According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three and a half maritime cargo handlers are absent for every 100 workers due to workplace illness or injury. This is almost four times the average of all other industries. Many of these accidents are caused by vessel negligence in not providing adequate equipment, training, or procedures for their crewmembers. Cargo handlers can sue negligent vessel owners under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
Safety measures are important in the dangerous environments of cargo operations onboard a ship and on the dock to prevent cargo operation injuries. If you have suffered an injury working on a cargo operation while serving as a crewmember and believe it is your employer’s fault and/or the fault of an involved third party, an experienced maritime accident attorney will be able to help you pursue compensation. Vessel crew members have a cause of action for injuries caused by negligence during cargo operation under the Jones Act.
Maritime Injury Attorney for Cargo Operations Accidents Serving Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska
With decades of combined experience handling maritime cases like yours, the maritime injury attorneys of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC in Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, and San Francisco will fight to get you the compensation you deserve as a result of the injury you sustained during cargo operations. Since cargo workers perform duties both on the water and on the docks, it can be tricky figuring out which maritime law or laws govern your claim, whether it be the Jones Act, the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), or another maritime law.
Our dedicated team of maritime injury attorneys will sort through the details and work with you to determine an optimal avenue to recover maximum compensation. For your free consultation on what Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can do for your cargo operations injury case, call 1 (800) 262-8529 today.
Cargo Operation Accident Information Center
- Causes of Maritime Cargo Operations Accidents
- Common Maritime Cargo Operation Accident Injuries in Washington
- Recoverable Damages in Maritime Cargo Operations Accidents
Maritime cargo operation workers face many hazardous conditions and occupational risks every day, if not every hour, they are on the job. Whether you are handling toxic cargo, unloading cargo onto a dock, loading cargo onto a ship, or work in container terminal operations, roll-on terminal operations, roll-off terminal operations, or Ro-Ro terminal operations – your job puts you in danger of injury.
Risks of injury can usually be controlled by proper safety measures and procedures. However, too often maritime companies are more concerned about their bottom line than the well-being of their crew. Negligence regarding safety measures and procedures can result in the following accident-causing situations:
- Crewmember fatigue
- Improperly secured or guarded gangways
- Poorly trained industrial truck operators, such as forklift drivers
- Improperly loaded cargo and/or unbalanced cargo
- Cargo that is poorly stacked
- Cargo too heavy for a worker to handle personally
- Shifting of improperly secured cargo
- Hazardous cargo containers that are faulty or leak
- Lack of safety training in heavy lifting
- Lack of safety equipment for heavy lifting, such as back braces
- Unguarded moving equipment parts, such as on cranes
- Heavy equipment that is negligently operated
- Cranes made unsafe by deterioration from sand and salt water
- Faulty or otherwise unsafe conveyor belts
- Failure to notify employees of and block entrance into crane’s swing radius
Any time an accident occurs due to circumstances such as an untrained crewmember doing the work, faulty equipment long in need of repair, or a lack of safety equipment availability, it may be considered negligence on the part of the maritime employer or vessel owner. When an injury occurs, the injured cargo operations worker or vessel crewmember should contact an experienced maritime injury attorney to determine a course of action to pursue compensation.
Working in cargo operations frequently involves risky heavy lifting as well as the operation of dangerous heavy machinery. In the busy maritime environments of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California, negligence, such as a lack of safety measures, can be a formula for injury and disaster. Some of the injuries common to maritime cargo handlers include:
- Repetitive use injuries
- Knee injuries
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Back injuries
- Fractured, broken, or shattered bones – such as from a crushing accident
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Brain Injuries
- Chemical burns
- Burns from excessive heat, fire, or explosions
- Hypothermia and other near-drowning injuries, such as brain damage
- Paraplegia and quadriplegia
Because cargo operations occur both at sea and on land, there are two acts under which your claim may qualify for compensation. The Jones Act provides for damages to seamen engaged in cargo operations, while the LHWCA is essentially a worker’s compensation law for shipyard and dock workers. The LHWCA also provides a negligence action for longshoremen, shipyard, and dock workers injured as a result of vessel negligence. The application of these and other maritime laws to your case can get complicated, so it is recommended you hire an experienced maritime injury attorney to guide you through the process of seeking any of the following damages:
- Expanded maintenance and cure
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Living expenses
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC | Maritime Injury Lawyer for Cargo Operations Accidents
If you are one of the many maritime cargo workers that were injured this year, you shouldn’t suffer in silence or just accept whatever payment is offered from a vessel owner or other maritime company more worried about their bottom line than you. Call the experienced and compassionate maritime injury attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC today. Your first consultation is free, so call 1 (800) 262-8529 now and begin the process to achieve maximum compensation in your Oregon, Washington, California, or Alaska cargo operations injury case.
This article was last updated on Monday, July 30, 2018.