Marine Salvage and Towing Accidents

Need Help After a Marine Salvage or Towing Accident? Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Marine salvage and towing are often high-risk operations for the crewmembers tasked with recovering stranded vessels and cargo. If not handled carefully, these operations can lead to various types of accidents, and these accidents can present risks for serious or fatal injuries.

If you have been injured in a marine salvage or towing accident – or if you have lost a loved one in one of these accidents – you have clear legal rights under the United States’ maritime laws. These laws entitle injured maritime workers to financial compensation for job-related injuries, and they allow grieving families to recover just compensation for their loved ones’ untimely deaths.

At the Willis Law Firm, we help maritime workers and families recover their losses after salvage and towing accidents. We handle maritime injury and wrongful death claims nationwide. Whether you were injured in a salvage accident in a river or harbor or you are grieving the loss of a loved one in a towing accident on the open ocean, we can use our decades of experience to fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.

Marine Salvage Accident Claims

Marine salvage operations can involve varying degrees of complexity. In some cases, a salvage company will simply need to dispatch a tug or crane barge to secure a stricken vessel and tow it to a port where it can be disassembled or repaired. In others, seamen will need to spend months at sea working under treacherous conditions to salvage a vessel or cargo that has sunk hundreds or thousands of feet to the ocean floor.

Regardless of the circumstances involved, marine salvage operations can entail a variety of risks. While onshore and offshore salvage operations entail many of the same risks, each presents its own unique set of risks as well. Some examples of issues that may lead to maritime salvage accidents include:

  • Conducting salvage operations in dangerous weather or sea conditions
  • Working with inexperienced or inadequately trained salvors or divers
  • Using equipment that is not adequate for the salvage operation (i.e. a crane that isn’t strong enough to safely lift a sunken vessel or cargo)
  • Collisions involving other vessels when conducting marine salvage operations in harbors, rivers, and other high-traffic areas
  • Equipment malfunctions resulting in salvors’ limbs being crushed or salvors being pushed overboard

Drowning, hypothermia, burns from fires and gas explosions, and physical trauma is just some of the risks salvors and divers face when conducting marine salvage operations. When workers suffer injuries or lose their lives unnecessarily, the Jones Act, Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and other maritime laws hold their employers and vessel owners accountable.

Our Attorneys Also Assist with Marine Towing Injuries 

Similar to salvage operations, efforts to tow stricken vessels present numerous dangers for the workers involved. While many of these dangers are related to weather and sea conditions, issues with lines, ropes, winches, windlasses, and other towing equipment and apparatuses can also cause serious or fatal injuries.

Like salvage accidents, marine towing accidents can happen just about anywhere. We handle claims involving stricken cargo ships and shipping vessels offshore, and we handle claims involving barges, ferries, and other vessels on inshore waters. Regardless of where a towing accident occurs or what type of vessel is involved, U.S. maritime laws apply, and injured workers and their families can hire an attorney to help them assert their legal rights.

We represent seamen and families in cases involving all types of marine towing accidents, including:

  • Capsizing, sinking, or running aground while attempting to tow a stricken vessel
  • Collisions between vessels
  • Collisions with equipment and other objects onboard
  • Falls overboard
  • Fires and explosions
  • Towing equipment failures and malfunctions

In many cases, towing operations will involve rescue operations as well. When attempting to rescue a sailor, captain, crewmember, or passenger from a stricken vessel or from the open water, those involved will often put their own lives in danger. Inexperience, inadequate safety precautions, and various other issues can lead to accidents on the water; and, when they do, those who suffer injuries or lose loved ones deserve to collect the full compensation to which they are legally entitled.

Talk to a Lawyer about Your Marine Salvage or Towing Accident Claim for Free

If you need to know more about seeking financial compensation for a marine salvage or towing accident, we encourage you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at the Willis Law Firm. To speak with a lawyer about your legal rights as soon as possible, please call 800-468-4878 or request an appointment online today.

Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056

By Appointment Only
Willis Law Firm Portway Plaza
1717 Turning Basin Dr.
Suite #232

Houston, Texas 77029

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