HomeFAQsMaritime Injury ClaimsCan I file for compensation if I was injured during bad weather?

Can I file for compensation if I was injured during bad weather?

Bad weather is an issue that maritime workers face from time to time and it is hard to avoid in many cases. Part of your rights as a maritime worker is the right to a safe work environment, which means your employer should take weather concerns into consideration when protecting your safety. If your employer is found to have been negligent in addressing employee safety during bad weather, you may qualify to file a maritime injury claim for compensation. You may benefit by consulting a New Orleans Jones Act attorney.

No job is too important to risk the injury of a crewmember, but many maritime employers have been found guilty of pushing their workers to the limits during bad weather. From a simple thunderstorm to a full hurricane, poor weather conditions increase the risk to workers who are out in these sometimes-deadly environments. Maritime law requires that employers follow certain safety rules and when these rules are neglected and people are injured, the company is liable.

rough weather on a vessel

General Maritime Working Safety Tips for Bad Weather

Following these tips will help you avoid a maritime accident during a hurricane:

  • Secure equipment. Tie down large equipment and store small items in secured cabinets. Anything that isn’t secured can become a dangerous projectile and cause a maritime accident.
  • Stock up. Make sure you have enough supplies to last at least 3 days if your vessel should become stranded. Remember that storm damage can knock out engines and generators. Don’t forget medical supplies.
  • Report often. Contact your land base or the coast guard to alert them to your current position and conditions if you’re offshore during a hurricane. This way you can be found more quickly after the storm passes.
  • Cease operations. If there’s time enough to move your vessel, do it. Don’t take chances and try to weather the storm just to get a little more work done. The price of your lives is much higher than the profit you’d make staying in the path of a storm.

If you are injured while working in bad weather conditions, you should talk to a New Orleans Jones Act attorney immediately to discuss liability for your injuries. If you claim that your employer forced you to continue working during unsafe conditions in your workplace, you will need evidence to support this claim.

Weather reports, data logs, and testimony from fellow crewmembers about the conditions at the time of the accident are all types of evidence that will play heavily in your offshore injury claim. Your employer will most likely try to deny that they forced you to work in bad weather and may even say that you continued working on your own free will.

In these cases, it is often a matter of your word against your employers, which is why it’s best to have an attorney familiar with the Jones Act and general maritime safety laws to help you seek a fair settlement for your damages. 

Hurricane Hazards

August through October is considered the peak of hurricane season and maritime workers should be prepared for the worst. By knowing some of the basic facts about hurricanes, it may better prepare those working out at sea when a hurricane hits. If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident, an attorney in New Orleans can help you pursue a claim.

5 Basic Hurricane Facts

Prepare with the following hurricane facts for when disaster strikes:

  • 60% of tropical storms become hurricanes;
  • tropical storms become hurricanes when they reach speeds of 74 mph or faster;
  • hurricanes are usually are 400 miles wide;
  • the storm surge of a hurricane can reach a height of 20 feet and a width of 50-100 miles; and
  • on average, 2 major hurricanes hit the United States every 3 years. 

Fatalities have decreased because of the advancements in warning and watch systems but no one ever really knows when a hurricane can abruptly change direction and grow stronger.

When a hurricane forms, maritime workers are the first victims in an offshore injury or death. When a vessel isn’t properly prepared for such a natural disaster, you may be able to pursue a claim with the help of a maritime accident attorney. In New Orleans, the Young Firm specializes in maritime law and can help you receive a fair and full settlement for your losses.

Contact a New Orleans Jones Act Attorney 

Your employer has a duty to keep you safe while on the job. Your right to a safe work environment is protected under the Jones Act. By working with a New Orleans Jones Act attorney, you can be compensated for damages you suffer during work in a maritime profession.

At The Young Firm in New Orleans, we help maritime workers nationwide seek justice through Jones Act and Maritime Law claims. Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to What to do When You Are Injured Offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker under the Jones Act.

When you are ready to get started with your Jones Act injury case, we urge you to contact us today for a free case evaluation – call us at 504-680-4100.

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