Nobody expects to get injured on the job, but unfortunately, accidents happen – especially in dangerous fields like the maritime industry.
An offshore accident, and especially an offshore crane accident, can leave you injured and unable to work for quite some time. When disaster strikes, it’s important to have a plan and to know your rights.
Our New Orleans, Louisiana team at The Maritime Injury Law Firm has years of experience helping workers through these types of offshore accidents, and we’re here to help.
Crane accidents for Louisiana offshore workers
A crane accident can be one of the most dangerous and detrimental accidents for offshore workers in the Gulf Shores. Not only can cranes malfunction, but user error can lead to injuries as well.
It’s not often that a crane will malfunction. If so, it’s typically due to user errors like improper maintenance.
Some common crane accidents stem from issues like:
- Improper loading
- Stress failure
- Mental fatigue
- Improper maintenance
- Operator error
No matter the cause of your crane accident, if you can prove employer’s fault in your accident, then you may be able to sue for compensation.
Can I sue my employer for a New Orleans, LA offshore crane accident?
The short answer is yes. But the longer answer revolves around The Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal workers’ protection law specifically for maritime workers. In the United States, including Louisiana, the Jones Act entitles injured seamen to maintenance and cure benefits.
Maintenance covers an injured worker’s cost of living expenses, such as utilities, mortgage, food, and more. Cure benefits cover the cost of medical expenses. This even includes transportation to and from medical appointments.
In addition to maintenance and cure benefits, workers may be entitled to further compensation via lawsuits.
However, in order to sue a maritime employer under the Jones Act, an injured seaman must be able to prove employer negligence.
If you can prove employer negligence to your Gulf Coast crane accident, then you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
OSHA guidelines for Louisiana maritime employers
OSHA is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, and its job is to look out for the safety of workers in the United States. The administration has guidelines for workplace safety, especially for dangerous industries like the maritime industry.
Some of their common rules for the safety of workers who operate heavy machinery like cranes include:
- Follow all manual instructions
- Test the balance and brakes before each use
- Never move a load over workers
- Use signals with workers in the area
- Only qualified and trained personnel should operate cranes.
- Cranes should be inspected by qualified personnel before each use
- Cranes should sit level on a stable surface
- Accessible areas should be blocked off, and outriggers should be fully extended
- All crane parts should be at least ten feet away from any lines
- All rigging should be inspected
- Ensure hoist lines are not tangled with or wrapped around loads
A maritime lawyer’s role after a Louisiana offshore crane accident
You can’t take your employer to court without a determined and experienced maritime injury lawyer by your side. The industry is unique, and so are the laws that protect maritime employees.
You need someone who knows the maritime courts inside and out. Maritime injury attorneys know the tricks of the trade, and they will fight for your rights as a Louisiana offshore worker injured on the job.
Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana
George Vourvoulais has 20 years of experience as a maritime injury attorney, so he’s prepared to champion your rights as an offshore worker. You’re sure to receive the benefits you deserve with George fighting in your name.
Don’t lose out on the full benefits you’re entitled to as an injured maritime employee. Contact The Maritime Injury Law Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana today, and get started with your initial consultation.