Types of Maritime Accidents
Regardless of whether you are a maritime professional or a recreational boater, the seas are inherently dangerous. These activities can cause serious injuries, ranging from minor cuts and bruises, to brain trauma and even death. If you or someone you love has been injured in a maritime accident, it is crucial that you contact an experienced maritime accident lawyer as soon as possible following your accident so that they can begin gathering evidence and building your case—so you can focus on getting your life back.
Maritime workers who are hurt on the job face unique legal issues. While onshore workers who are injured at work can recover Workers’ Compensation benefits, maritime workers must pursue claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), or the Jones Act. Damages under maritime law (for civilians or professionals) typically cover lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and more. If you have lost a family member in a maritime accident, you may be able to recover funeral costs and compensation for loss of companionship.
Common Maritime Accidents
The combination of heavy machinery, unpredictable weather, and powerful water can be extraordinarily dangerous for maritime workers and recreational boaters. Many employers do not properly train inexperienced maritime employees in an effort to cut costs and increase profits. Often, jobs are performed without adequate staff to do the job, leading to fatigue and accidents. In fact, men and women who work in the oil and gas extraction industry are more likely to be injured or killed on the job than people in any other industry in the United States. Some of the more common maritime accidents include:
- Crane Accidents – Dockside workers perform important work in loading and unloading cargo and take a great risk to get the job done. Moving large containers can be extremely dangerous, particularly if the equipment is not well maintained, or if workers do not communicate with each other effectively.
- Equipment Accidents – All equipment used in the maritime industry needs to be regularly inspected and maintained. Exposure to water and weather makes rust and other problems an everyday reality that needs to be managed. Common equipment accidents include falls from equipment, being struck by falling equipment, being crushed in between equipment, and problems involving trawling winches and forklifts.
- Explosions and Fires – Maritime workers are often subject to electrical shocks and burns when electrical systems are not properly maintained. Fires at sea can be extremely dangerous because there is no place to flee except jumping overboard, perhaps into freezing cold water.
- Ferry Boat Accidents – Many people use ferries to get them to work or for sightseeing. Both passengers and workers are at risk of being injured in the event of bad weather, operator error, or a poorly maintained vessel.
- Fishing Boat Accidents – Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous jobs there is, with fatigue and bad weather causing countless injuries and fatalities. Offshore fisherman typically work long shifts and may not have been adequately trained. The dangerous equipment that fishermen use, including lines, sharp objects, and reels, can be turned into weapons when combined with bad weather, or flailing and unpredictable wildlife brought onboard.
- Recreational Boating – Recreational boaters also have a legal remedy under maritime law. Common accidents include collisions with other watercraft, or being injured by equipment relating to commercial vessels, particularly in busy dockyards.
- Slip and Fall Accidents – Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, but when they happen in a dockyard or on a boat, they can be even more deadly due to the equipment and cargo in the area. Falls overboard can be deadly if the water is cold enough to cause hypothermia.
- Sinking – If a ship sinks, or if a passenger goes overboard, cold weather (or extreme heat) can cause permanent injury and death. Even if you have access to a rescue boat, the lack of fresh water availability can be fatal.
- Other common accidents include jack-up rig accidents, deck accidents, barge accidents, tugboat accidents, oil platform and oil rig accidents, and cargo loading/unloading accidents.
South Jersey Maritime Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Fight for Those Injured at Sea
If you have been injured in a maritime accident, we understand how overwhelmed you may be feeling. The South Jersey maritime accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. have over six decades of experience negotiating and litigating maritime accident claims. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 888-999-1962 or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina, we proudly serve clients in Eastern Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and across South Jersey, including Cape May, Gloucester, and Wildwood.