Marine Lawyer – Equipment Failure Accidents
Every day crew members are injured while working on ships, barges, boats, drilling rigs, oil platforms and other maritime vessels and structures. Many of these accidents are caused by faulty, broken down, or ill-repaired equipment. When a piece of machinery or equipment on a ship or vessel malfunctions or is improperly designed, workers can be seriously harmed. Maritime accidents and injuries can involve almost any piece of equipment or machinery found on the vessel or structure, including:
- Doors and latches
- Transfer baskets
- Cables & Ropes
- Engine systems
- Rigging equipment
- Safety equipment
- Lights and lighting systems
- Water purification systems
- Hydraulic systems
- Boom systems
- Pulley systems
- Processing equipment
Investigating and Preserving Evidence in Your Case
If you are a crew member or other maritime worker who has been injured by a defective, worn out or poorly maintained piece of equipment or machinery it is essential to contact an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. Multiple parties can potentially be held legally responsible when an equipment failure accident takes place. A skilled attorney will carefully review and investigate your accident to identify all of the parties who may be liable for your injuries. Your lawyer will also take the appropriate steps to preserve the equipment at issue in your case, making certain that the equipment is not modified, destroyed or put back into service until a full investigation is completed. The proper identification and preservation of equipment and other evidence will be critical to the success of your case.
Identifying the Proper Legal Causes of Action
- Claims Against Manufacturers and Other Companies
When a piece of equipment causes a maritime accident, the victim may be able to pursue a number of different causes of action against multiple parties. For example, if the accident was caused by defective manufacturing or design, the injured worker may be able to file a product liability claim against the equipment manufacturer. If the equipment was not properly repaired or maintained, the worker may be able to take legal action against the company responsible for maintaining and repairing the equipment.
- Claims Against Employers
Maritime employers have a duty to ensure that the all of the equipment and machinery on the vessel is safe and in proper working order. Employers must also make sure that the workers who are using the machinery are properly trained and supervised. When a seaman is injured because a piece of equipment fails or is misused by a crew member, the seaman will have the right to file a negligence claim against the employer under the Jones Act. In a Jones Act negligence claim the seaman can recover damages similar to a general negligence claim, including lost income, past and future medical expenses, lost earning capacity, mental anguish, disability and disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
- Claims Against Ship and Vessel Owners
In the event that the ship or vessel is owned by a company that is not the employer, the injured worker may also be able to seek compensation from the vessel owner. In these types of situations, the worker will file an “unseaworthiness” claim against the company that owns the ship or vessel. If the owner failed to make sure that the equipment on the ship was in safe and proper working order and a worker is injured, the worker has the right to sue the owner for damages.
We Can Help You Take Legal Action
If you are a seaman or marine worker who has been injured by an equipment failure or misuse, an experienced maritime lawyer at our firm can help. It is very important to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that the equipment and other evidence involved in your accident can be properly preserved. The Willis Law Firm offers free, confidential consultations to maritime workers across the nation. Contact us today to discuss your case. 1-800-468-4878.