Due to the high-risk environment of the maritime industry, workers depend on not only having the proper equipment but having the proper equipment function correctly. However, that doesn’t always happen. The equipment can have manufacturing defects, be missing parts or important safety guards, or be improperly maintained by your maritime employer or the vessel owner.
Unfortunately, the result of this defective equipment is often injury or even death to the seaman, dockworker, or other maritime employee operating or working close to the defective maritime equipment. When you are injured by defective equipment, it is best to first report the injury and receive the appropriate medical treatment. Then, an experienced maritime injury attorney can help you establish negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Attorneys for Maritime Employees Injured by Defective Equipment in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California
Defective equipment can be anything from machinery producing excessive noise, to corroded chemical drums, to missing parts of safety gear. If you have suffered a maritime-related injury due to defective equipment in the Pacific Northwest, including the waters of the Pacific, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, Puget Sound, the Inside Passage of Southeast Alaska, or anywhere in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, or California, the experienced maritime injury attorneys of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC will determine the negligent party and fight for maximum compensation in your case.
With decades of combined experience, the maritime injury lawyers of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC in Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, and San Francisco serve clients coast-to-coast, helping them recover compensation under general maritime law and the Jones Act. To find out what Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can do for your defective maritime equipment accident injury, call 1 (800) 262-8529 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Defective Equipment and Maritime Law
Under maritime law, there are potentially three liable parties for an injury claim arising from defective maritime equipment. If the injury arose from defective design or a manufacturing defect, such as being composed of material insufficiently strong for the task it is designed for or having missing or defective parts, the manufacturer or distributor of the defective equipment may be the negligent party liable for your injury. However, if your employer knew or should have known that the equipment was defective and let you operate or otherwise use it anyway, your employer has been negligent.
If you are a seaman who suffered injury due to defective equipment your employer provided without fulfilling the required duty of reasonable care, proof of such negligence is cause for action against your employer under the Jones Act. If you and your experienced maritime injury lawyer prove your employer’s negligence in providing defective equipment, you may be eligible to recover compensation for damages like reduced earning capacity, occupational retraining, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
The third and most likely potentially liable party for your maritime defective equipment injury is the vessel owner. Under the warranty of seaworthiness, vessel owners have a reasonable duty of care to furnish their seamen with a vessel, equipment, gear, and a crew that are reasonably fit for their intended purpose. If the vessel owner knew or should have known that certain equipment on their vessel was not reasonably fit and that defective equipment caused injury, they are liable under the doctrine of unseaworthiness. An example of how a vessel owner should know about defective equipment is through the performance of necessary safety inspections and proper maintenance.
It may be possible for both seamen and shoreside workers, such as harbor workers, to recover from the vessel owner for unseaworthiness, depending on the case. An experienced maritime injury attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can determine what legal avenues are most appropriate for your case and fight to attain the maximum compensation available to you.
Types of Injuries from Defective Maritime Equipment
Maritime workers such as fish processors, merchant mariners, and deckhands rely heavily on the proper function of the equipment they use daily; from heavy machinery like cranes and filleting machines, to everyday ship equipment like pad-eyes, rigging, and cables. Defective maritime equipment of any kind can cause serious injury or even death. Some of the injuries seen in the maritime industry due to defective equipment of various types includes:
- Lost limbs / amputated fingers
- Brain injuries
- Hearing loss
- Head, neck, back, and shoulder injuries
- Broken bones
- Burns from fire, heat, explosions, or boiling water
- Chemical burns
- Repetitive use injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Seamen such as deckhands, mates, mariners, engineers, fishermen, and processors can recover damages for these injuries under the Jones Act and/or the unseaworthiness doctrine in general maritime law if they can prove that the negligence of their employer or unseaworthiness of the vessel or both significantly contributed to their injury. For manufacturing defects, action against the liable third party may be pursued.
For shoreside workers like harbor workers, dockyard or shipyard workers, longshoremen, and others covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) there may be a claim against the vessel owner for negligence or a claim against a third party for defective equipment. An experienced maritime injury attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC can determine negligence and liability, and guide your case down the correct path to fight for maximum compensation.
Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC | Maritime Accident Lawyers for Defective Equipment Injury
If you have been injured in your maritime occupation due to defective equipment anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, including California, Alaska, Washington, or Oregon, contact the experienced maritime injury lawyers of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC with offices in Seattle, Bellingham, Portland, and San Francisco. The attorneys of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC have a personal passion for maritime ventures and will fight for maximum compensation in your case. Your first consultation is free, so call 1 (800) 262-8529 today and schedule yours.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 14, 2018.