Maritime and Underwater Welding Accidents

We Represent Maritime Welders and Families After Serious and Fatal Accidents

Maritime welding is a lucrative career, but it can also be very dangerous. Even if underwater welders take all of the precautions that are necessary to protect themselves, they can still suffer serious or fatal injuries due to factors that are completely beyond their control.

Understanding the Dangers of Maritime Welding

How dangerous is maritime welding? According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), maritime welders are 40 times more likely to die on the job than workers in other occupations. As a testament to underwater welders’ commitment to their own safety, the data show that the vast majority of fatal accidents do not occur during welding.

Whether you have been injured or lost a loved one on the job, you should speak with a lawyer if you are coping with the effects of an underwater welding accident. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation. The Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and other maritime laws provide maritime welders and their families with clear legal rights, and an experienced lawyer will be able to help you fight for the financial compensation you deserve.

Common Factors in Maritime and Underwater Welding Accidents

Several factors contribute to the extremely high rate of maritime and underwater welding accidents. When you choose our firm to represent you, we will thoroughly investigate the cause of your (or your loved one’s) accident, and we will use our experience to help ensure that the appropriate parties are held accountable. During our investigation, we will look for evidence of common factors in maritime welding accidents such as:

  • Co-worker Negligence – While underwater welders understand the risks they face on a daily basis, their co-workers often do not. As a result, their co-workers aren’t always as careful as they should be. Co-worker negligence is among the leading causes of harm for maritime welders.
  • Crushing – Working around platforms, floating vessels and heavy machinery, maritime welders face risks of crush injuries in many on-the-job scenarios. Crushing accidents are fairly common, and they often have devastating consequences.
  • Decompression Sickness – Decompression sickness is a risk for maritime welders who work in deep water. Also known as the bends, decompression sickness occurs when divers return to the surface too quickly, causing gasses in the bloodstream to escape and enter the surrounding tissue. While the effects of decompression sickness is treatable in some cases, it has the potential to be fatal.
  • Drowning RisksDrowning is a risk any time a maritime welder is underwater. Drowning and near-drowning accidents can result from strong currents, low visibility, defective equipment, and a host of other factors.
  • Electrical Shock – Equipment failures, short circuits, disconnected grounding cables, and various other issues can cause electrical shock underwater. While relatively rare, these accidents often prove fatal when they occur.
  • Equipment Failures Equipment failures are common factors in many types of maritime welding accidents. This includes drownings and near-drownings, crushing incidents, electrocutions, and explosions. These failures may involve welding equipment, diving equipment, safety equipment, or other equipment operated by other personnel.
  • Explosions – While explosions should never happen during underwater welding operations, inadequate safety protocols lead to offshore explosions every year. Sadly, these accidents often prove fatal; and, when they aren’t fatal, welders often suffer severe, disabling and disfiguring injuries.
  • Failure to Rescue – When underwater divers encounter life-threatening situations, they rely on rescuers to save them. When rescuers come too late or a rescue operation falters, this too can have devastating consequences.
  • Inadequate Support or Supervision – To prevent emergencies underwater, companies should provide support and supervision to maritime welders at all times. Failure to provide necessary support or supervision is, unfortunately, an all-too-common issue that is to blame for many maritime welders’ injuries and deaths.
  • Inadequate Training – Before sending maritime welders underwater, companies must ensure that they have provided their welders with adequate training. If you (or your loved one) were assigned to a task without the necessary training or experience, you will want to speak with a lawyer about your legal rights.

What Are Your Rights After a Maritime Welding Accident?

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a maritime welding accident, what are your legal rights? In this situation, your rights include:

  • The right to seek medical care from a healthcare provider of your choosing.
  • The right to obtain “no-fault” compensation under the Jones Act or DOHSA
  • The right to seek additional compensation if a company is responsible for your injuries or your loved one’s death
  • The right to be free from retaliation and other adverse employment-related actions
  • The right to hire a lawyer to represent you at no out-of-pocket cost

When seeking to recover after an underwater welding accident, protecting your legal rights is easier said than done. Companies don’t want to cover the costs of their employees’ injuries and deaths, and they will fight vigorously to avoid paying what they owe. As a result, it is important that you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you. A lawyer who has experience handling serious and fatal maritime accident claims will know what it takes to help you recover just compensation.

At Willis Law Firm, our practice is devoted to representing workers and families in maritime accident cases. We are intimately familiar with the risks underwater welders face on the job. We are equally familiar with the tactics companies use to deny workers’ and families’ claims, and we are committed to doing everything we can to help our clients recover their accident-related losses.

Schedule a Free Consultation About Your Maritime Welding Accident Case

If you need to know more about your legal rights after a serious or fatal underwater welding accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly. It costs nothing to learn about your rights, and you won’t pay anything unless we help you recover financial compensation. To schedule a free consultation about your maritime welding accident case, call 800-468-4878 or request an appointment online today.

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Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
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Houston, Texas 77029

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