One of the most common ways for offshore workers to get injured is in deck accidents. Offshore work is dangerous enough, but when companies and individuals fail to follow basic safety protocols with respect to the deck, it makes things even worse. The decks of ships and oil rigs can easily become slippery. When the deck isn’t taken care of, even routine tasks become hazardous. If you have been injured in a deck accident, you may have a right to be compensated for your injuries. You need to understand your rights.
Types and Causes of Deck Accidents
Virtually all deck accidents are caused by negligence. Everyone understands the importance of keeping the deck clear and clean, but often corners get cut and people get hurt. The Jones Act may give you additional rights to compensation if you can show that your injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else.
Here some examples of the types and causes of deck accidents:
- Slip and fall because deck not cleaned
- Failure to maintain the deck causing people to trip over uneven surface
- Failure to keep the deck clear and causing people to trip or slip on unexpected obstacles
- Cargo or equipment not properly secured, falling on top of people on deck
- Impaired crewmen putting others in danger
- Lack of proper safety training
- Creation of a lax safety attitude and environment
- Failure to create adequate safety protocols
- Equipment or material failure
Sometimes nature will contribute to the cause of an accident. Severe weather can make conditions on the deck particularly treacherous. But, even in extreme weather situations, deck accidents usually have a human error component. When people fail to take the actions they are reasonably expected to take, or they fail to act the way they should have, they often cause serious injuries.
Deck Accident Injuries
Sometimes seamen find the pressure to keep working, even after being injured, to be too intense to ignore. However, continuing to work a difficult and physically demanding job while trying to play down injuries can put the injured sailor and the rest of the crew in even more danger.
Other times, a sailor may not realize he or she has been seriously injured after a deck accident. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, may not show symptoms for days or weeks, or even longer. If you have been in a deck accident, you need to have a thorough medical examination as soon as you can, especially if you hit your head.
Getting a proper diagnosis and receiving the right treatment will help you get back to full strength sooner. A medical exam can also be essential if you later have to make an injury claim.
Some types of deck accident injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments
- Separated muscles
- Knee injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
Understanding Deck Accident Claims
Federal law governs almost all deck accident claims. The Jones Act was designed to help protect seamen and offshore workers. These workers are usually not covered by traditional worker’s compensation policies, in part because their work is so dangerous.
There are several different types of claims you can make under the Jones Act. The owner of the vessel where you were injured may be required to pay your living expenses while you recover from an injury that keeps you from working. If the accident was caused by the negligence of the company or any of its employees, you may also be able to recover your money for your pain and suffering beyond just your medical expenses.
In order to make a successful claim, you will need to demonstrate:
- The accident was work related
- The accident caused your injuries
- How badly you were injured
- How the injuries affected your life
- Your medical and out of pocket expenses
- That the owner of the vessel was negligent and that the negligence caused the accident
Jones Act claims must be made in a certain way and within a specific period of time.
Maritime law is different from regular personal injury law. There are far fewer lawyers who understand all the different factors and complexities that go into a successful deck accident claim. We know that finding the right lawyer for you and your case is tough. You may not live near any qualified maritime injury lawyers. We can help. When you contact us we will work to put you in touch with a skilled maritime injury lawyer who understands deck accidents.
Contact us today so we can connect you with a lawyer who has a successful track record and can evaluate your claim. Act fast because your time to file a claim may be running out.