Cargo ship accidents are a terrifying thing to consider simply because of the enormous scale and size of such incidents. In early 2014, CNN reported about a single accident and how more than 500 containers were lost during heavy seas (CNN, 2014). While this proves that even the most professional cargo companies can suffer accidents and loses, it also proves that working in such industries is not without risk either.
The modern cargo ship is one of the largest vessels traveling the seas and making its way in and out of ports. These vessels can contain harmless goods, but they may also be stocked with very dangerous freight too. They rely on cranes for the loading and unloading process. They require crews to traverse decks and rely on ladders, and they present a host of risks for injury when being loaded, when traveling, and during the unloading process.
In other words, it is possible for anyone working on cargo ships to be at risk for accidents and injuries. This is why there are so many federal laws in place for the operating and owning of cargo ships. There are also industry safety standards that should be followed, as well, and OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has many guidelines and rules that must be followed, too.
Even with these safety standards and rules designed to avoid the worst problems, accidents occur. These can lead to mild or severe injuries, and even to death. For those involved in such incidents, it is important to know that laws are also in place to protect workers in the maritime industries.
If you work in a maritime industry, and your work on a cargo ship has led to injury (or you are a surviving dependent of someone killed working on a cargo ship), the Jones Act and other maritime laws were created to help you. These laws are in place to ensure that any acts of negligence on the part of an employer, vessel owner, or other third party does not leave an injured worker without compensation.
In other words, the laws are in place to prevent cargo ship accidents, but when they happen there are also laws that protect those injured – especially if it was negligence in any way that led to the problem.
Consider that an accident may be the result of negligence on the part of the employer who did not properly train workers or make sure they had adequate training for the work they did. It could be negligence on the part of a vessel owner who failed to maintain the ship, equipment, or various systems to a seaworthy condition. It could be due to inadequate safety standards or systems in place. The list of just who could be guilty of negligence or how it played out is very long, and the point of it at all is to make sure you understand that you should not suffer because of someone else’s negligence.
If you or a loved one was injured in a cargo ship accident, get in touch with a maritime lawyer. Regardless of the clarity of just who is to blame, you must be sure your interests are protected and that the laws providing you with maintenance and care are honored. You should not be without all that the laws entitle you to claim, and a maritime lawyer is the best way to know what you are due and how to ensure you receive it.