Although improved safety measures and advances in technology have helped increase safety of the maritime industry, accidents are still possible. Millions of dollars in damages and loss of life are still possible and can be caused by a negligent vessel owner, a natural disaster, or many other things. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of maritime injuries.
- Natural Disasters and Bad Weather: Rough storms and natural disasters can cause extensive damages and accidents. This does not mean that the owner of the vessel or company caused the damage, but an experienced maritime law attorney can help determine who may be at fault. For example, was the vessel properly anchored, was personnel competent, and were supervisors providing the correct instructions?
- Faulty Parts or Poorly Designed Vessels: Designers are required to create vessels that will protect the people on board. One of the most common concepts in tort law is that the economic consequences of a defective product will be placed on those who are able to avoid such defects. An attorney will be able to trace the design of the faulty part or vessel to the designer and hold them liable for the injuries they caused.
- Safety Regulation Compliance: Vessels have different requirements based on what type they are. For example, OSHA and the U.S. Coast Guard have specific rules that impact some vessels but not others. If the vessel fails to meet these requirements, then it has an increased risk of being involved in a maritime accident.
- Inadequate Medical Release of an Employee or Third Party: Texas laws recognize that a duty exists for a physician when he or she is a party to a contract that is caring for a patient. If the doctor fails to treat the patient properly, the doctor is breaching that duty. If a patient is improperly deemed fit for duty on a vessel and then suffers injuries, the doctor may be found liable rather than the owner of the vessel.
- Negligent Hiring of Workers and Crewmembers: Another common reason for maritime accidents aboard vessels is human error. Who the responsible party is when a worker or employee causes an accident depends on the factors involved. For example, if an independent contractor was hired but lacked the training or education to perform the job properly, the liability could expand to the owner of the vessel, the manager, or even the independent contractor him or herself.
Although there are a variety of things that can result in a maritime accident, many times there is a corresponding legal action that can be taken to remedy the situation. Maritime law and personal injury cases are complex and require an attorney who is able and experienced enough to investigate your situation and apply the law to protect your rights.
Contact an Experienced Attorney Today
The attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm have experience handling a wide variety of maritime personal injury claims and can help you understand your legal options if you have been injured in a maritime accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.