In New York, across the United States and all over the world, people who work in any capacity at sea are vulnerable to a variety of accidents with injuries and fatalities. This is true for people who are on the water as a recreational activity and for those who are doing so for work. Among the potential causes of incidents are the weather, mistakes made by the captain or crew, and navigation missteps. Those who have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a maritime accident will want answers as to what happened and why. It is imperative for those who have been impacted to be cognizant of their rights.
Recent capsized vessel sparks legal filing and dispute over circumstances
A Seacor vessel that was transporting workers to an oil rig capsized and led to the presumed deaths of 13 crew members. There were 19 crewmembers on the vessel. Six were rescued. The ship was in rough seas when it overturned. The captain was killed in the accident and his widow is claiming that he was forced by the company to depart despite problematic weather conditions. According to her, the company adheres strictly to its contracts and because of that, aggressively sends its ships out regardless of the weather and jeopardy it may put workers in.
The claim says there were warnings about area weather from the National Weather Service. The company is being blamed for the accident despite its claims that it did nothing wrong. Among the allegations are failure to use reasonable care, not adequately addressing dangerous weather, ignoring weather reports, lack of proper equipment and more. In addition to the six crewmembers who were rescued, six bodies were found with seven still unaccounted for. The recovery mission and cleanup is continuing.
Investigating maritime accidents requires experienced help
People who work on the water undoubtedly take pride in what they do. Regardless of whether it is a ship’s captain, an officer, a deckhand or anyone else, there are inherent challenges with this type of work. To protect workers, there are maritime laws in place including the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, among others.
Still, when there is an accident and people are injured or lose their lives, it is not uncommon for companies to try and protect their interests by proclaiming they followed proper procedures even if they did not. Whether it is seeking medical coverage and payment for lost wages or compensation for families who have lost a loved one, the investigation to determine what happened is key. Having advice from those experienced in these types of accidents can be helpful to move forward with a claim.