Working on Kentucky rivers doesn't come without its risks. Whether you are working on a cargo vessel or fishing boat, you are likely expected to operate heavy equipment that is difficult enough to handle on land, let alone on the water.
Here is a look at why injuries occur and your rights under the law as an injured worker.
What are the causes of maritime injuries?
Even if you operate the equipment safely, you still face the chance of injury. Maritime injuries can occur for a variety of reasons such as:
· Failure to maintain or inspect equipment
· Defective equipment
· Lack of training to operate equipment
· Slip and falls
· Repetitive stress injuries
· Chemical exposure
Injuries sustained in maritime accidents can range from minor to severe. Some common injuries include traumatic brain injuries as well as injuries to the shoulders, neck and back. Unfortunately, some injuries can be catastrophic and even fatal. In these cases, family members may be able to seek compensation in a wrongful death claim.
What protections do I have under the law if I am injured?
If you have been injured as a maritime worker, you may be protected under the Occupational Safety and Health and Jones Act. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation, including:
· Medical bills
· Current and future wage loss
· Vocational retraining
· Loss of consortium
· Pain and suffering
· Lost earning capacity
Employers are legally required to ensure that work environments do not jeopardize a worker's safety. This includes identifying and removing possible hazards, properly train employees and ensure their operations adhere to OSHA standards.