Collisions, Falls, and Stormy Weather: Cargo and Barge Crew Member Risks
The Gulf of Mexico is home to a lot of big business, and barges and cargo ships play a key role in keeping the economy in this area afloat. Unfortunately, these unwieldy and gigantic vessels are teeming with hazards—hazards that can lead to serious and often life-threatening injuries for those aboard.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), there have been over 100 significant cargo, barge, and maritime vessel accidents in the waters adjoining the United States. Nearly a quarter of these accidents occurred in the Gulf of Mexico.
Common Accident Causes
The world’s waterways have been the transportation highway of commerce for hundreds of years. These aquatic trade routes have also been the death of hundreds of thousands of maritime workers. As with any vessel in port or at sea, working on a cargo ship or barge has its dangers. Some of the most common risks for barge and cargo ship workers include:
- Turbulent waters. Fierce currents, violent storms, and unusual ocean topography can all contribute in making a vessel unstable. An unstable or unbalanced vessel can greatly increase its chances of capsizing and seriously injuring those on board.
- Ship collisions. A majority of the recorded NTSB maritime accidents deal with vessels colliding with other vessels, buoys, docks, and environmental debris.
- Cargo collisions. Poorly secured cargo and vessel equipment can easily become loose when the vessel sways back and forth. These uncontrolled pieces of debris can strike workers or even push them overboard.
- Slip and falls. Unstable voyages, slippery floors and ladders, and poorly secured cargo are all potential instigators of dangerous slip and fall accidents.
Accident Liability and Compensation Options
If you’re a maritime worker who’s been injured while on the job, you probably already know that offshore injuries can be extremely costly to you and your family, especially if they prevent you from working. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, you should know that there could be a way to obtain financial compensation for your injuries.
The Jones Act offers an opportunity for those injured in maritime accidents to seek compensation for costs associated with medical bills, ongoing care, and temporary or permanent disability. The Jones Act even provides guidelines for surviving family members to receive compensation in the case of a wrongful death. However, initiating a claim under the Jones Act isn’t easy, and you may have to put up a fight to get what you deserve.
Regardless of the exact nature of your claim, having someone on your side who has had experience and success representing a multitude of maritime claims can be tremendously beneficial. For more information about your legal rights, schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation with maritime accident attorney Steve Lee. He has helped dozens of fellow barge workers and injured seamen claim the compensation they need for their recoveries.
Let Steve Lee put his skills to work for you. Call today at 800-232-3711, or fill out the quick contact form on this page to get started.