Loading Accident Lawyer for Offshore Maritime Accidents
Maritime employees work in dangerous environments and often suffer serious injuries. Head trauma, fractures, spinal cord injuries, burns and chemical exposures are just a few of the types of injuries crew members are at risk for every day they are on the job. When a maritime professional is hurt at work in a equipment or cargo loading accident the results can be devastating. Medical help is generally not easily accessible and the injuries may be so severe that the crew member will never fully recover and be able to return to work. An experienced loading accident lawyer understands the challenges ahead and will make sure all compensation options are pursued.
The Willis Law Firm understands the challenges workers face when they are seriously injured in a maritime accident. We have been representing injured seamen and other maritime workers from coast to coast for over thirty years. Our firm is very familiar with the many different types of accidents that can occur in the maritime industry, including loading accidents.
Loading and off-loading operations are particularly dangerous and workers can be seriously hurt and even killed when an operation goes wrong. Loads can easily shift or fall when they are too heavy or the slings were incorrectly rigged. High winds and other dangerous weather conditions can have deadly consequences when a man basket is used to transfer workers on and off ships, vessels and platforms. Additionally, when the appropriate equipment for an lifting or loading operation is unavailable or the equipment is broken or defective, crew members may be forced to overexert themselves and lifting loads heavier than is safe without often suffering serious back and disc injuries, torn rotator cuffs and other painful and debilitating injuries.
Accidents and Injuries at Loading Docks
In addition to accidents during the loading and off-loading of vessels, accidents can also occur when transferring shipping containers to trucks at loading docks. If you have been injured in one of these accidents, you need a loading dock accident lawyer, and we encourage you to contact us right away.
Port and shipping terminal employees, loading dock workers, truck drivers, and other employees are at risk of serious injuries in loading dock accidents. Depending on your occupation and the specific location where your accident occurred, the LHWCA or your state’s workers’ compensation law may apply, and you may have other legal rights as well.
Common Accidents at Loading Docks
Many different types of accidents can occur at loading docks. These accidents often result in serious injuries, and workers can face long and expensive roads to recovery. Loading dock accident attorney David Willis helps injured workers secure benefits and other compensation for accidents, including:
- Accidents involving forklifts and other cargo-carrying equipment
- Cargo container accidents
- Loading dock leveler accidents
- Slips, trips and falls
- Trucks entering off-limits areas intended for workers only
- Truck reversing accidents
Another risk workers can face on loading docks at ports and shipping terminals is the risk of exposure. Exposure to hazardous fumes (such as carbon dioxide from truck exhausts), hazardous materials and harmful sounds can cause severe illnesses and injuries with the potential for long-term complications.
Common Injuries at Loading Docks
These types of accidents (among others) can leave workers suffering from various types of injuries. Employees working at loading docks can also suffer injuries due to overexertion and repetitive stress. Some examples of injuries for which workers can seek benefits and other compensation with the help of a loading dock accident lawyer include:
- Bone fractures and dislocations
- Internal injuries and illnesses from inhaling toxic fumes
- Lifting injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Neck and back injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries in the legs, arms, wrists and shoulders
- Sprains, strains and tears
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
Regardless of what type of injury you have suffered, you should speak with an attorney promptly if you got hurt working on a loading dock. Loading dock accident attorney David Willis can explain what you need to know, assess your legal rights, and seek the maximum compensation available for your loading dock accident injury.
Employer Responsibility for Loading Dock Accidents and Injuries
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and other laws, employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workplaces are reasonably safe for their employees. Unfortunately, many employers fail to meet this responsibility, and, as a result, accidents and injuries are common.
While most employees are limited to seeking workers’ compensation benefits under the LHWCA or their state’s workers’ compensation law, there are exceptions in which employees can sue their employers for job-related injuries. Additionally, in many cases, other companies will be liable for workers’ injuries. To ensure you seek the full compensation to which you are legally entitled, you should seek help from an experienced loading dock accident attorney.
Injured Maritime Workers Have Important Legal Rights and Remedies
If you are a seaman or crew member who has been injured in a loading accident, it is important to understand your legal rights and remedies. The specific remedies available to you will depend upon many factors, including where your accident occurred and how your job may be classified under the law. For instance, if you are classified as a seaman under the Jones Act you will have the right to collect maintenance and cure benefits from your employer and you may also be able to file a negligence lawsuit against your employer to recover monetary damages.
If you are not categorized as a Jones Act seaman, you are likely to have legal rights under other federal and state laws, including the Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA is a federal worker’s compensation program that provides benefits to certain classes of maritime employees who are hurt in accidents on, near or adjacent to U.S. navigable waters while they are working on terminals, docks, ports, piers and other platforms. Similar to the maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act, maritime workers who fall within the LHWCA are entitled to collect compensation and benefits regardless of who may be at fault for their injuries.
Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Loading Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in a loading or lifting incident or any other type of maritime accident the most important thing you can do is to discuss your case with an experienced maritime injury lawyer. Your attorney can advise you of the legal avenues available and make certain that you are taking the steps necessary to protect and preserve your claims.
The Willis Law Firm is here to help. When you work with our firm a skilled maritime lawyer will handle your case from start to finish. Your attorney will take the time to answer your questions and make sure that you understand everything that is happening with your case. Schedule your free and confidential consultation today by completing our contact form or calling 1-800-468-4878.