Marine Terminal Accidents

Injured on the Job? Get Help from a Marine Terminal Lawyer Today

Marine terminals can be dangerous places. While marine terminals are designed to operate at peak efficiency, this focus on efficiency often means that safety is deprioritized. With so much going on at once, workers can quickly find themselves in harm’s way, and they often won’t realize that they are in danger until it is too late. If you have been injured on the job, you have clear legal rights, and a marine terminal lawyer can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Our firm represents marine terminal workers who have been injured in all types of on-the-job accidents. Regardless of your specific occupation, if you work at a marine terminal, there are laws that protect you. We know your legal rights, and we know what it takes to protect them.

Common Causes of Accidents at Marine Terminals

Many different types of accidents occur at marine terminals across the country on a daily basis. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), marine terminals are among the most dangerous workplaces in the United States. Marine terminal workers suffer job-related injuries at nearly double the rate of other employees, and the fatal accident rate at marine terminals is five times the national average for all workplaces.

Some of the factors that are responsible for these statistics include:

  • Fatigue, Distractions and Substance Abuse – Most accidents at marine terminals are entirely preventable. This includes accidents caused by fatigue, distractions, and substance abuse.
  • Inadequate Communication – Inadequate communication is another common preventable cause of marine terminal accidents. At a busy marine terminal, effective communication between drivers, captains, traffic control, supervisors, and workers on the ground is essential for preventing dangerous collisions.
  • Inadequate Training and Awareness – From driving tractor-trailers to operating container cranes, virtually all jobs at marine terminals require specialized training. Workers at marine terminals must also remain aware of their surroundings at all times.
  • Machinery Accidents – Accidents involving container cranes, forklifts, and other pieces of machinery at marine terminals often result in severe and gruesome injuries. In most cases, these accidents can be prevented with adequate caution and care.
  • Operator Negligence and Inadequate Supervision – Many machinery accidents are the result of operator negligence. The same is true of accidents involving trucks and vessels. Inadequate supervision is a common factor in these accidents as well.
  • Poor Lighting – Marine terminals operate around the clock, and workers need to be able to see their surroundings regardless of the time of day. However, many marine terminals lack necessary lighting, and poor lighting is a factor in many marine terminal accidents.
  • Poor Traffic Control – Effective traffic control is essential for preventing collisions between trucks, forklifts, and pedestrians at marine terminals. Unfortunately, many marine terminals lack the necessary rules, safeguards, and personnel to keep everyone safe on the job.
  • Shift Changes – Shift changes can be dangerous for several reasons. While some workers may be slow to get to work, others may be anxious to get home. Carelessness, rushing, drowsiness, fatigue and inadequate communication are all common factors in shift change accidents at marine terminals.
  • Slippery Surfaces – Slippery surfaces at marine terminals can cause truck drivers and forklift operators to suddenly and unexpectedly lose control. They can also lead to slip and fall accidents resulting in broken bones, lower back pain, and other serious injuries.
  • Spills – Spills can cause driving and walking surfaces to become slippery. They can also expose marine terminal workers to toxic fumes when they involve hazardous materials. As a result, spills can cause a variety of types of injuries that leave marine terminal workers in need of medical care and unable to earn a living.
  • Unsafe EquipmentUnsafe equipment, including inadequate safety equipment, is a major issue at many marine terminals. While terminal operators and other employers should ensure that their employees have the equipment they need to do their jobs safely, many fail to do so.
  • Visual Obstructions – Lack of visibility is another common factor in marine terminal accidents. If drivers or other workers cannot see where they need to go (or what might be behind a container or around a corner), this can lead to a sudden and unexpected collision, fall or other accident.
  • Weather Conditions – Since marine terminals operate around the clock, employees are often forced to work in bad weather. Rain, strong winds, lightning, and other weather-related risks can leave workers suffering from a variety of job-related injuries.

What Are Your Legal Rights After a Marine Terminal Accident?

So, you’ve been injured on the job at a marine terminal. What are your legal rights?

In general, marine terminal workers have the right to “no-fault” benefits when they get injured on the job. Federal maritime laws such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Jones Act provide injured workers with access to “no-fault” benefits, and land-based employees who qualify for state workers’ compensation benefits can file “no-fault” claims as well.

But, the “no-fault” benefits available under these laws are limited—and they will not fully cover the costs of serious injuries. With this in mind, anyone who has been injured at a marine terminal should speak with a marine terminal lawyer to find out if they have other options available.  

Since many marine terminal accidents result from negligence, machinery and equipment defects, and other similar types of issues, injured workers will be able to pursue fault-based claims in many cases. While some workers may have claims against their employers, others may have claims against other companies (i.e., a trucking company or equipment manufacturer). Determining liability requires a thorough investigation, and to protect your legal rights, you should speak with a marine terminal lawyer as soon as possible.

Talk to a Marine Terminal Lawyer for Free

Do you need to discuss your legal rights with a marine terminal lawyer? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. For a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced lawyer at Willis Law Firm, call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now. 

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

Houston, Texas 77056

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

Houston, Texas 77029

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