Maritime Accidents and Cargo Loads
The maritime industry is known to be dangerous. The risk of accidents and injuries is particularly high for individuals who work on or around cargo ships. Loading and unloading cargo takes precision and expertise. Any mistake could lead to an accident and catastrophic injuries.
Individuals who are injured in maritime accidents involving cargo loads should be aware of their legal rights. Under the Maritime Law and Jones Act, maritime accident victims have the right to sue their employers when negligence leads to injuries. Lawyer Michael E. Shelton is prepared to assist workers in the Houston, TX, area in holding liable employers accountable for accident damages.
Causes of Cargo Accidents
Loading and unloading cargo on a maritime vessel is a complicated process. There is a lot of room for error, and even a seemingly small mistake can lead to a serious accident. Because cargo is stacked so high and weighs so much, a crane is frequently used to move cargo, which further increases the risk of an accident. Although each accident is unique, many share common causes. Some of the most frequent causes of cargo accidents on maritime vessels include:
- Inadequate training of maritime workers
- Worker fatigue (maritime workers are sometimes pressured to work more hours than is safe)
- Mechanical errors or malfunctions
- Improperly stowed cargo
- Shifting of cargo
- Lack of appropriate safety gear
Cargo Accident Injuries
Cargo accidents are extremely dangerous, partially due to the excessive weight of maritime cargo, and partially due to the work environment. When a cargo accident occurs, workers are surrounded by other dangerous elements, including the water, so one accident can easily lead to another, and workers may end up with injuries beyond those caused by the cargo itself. Potential cargo accident injuries include:
- Scrapes, cuts, lacerations, and/or contusions
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic spinal cord injury
- Crush injuries
Cargo can sometimes fall from extreme heights and land on a worker or knock them into the water. Unfortunately, when these types of cargo accidents occur, it is not unusual for injuries to be fatal.
Maritime Workers’ Rights
Maritime laws, such as the Jones Act, apply to workers on all types of maritime vessels. These laws provide maritime workers with certain rights and protections. Under these laws, maritime workers have the right to compensation for injuries and damages related to maritime accidents that are caused by an employer’s negligence. Any worker in the Houston area who has been injured in a maritime accident should consult with a maritime accident lawyer, such as Michael E. Shelton, to determine if they have grounds for a lawsuit.
Compensation for Damages
The amount and type of compensation that may be awarded to victims of cargo accidents depends on the details surrounding the accident. Potential areas of compensation include:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of ongoing treatment, therapy, and/or rehabilitation
- Loss of income
- Loss of wage earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Contact Attorney Michael E. Shelton
If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime accident involving cargo loads, attorney Michael E. Shelton would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal right to compensation. To discuss the details of your case, send us a message online, or call our Houston law firm at (713) 807-0700.