine Installation Vessel (TIV) Injuries
- Oilfield Equipment Injuries
- Lifting Accidents
- Wind Turbine Injuries
- Basket Transfer Injuries
- Hoisting Equipment Injuries
- Pipeline Transportation Accidents
- Rig Floor Equipment Injuries
- Cable Injuries
- Poorly Maintained Equipment Injuries
- Malfunctioning Equipment Accidents
- Equipment Operating Negligence
- Cargo Hauling Injuries
- Pipe Tong Injuries