Imagine a massive ocean freighter. Now, imagine the work it takes to empty it of cargo and to get that cargo headed to its final destination. Obviously, the vision includes a lot of bustling activities, and though a single vessel would keep a marine terminal humming all day, it is rarely just a single vessel that is being emptied and managed at one time.
This level of activity is the main reason behind the different marine terminal accidents that happen each year, and things can be so busy that people are even accidentally killed while simply loading, unloading, or managing business in the marine terminal. (LloydsIntelligence.com, 2015) For the most part, the marine terminal accidents that have occurred are usually due to transportation incidents within the terminal itself.
For example, there are different vehicles moving throughout the masses of people and cargo. Drivers, who were hurrying about and not paying adequate attention, have struck people. There are also slip and fall incidents, crush injuries, electrocution, and even drownings that happen at marine terminals too.
Though numerous threats exist at any marine terminal, there is one thing that has to be kept in mind, and that is that there are safety standards and people in charge of upholding them. Almost any accident, whether fatal or minor, that happens at a marine terminal can be said to relate somehow to the negligence of those responsible for ensuring safety.
The maritime laws apply to those working at marine terminals, and this means that compensation can be due should an accident occur and it is determined to have been the result of negligence. It does not have to be negligence on the part of an employer, vessel or marine terminal owner, or a single crewmember or third party alone. There are always contributing factors that could make it possible for any accident to be due to the negligence of several parties.
How do you know?
You have to talk about the issue with a qualified maritime lawyer who understands which laws apply and how to pursue the matter further. They can explore whether driving obstacles that led to the incident were a form of negligence on the part of an employer or worker, they can start to assess things like lighting or traffic controls to gauge whether they were inadequate to safety standards, and they can even explore whether worker fatigue (due to employer pressures) played a role.
As you can see, there are many ways that accidents can occur and many reasons that an employer or owner may be held accountable and liable for the incident.
What can you expect when filing a claim? In general, maritime workers are supposed to be able to easily obtain maintenance and cure after an accident. However, if someone is grievously injured, left disabled, or killed, the laws also provide (or their surviving dependents) means of pursuing compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and even for pain and trauma or a disability.
The first step is to get in touch with an experienced attorney right away, or as soon as possible. Few employers, vessel or marine terminal owners, or co-workers are going to easily accept responsibility for an accident of any kind. Your attorney is the person who is going to be able to look at the situation and recognize just who and what can be demanded based upon proof of negligence. Don’t suffer in silence when the laws are on your side.