Fall Injuries on a Vessel

Slippery surfaces, oily decks and old, worn down stairs can all cause a potentially serious fall accident. Seamen who work on boats, rigs, barges, tugs, tows and other vessels can be in danger of sustaining a fall injury, especially if the owner or other responsible party does not take appropriate safety measures.

Every year, thousands of people are injured by falls and unfortunately some of those injuries are fatal. In 2007, there were 835 deaths caused by fall accidents in the United States. Within the maritime industry, slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries among workers.

As a maritime worker, you regularly walk on surfaces that are wet and often slippery. When proper maintenance has not been done on a vessel, broken or worn down stairs, ladders or decks can create a hazard for workers. Defective platforms, machinery or equipment can also cause serious fall accidents offshore. Vessel owners can decrease the chances of fall accidents by using non-skid coatings on the areas where seamen regularly work. However, often times vessel owners do not take safety precautions to protect workers from fall accidents, which can make them liable for damages associated with the injuries.

Some of the common injuries resulting from fall accidents that occur offshore include the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury or head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Back injury
  • Death

If you have been injured in a fall accident that occurred on a vessel, you may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Vessel owners can be held responsible for not taking appropriate measures to protect workers and for not properly maintaining the vessel. A successful Jones Act case could enable you to recover monetary damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, both past and present, mental anguish and other costs associated with your injury. Contact an experienced maritime attorney today to find out if you have a case for your fall injury.