Commercial divers are essential to the shipping industry. But, their work is dangerous. Thousands of divers are injured every year, with a few never returning to their families at all. If you have been injured in a commercial diving accident, you may have a right to be compensated for your damages. However, because the claims process is so complicated, most victims of commercial dive accidents need the help of a maritime injury attorney.
Types and Causes of Commercial Diving Accidents
Despite years of training and experience, working as a commercial diver is hazardous. Almost all commercial diving accidents are caused by human error. If you were injured because of the actions, or failure to act, of shipmates, other divers, your employer, or a third party, you have a right to be compensated for their negligence.
Some common causes of commercial diving accidents include:
- Using the wrong dive table
- Staying at depth too long
- Ordering diver into know hazardous waters
- Improper gas mixtures
- Twisted or kinked air tubes
- Lack of oxygen
- Being pulled up too quickly
- Equipment failure
- Hypobaric chamber decompression
- Failure to properly maintain equipment
- Creating a law safety environment
Types of Injuries
One of the risks that makes commercial diving so dangerous is working in remote conditions. Sometimes this causes a delay in getting needed medical treatment. When you are injured in a commercial diving accident, it is essential that you follow the instructions of medical professionals. This will speed your recovery and give you your best shot at a full recovery.
Your medical records will be critical to your injury claim. Your medical records will document the extent of your injuries, their causes, and any permanent effects.
Some types of injuries include:
- Arterial gas embolism (AGE)
- Decompression sickness
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Ear injuries
- Eye injuries
Laws That Protect Commercial Divers
Commercial divers are covered by a variety of different laws, depending on where and how they work. Traditional worker’s compensation laws cover few commercial divers. Instead most are covered by a combination of the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
The Jones Act covers divers attached to a ship or fleet. There are certain requirements about how long you have to be at sea to be covered by the Jones Act. Most federal courts will look for ways to find a diver is covered under the Jones Act. This act requires the owners of the vessel to pay certain benefits to an injured commercial diver. It also allows the commercial diver to sue for damages if the owner was negligent.
If a commercial diver is not attached to a vessel, he or she will be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act. This law also requires those employing commercial divers to pay injured divers certain damaged when they are injured on the job. The mechanics of this law are much different than the Jones Act.
How the Claims Process Works
Before you can make a claim for your injuries from a commercial diving accident, you need to know which law governs your case. You will need to make sure your employer and the owner of the vessel is aware of your injuries.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to start getting some maintenance benefits right away as you recover from your injuries. You will need to show the extent of your injuries, that you are unable to work presently, and that the injury was job related.
If you are eligible for what is thought of as pain and suffering damages, you will need extensive evidence about the cause of the accident, how your injuries have impacted your day-to-day life, and how extensive your medical bills are.
The federal laws regulating commercial diving accident claims require that any claims be made in the correct format, within the correct time period, and are filed with the right agencies.
The claims process for commercial diving accidents is complicated. Because you only have a short time to make your claim, any mistakes can cost you and your family the chance to recover anything. Finding a maritime injury attorney with experience in commercial diving accidents can be challenging.
We want to help you connect with the right attorney for you and your case. Contact us today and we can help you find a maritime injury attorney near you who has a successful track record with cases like yours. The sooner you have your case evaluated by an attorney, the better chances you have of getting the compensation you deserve.