One of the most dangerous pieces of equipment for any offshore worker is a derrick. Derricks can be found everywhere from docks and oil rigs to vessels. Every year derrick accidents cause serious injuries. In the most dangerous accidents, people can be permanently disabled or even killed. Several different federal laws regulate the use of derricks and protect the rights of the workers who are put in danger by them. If you have been hurt in a derrick accident you need to find a maritime accident attorney as soon a possible. You may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries.
Types and Causes of Derrick Accidents
Most derrick accidents are the result of mistakes. People fail to take appropriate precautions, are impaired, or lack proper training. These types of mistakes are a form of negligence. Even though working around derricks is dangerous, that does not mean an accident should be acceptable.
Some causes of derrick accidents include:
- Defective equipment
- Failure to assemble the derrick correctly
- Failure of safety equipment
- Impaired coworkers
- Lack of proper safety training
- Failure to properly inspect the derrick
- Failure to properly maintain equipment
- Creation of a lax safety environment
- Operator error
Because of the size and bulk of a derrick, any accident is almost guaranteed to cause some major damage. The destruction that can be caused by a derrick accident can make finding the cause difficult. The companies involved often have little incentive to investigate an accident too deeply. Money is being lost when the worksite is down. You will need the help of a skilled maritime injury lawyer uncover all of the causes of a derrick accident.
Types of Injuries
Often in derrick accidents there are three different issues with injuries. In the worst accidents, the injuries are immediate and catastrophic. These injuries require emergency medical attention. Often, they cause permanents scars and disabilities. Some injuries do not immediately appear to be serious. However, after a few days or weeks, symptoms appear. Many workers will try and work through these types of injuries, aggravating their injuries, and possibly harming their future injury claims. The third issue with derrick accidents is that some injuries are not apparent for years and years. If a worker was exposed to a toxic substance, or suffered a brain injury, they may not know the full extent of their injuries until the time to file a claim has long expired.
Because there are so many different unknowns when it comes to injuries in derrick accidents, it is crucial that you get a thorough medical examination as soon after an accident as possible. Even if you do not feel any symptoms, you should still see a doctor to make sure you do not have any hidden injuries.
In some cases maritime injury lawyers can recover damages for injuries that are expected to get worse in time, if the claim is filed and handled properly.
Some examples of derrick accident injuries includes:
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Crush injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Exposure or inhalation of toxic substances
- Chemical burns
- Spinal cord injuries
Derrick Accident Claims
How your case is handled will depend on what type of work you were doing and where the derrick accident happened. Many derrick accident claims are handled under the Jones Act. But, sometimes workers are not covered by the Jones Act because they have not been away from land long enough. They may instead be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
Each of these federal laws handles claims differently. However, it is critical for all of them that you follow the strict rules for filing a claim, including giving proper notice to your employer and or the owner of the vessel where you were hurt. You must also file your claim before the deadline or face the consequence of not being able to recover anything for your injuries.
When the vessel owner, or the employees of the owner, have been negligent and caused your injuries, you will need to show proof of the cause of the accident and that your injuries were caused by the negligence. You will also need a way to prove your claims for pain and suffering.
The differences between Jones Act claims, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims, and OCSLA claims is enough to overwhelm anyone. The biggest mistake you could make in a derrick accident claim is handling it yourself. You and your family need you to get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to.
We want to help you find an experienced maritime injury lawyer to handle you derrick accident claim. Contact us today and we will connect you with the right lawyer for you and your claim. You need to act fast because the time to file your claim may be winding down.