Who is liable for a maritime accident caused by inadequate training?

Untrained Workers and Maritime InjuriesMany maritime injuries that are labeled “accidents” are actually caused by human error. A lack of training can place a worker in danger of injuring himself, cause one worker to accidentally injure another, or cause the deaths of several employees at once. Since even one untrained person in a maritime work environment places the entire crew at risk, employers who do not train their workers properly can be held liable for negligence.

Maritime Laws Allow Workers to File Injury Lawsuits for Insufficient Training

Many different laws allow employees to take legal action when inadequate training causes an injury. Depending on your employment conditions, the Jones Act, general maritime law, Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), or New York state labor laws can all provide avenues of compensation for medical bills and lost wages.

Different parties may be liable if the injury occurred while you were working:

  • On a vessel. Under the Jones Act doctrine of seaworthiness, the employer and shipowner have a duty of care to make the ship as safe as possible for workers. This includes hiring competent crew members, providing sufficient occupational task and safety training, and drilling crew members on emergency procedures. A maritime company that fails to properly train and test its crew can be held liable in a negligence or unseaworthiness claim.
  • On a dock. The LHWCA extends the maritime employer’s duty of care to shipyard and dock workers. Lack of training can include anything from the improper use of tools or poor lifting technique to failing to educate workers on repetitive strain injury prevention.
  • On a bridge or tunnel. New York construction laws allow workers who are injured while performing maritime construction work to file a lawsuit against the contractor or owner of the job site. In addition, these workers have the right to collect state workers’ compensation benefits from an employer.

These kinds of cases are extremely complex, and the laws that apply will depend on your employment status, work location, and the circumstances of your injury. Our attorneys can explain your options and gather evidence of a maritime company's negligence, helping you get the compensation you deserve. Fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a maritime injury lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer as soon as possible.

 

Paul T. Hofmann
Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.