According to maritime industry experts, there are seven common kinds of deck accidents. The most common of them all are slips and falls, but back injuries, electrical accidents, chemical exposure, and machinery accidents also appear on the list (MarineInsight, 2014). This adds up to one clear fact, deck accidents happen often, and can occur due to any number of reasons.
If you, or someone you love, have been injured in a deck accident, there are maritime laws that have been created to extend the kind of maintenance, care, and support they need to recover from the injury, or as compensation for a disability, or death. The key to getting the best outcome is to work with an experienced maritime lawyer.
Though it may seem that someone injured in a deck accident is clearly going to be compensated by the vessel owner or the employer, it is not always such a cut and dry situation. There could be many reasons that the blame for an accident is questioned, and if there are questions it often means that the vessel owner or employer (or other third party) may be attempting to reduce their liability.
However, a good and knowledgeable maritime lawyer will understand how to proceed. They will understand the various ways that a vessel’s owner or your employer may have been negligent, and how this could make them liable for the incident. For example, if crewmembers were not properly trained in every area relating to the incident, such as fastening hatch covers or working properly with cargo, the employer is at fault and accountable.
There are many ways that negligence can occur on the part of a vessel’s owner and the employer. Failing to properly maintain a deck, for instance, can lead to a long list of possible deck accidents. Of course, not equipping a vessel with the mandatory safety features and gear can lead to deck accidents as well. All ships must be seaworthy, and if a deck is not safe, it is hardly a seaworthy vessel.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on a deck, if you have been hurt by falling objects, or if you have suffered any sort of injury, disability, or the death of a loved one onboard a ship’s deck, there are laws meant to offer you compensation. The maritime laws are at the federal and industry levels, groups from OSHA to federal acts like the Jones Act have been created to protect maritime workers.
Just because your industry ranks as one of the most dangerous, it does not mean you have to settle for life with injuries and disabilities. No one should work in conditions any more dangerous than they must be, and there are plenty of safety standards and codes that vessel owners and employers must meet in order to reduce your risks to the lowest levels possible.
While accidents are often just accidents, they are often the result of a series of events that could have been prevented. If you are in a deck accident, don’t assume that you must carry the burden of your injury on your own. Sit down with a qualified maritime lawyer to go over the details of the incident, and to explore whether or not there was negligence at work. Should you discover that you are owed compensation for the incident, it is the lawyer who can take all of the steps necessary to get you what is rightfully yours.