Injuries in the oil and gas industry can occur in many different ways. Victims of barge accidents and other transportation and shipping accidents are some of the most vulnerable workers in the oil industry. The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston oil rig injury lawyers explain some of the most common causes of oil barge accidents and what victims might be able to do to seek compensation and get the help they need. For a free consultation on your barge boat injury case, contact our law offices today.
What Are the Biggest Causes of Injury on Barge Boats?
Barge boats are some of the most popular ways to transport staff, materials, and oil between shore and offshore drilling platforms. Aside from pipelines and tanker ships, barges are one of the main ways to transport oil over the water. Because these ships are so common, there are thousands of workers that ride or load and unload these ships each day, exposing themselves to any of these common dangers:
Lifting and Carrying
Some of the biggest causes of injury are everyday accidents that could occur in other similar industries. Injuries from lifting and carrying are some of the most common workplace injuries in any industry, and the oil industry is no exception. Moving barrels of oil and other supplies can involve significant stress and strain on the back, especially after years of working in the industry or serving as a barge worker.
Crane Operator Error
Many oil barges use cranes to transport items between docks, the barge, other ships, and oil platforms. These cranes could be mounted on the barge, on land, or on another vessel, but the risks are often the same. Operators are expected to have the proper training and skill to operate a crane properly, without causing collateral damage. When operators are tired, inattentive, improperly trained, or inexperienced, people can get seriously hurt.
Working on any ship or oil rig can mean dealing with slippery decks and slip and fall accidents. With oil, there is always the chance that leakage could make the deck even slipperier if oil or other chemicals are mixed with the water. It is up to the ship owner or captain to ensure that the vessel is safe for passengers and workers, and it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure you have the proper safety gear at work.
Barge Pilot Negligence
When you are a passenger on a barge, your safety is in the hands of the pilot or operator. If your vessel crashes at port, smashes into the oil rig, or collides with another vessel during your trip, you could be seriously injured. Sudden stops and jolts like these can throw passengers to the deck or into a bulkhead, causing serious injuries.
How to Sue for Barge Boat Accidents in Texas
If you or a loved one was injured in a barge accident or while working on a barge boat, you may be able to sue in court. Workplace injuries are often handled through workers’ compensation claims, but many dockhands and oil workers are not covered by workers’ compensation systems. Instead, these victims are able to file personal injury lawsuits under maritime law.
As part of these injury lawsuits, victims can sue for any damages they suffered because of their injuries. This includes the cost of any medical bills you had to pay because of your injuries, any wages you lost if your injury kept you from work, and any pain and suffering damages you deserve. If you filed through workers’ comp. or another system, you may only receive a fraction of these damages.
When fighting your case, you need to prove that the at-fault party was responsible for your injuries before you can receive compensation. This usually works by proving the at-fault party failed to use the proper care or skill and that their negligence caused your injuries. To do this, you must show the defendant owed you a duty, such as the duty to pilot the barge with the proper care and skill that the average barge operator would use, the duty to train employees on proper crane or equipment operation, or the duty to provide you with safety gear.
Hiring an injury attorney to handle your case is an indispensable benefit in most cases. Our Dallas personal injury lawyers can help you understand what your case is worth to help you avoid getting underpaid in a settlement. We can also fight your case in court and help prove projected future damages, like ongoing medical care and reduced earning capacity damages.
For help with your case, call our law offices today.
Our Dallas Barge Boat Injury Attorneys Offer Free Consultations
After a serious injury on an oil barge, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting to get compensation for injury victims and fighting their cases in court. For help with your case, contact our law offices today to schedule a free, no obligations consultation. Our number is (817) 476-1797.