Gangway and Boarding Accidents
Gangway and Boarding Maritime Injury Accidents – Jacob's Ladder Accidents
Unsafe gangways, Jacob’s ladders, step ladders and steps frequently lead to serious maritime injury accidents or wrongful death. Proper safety procedures and equipment must be used to access any vessel or there is a high risk of injury.
If you are a Jones Seaman, your employer owes you a duty to provide a reasonably safe means to get aboard and to get off a vessel. Your employer owes you a safe place to work. The failure to have a safe means to get on and off a vessel may render the vessel unseaworthy. The employer’s duty may include the obligation to make sure that the dock and pier that is being utilized by the vessel is reasonably safe and properly maintained. A seaman shouldn’t have to risk personal injury or death just to get on or off the vessel he is working on.
The design, construction, and use of Jacob’s ladders is the subject of numerous regulations and guidelines. Jacob’s ladders must be properly hung, repaired, and maintained. Similarly, a gangway must be designed and maintained in a reasonably safe condition. A twisted, bent, or defective gangway may render a vessel unseaworthy. Safe access must also be provided between multiple vessels when they are rafted together. In vessel rafting cases your employer may also be held responsible for an unsafe condition that causes you injury on another vessel while you are attempting to go to or from your vessel.
Seamen injured through negligence and unseaworthiness are entitled compensation for their injuries under Federal Maritime Law. In almost all cases, injured seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. You have the right to choose your own doctor, and your reasonable medical expenses must be paid by your employer. It is important in cases involving gangways, ladders, steps, and Jacob’s ladders, to preserve the evidence involved in your accident as soon as possible. Take photographs, collect the names of witnesses, and ask that all evidence be preserved so that a qualified and trained expert can examine it. If the evidence is not preserved, proving your injury case will be far more difficult.
The lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP are some of the most experienced maritime lawyers in the nation. They have handled many injury claims for workers injured while attempting to board or disembark vessels. Typical claims involve defects in ladders, lack of handrails, negligent design, improperly maintained gangways, failure to have anti-slip walking surfaces, and dangerously slippery walking surfaces.
If you have questions about your rights to compensation for a maritime injury involving boarding or disembarking a vessel, contact Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP for a free initial consultation.