If you or a loved one has been injured or tragically killed in a crew boat accident in the Gulf of Mexico or anywhere else throughout the United States, the Jones Act attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help you seek financial compensation for your losses. We have extensive experience representing offshore workers and their families, and we take a comprehensive and aggressive approach to help our clients secure maximum compensation for their losses.
Many oil companies and other employers with operations in the Gulf of Mexico use crew boats to transport employees to and from their offshore job sites. Unfortunately, like many other aspects of life as an offshore worker, traveling on a crew boat carries its own unique risks for serious – and sometimes fatal – work injuries.
There are a number of possible causes of crew boat accidents that can entitle victims to seek just compensation. In addition, there are several laws, including the Jones Act, the Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA) and general maritime law, that are specifically intended to help offshore accident victims recover for their losses.
Some of the issues that can lead to dangerous crew boat accidents include:
Like all vessels, crew boats are only engineered to support a certain amount of weight. Crew boats that are overloaded with personnel, fuel or other cargo can become difficult to maneuver, and they can be more likely to submerge in bad weather or in the event of a collision.
Crew boat owners are required by law to maintain their vessels in seaworthy condition. Conditions that can make a vessel unseaworthy include everything from lack of engine maintenance to slippery decks. If you or a loved one was injured due to an unseaworthy condition onboard a crew boat, we can help you hold the owner responsible for your losses.
Lack of Training, Experience or Safety
A human error resulting from a lack of training and experience operating an offshore vessel is a factor in many crew boat accidents as well. Owners’ and offshore employers’ failure to ensure that crew boats meet safety standards can also tragically lead to avoidable injuries and deaths.
Other Possible Causes
Crew boat accidents can also result from things like:
- Collisions with rigs, platforms and other vessels;
- Dangerous weather conditions;
- Equipment and part malfunctions;
- Falling overboard;
- Smoke inhalation and other exposure injuries;
- Unsecured and shifting cargo; and
- Violence among crew members.
At a minimum, offshore workers who work full time on vessels and are injured on crew boats will typically be entitled to “maintenance and cure” benefits to help cover their medical bills and living expenses while they are injured. While these are no-fault benefits – meaning that your employer is supposed to pay regardless of the cause of your injury – many companies refuse to pay without a fight. At Morrow & Sheppard, our Houston crew boat accident lawyers can help you secure the benefits to which you are legally entitled, and if you have additional claims, we will fight aggressively to win the full compensation you deserve.