Poorly Maintained Equipment Injuries
Working on shipping vessels, offshore oil rigs, fixed platforms, or at port, comes with many risks. The maritime industry is more dangerous than most due to the types of heavy equipment being used, rough seas, exposure to inclement weather, increased demands on work productivity, and long hours.
If you have been injured due to poorly maintained equipment or another cause of maritime accidents, contact us at 281-283-8500 to help you deal with the legal process while you focus on recovery.
Common Equipment Failures Due to Poor Maintenance
The complex machinery and equipment used in the maritime industry is susceptible to mechanical failures and malfunctions over time. Maritime workers are at risk every day. They depend on employers to ensure a safe working environment. This obligation includes making sure that equipment is properly maintained, inspected, and repaired to reduce the risk of accidents.
Maritime industry equipment that is susceptible to poor maintenance includes:
- Mooring lines – The cables and ropes that secure vessels to land structures can become worn and frayed. They require maintenance regularly and must be replaced when they become dangerous.
- Cranes – Cranes are often used to move cargo on shore and on vessels. Like all heavy equipment, they require regular maintenance in order to function properly. If they become unsteady or drop loads, they can cause serious injuries.
- Personnel or “Billy Pugh” baskets – Oil drilling platforms often use baskets to transfer workers to and from work platforms. If they are not properly maintained, they can cause injury due to slips, trips, and falls.
- Hoisting equipment – Offshore vessels use hoisting equipment to construct facilities, move personnel, and relocate cargo. If not properly inspected and maintained, workers can be injured due to falling items and unstable surfaces.
- Cables – Cables are used both dockside and offshore to secure cargo and equipment. If not properly maintained and replaced when necessary, they can result in a breakdown of integral vessel structures.
- Wind turbines – Many offshore vessels use wind power to operate efficiently. Improperly maintained wind turbines can collapse or lose blades, causing serious injuries to those nearby.
Poorly Maintained Equipment Can Result in Severe Injuries
A great deal of offshore maritime injuries and accidents are due to equipment failure, insufficient training in the safe use of equipment, improperly maintained equipment, inappropriate equipment for the job, and defective equipment. Poorly maintained equipment can create unsafe working conditions and increase the risk of accidents involving equipment malfunction, slips and falls, being struck by falling objects, fire, explosions, and chemical exposure.
Equipment-related accidents due to poor maintenance can lead to serious injuries or even death for those operating the machinery or workers that are close by. Poorly maintained equipment injuries can 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)
Pursuing a Maritime Accident Claim
If you have been injured in a maritime accident due to poorly maintained equipment, your employer or the company responsible for ensuring a safe working environment may be negligent. Depending on the circumstances of your injury and which laws apply to your case, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against your employer or liable third party. 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
Laws That Apply to Offshore Injuries
There are a unique set of maritime laws that often apply to offshore injuries, and the damages you’re able to recover may differ based on the specific circumstances of your injury and which maritime laws apply to your case. It may be possible to pursue a maritime accident claim under one of the following laws or doctrines:
- The Jones Act
- The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
- The Death on the High Seas Act
- Maintenance and Cure
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
- General maritime laws
You will need the help of a skilled and knowledgeable maritime accident lawyer to ensure that your claim is filed under the appropriate maritime laws. Due to the complexity of maritime laws and how they may intersect in your case, it is important to speak with an experienced Houston accident attorney following an offshore injury.
Experienced Representation for Your Poorly Maintained Equipment Case
The Houston maritime attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. have extensive experience representing people seriously injured in maritime accidents, including obtaining numerous multi-million dollar recoveries on behalf of our clients, including a landmark $15,120,000 recovery for a lineman struck by a steel cable. We are dedicated to helping you obtain the maximum compensation possible so that you can focus on healing and move forward with your life. We have the resources and skills to fight for the compensation you deserve and to hold the parties responsible for your injuries accountable.
Call us today at 281-283-8500 to schedule a free case evaluation appointment with one of our Houston maritime accident lawyers. You pay no fees unless we recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.