When working in the maritime industry, one of the most devastating accidents that can take place is a vessel collision. Even with global positioning systems in place and radio communications, accidents involving vessels at sea still exist. A vessel collision injury can be severe, and employees aboard such vessels should be aware of what could happen to protect themselves. Below are a few examples of vessel collision injuries that can occur.
There are common collision types that take place out at sea that will cause injury to crew members. Such collisions can include a bow-on, stern, side, and allision. With a bow-on collision, two ships will be hitting each other with their front ends. A stern collision is one where a vessel will strike the rear of another ship. A side collision will take place when a ship is hit on its side by another. The last most common collision is the allision, where a ship will strike an object that is stationary, such as a bridge or a dock.
As a collision occurs, falls are a common cause of injury. When two vessels collide, the jostling can cause seamen to fall down which can lead to injuries such as cuts, bruises, fractures, spinal cord injury, broken bones or sprains. A collision can also cause drowning. When a vessel is struck, a hole can be ripped in the hull which can cause the vessel to sink and those on the ship can drown. If seamen end up in the water, hypothermia can set in due to freezing temperatures. With hyperthermia, the employee may experience organ failure, irregular heartbeat, difficulty thinking, or death. Post-traumatic stress disorder is also an issue that can be caused by a ship collision. An employee who almost drowns can be riddled with anxiety as they deal with the experience.
When a collision occurs, it is important to determine the liability of the accident. Who is at fault? If you are injured while on a vessel due to a collision, you may be due compensation for your injuries as well as lost wages, etc. By contacting our Louisiana personal injury attorneys, we can assist you by reviewing your case and determining if you should file for compensation. Contact our office today to have your case reviewed.
Vessel Repair and Safety: Employer Obligations
If you work in the maritime injury, you are relying on your employer to keep you safe. If you work aboard a vessel, the employer has an obligation to keep the vessel in proper condition, meeting all safety requirements. When an employee is injured on board a vessel that the employer did not meet the set obligations, then compensation could be in order. At Cueria Law Firm, we focus on assisting maritime employees with their personal injury claims. We can review your case and help you file a claim for compensation based on your injury as well as circumstances surrounding the incident.
For a vessel to be in operation on the open seas, it must be considered seaworthy. So, what conditions must a vessel meet to be deemed seaworthy? The employer must ensure the ship is in reasonably fit condition. Additionally, the tools and equipment of the vessel must be safe and in proper functioning order. Work conditions must also be safe for employees. Sufficient safety devices must be provided, and all crew members need to be trained correctly.
If the employer fails to meet these criteria, and an employee is injured while on the job, a compensation claim may be filed. Employers must be responsible and offer a safe work environment for every individual on board. Common accidents due to negligence can involve equipment that was not maintained or employees operating equipment without proper training.
Recognizing an Unseaworthiness Claim After a Vessel Collision Injury
Not all accident claims will fit within the Jones Act. For example, if an employee gets drunk during off-hours and falls down slippery stairs, they are probably not going to be able to file an unseaworthiness claim. However, if you fall down slippery stairs sober and the employer has done nothing to maintain proper flooring on the ship, then you may have a case.
Our personal injury attorneys can review your individual case and determine if you qualify for a compensation claim. If you have suffered an injury while onboard a vessel and the incident occurred due to the negligence of others, give our office a call. We will review your case and get the ball rolling with a compensation claim.