There are only so many ways on and off a ship. Every year thousands of passengers and workers are injured on gangways, stepladders, Jacob’s ladders, platforms, and steps.
Often these gangway accidents are caused by negligence. If you have been injured in a gangway accident either as a passenger or as a member of the crew, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
If you were a member of the crew and your injury was caused by the negligence of someone else you may be owed more than just cure and maintenance payments.
Maritime Law and Gangway Accidents
Maritime law is an area of law that governs issues that happen at sea and around the water and marina. Maritime law has long protected injured sailors by requiring the owners of the vessels the sailors were working in and around to pay injured workers certain benefits, regardless of the cause of the accident. This is critical because state worker’s compensation laws do not cover most sailors.
Cure is the payment of reasonable medical expenses. Sometimes employers or vessel owners will attempt to pay less than a reasonable rate. Injured workers have a right to file a claim for all the maintenance and cure their condition deserves.
Passengers who are injured on a ship are traditionally not covered by maritime law. Instead they can file an injury claim under the regular rules that govern negligence claims.
If a sailor can prove that it was the negligence of the vessel owner or employees of the owner that causes the injury, a sailor can make a claim for additional damages beyond just maintenance and cure.
Types and Causes of Gangway Accidents
Many gangway accidents are caused by negligence. The most common type of gangway accident is a slip and fall case. The gangway becomes slick from a leak, spill, or just from the water, and the spill is not cleaned up. Someone slips on the spill and is injured. Because of the tight quarters on a ship, a simple gangway slip can result in serious, and even life threatening, injuries.
Some typical causes of gangway accidents include:
- Poor lighting
- Failure to warn others of slippery conditions
- Poorly maintained vessel resulting in leaks
- Lack of training
- Inadequate staffing levels
- Creation of lax safety environment.
Types of Injuries
Injuries from even a simple slip and fall can be devastating.
Gangway accidents are often much worse because gangways and ladders are often high off the ground or water.
Sometimes, after a slip and fall injury you may feel more embarrassed than hurt. But, once the adrenaline wears off, you may begin to notice pain and swelling.
It is important to get a medical exam after a serious fall, even if you do not need emergency care. A doctor may notice things that you have not. The sooner you are able to get diagnosed with an issue, the sooner you can begin to recover.
If you ever need to make an injury claim, the longer you wait to go to the doctor the harder it will be to prove your injuries were caused by negligence.
Some types of gangway accident injuries include:
- Fractured bones
- Strains and sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Ripped muscles
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Issues With Claims in gangway accidents
Gangway accidents can be difficult claims to win. If you are seeking damages because of someone else’s negligence, you may have to fight off claims that you were the one at fault.
Often insurance companies that represent vessel owners will claim it was your own carelessness that caused the injury.
For example, they may argue the spill on the gangway was not cleaned up because it had only recently happened and nobody knew about it.
You will need a top lawyer with a deep understanding of negligence and the operations of ships to help win your case.
Your injury compensation is too important to take chances with. You need the help of a knowledgeable and experienced maritime injury lawyer.
We know that finding a lawyer with the right kinds of skills can be difficult. We want to help connect you with the right lawyer for your case.
Contact us today and we will connect you with a maritime injury lawyer who has a successful track record with cases like yours. The sooner you find a lawyer, the better chance you have of getting the money you are entitled to.
You often only have a limited time to file an injury claim, so act now.