Dredging is the process of removing silt, dirt, and rocks from shipping channels. Many waterways around Charleston need to be regularly maintained and dredged in order for larger vessels and shops to navigate them safely. This process requires heavy machinery, which unfortunately can cause dredge workers to suffer injuries, if proper procedures and safety policies are not in place or followed.
If you have been injured while working on a dredge, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. An experienced and compassionate attorney understands that after an accident, you may be facing significant medical bills, or be concerned about meeting your obligations to provide for your family.
Contact a dedicated Charleston dredge accident lawyer who represents hard working members of the Charleston community and surrounding areas. A skilled attorney can help you through a tough situation.
Common Causes of Dredge Accidents
A dredge is typically a large vessel that carries a heavy piece of machinery that scrapes or sucks material from the seabed or riverbed and then moves the material to another place.
Working on a dredging vessel can be physically demanding in itself, however, there are numerous other causes of dredging accidents that result in workers suffering injuries. Some of the most common causes of dredge accidents include:
- Dredge runs aground
- Heavy machinery
- Defective equipment
- Improper safety procedures
- Poor weather conditions
It is important to understand that workers on a dredging vessel have a right to a safe working environment, and that dredge workers’ employer has a duty and obligation to not only provide a safe working vessel but also to remedy any problems that may arise. However, all too often, dredge vessel owners and companies do not abide by their own safety policies and dredge workers are the ones who suffer.
Common Injuries for Dredge Workers
As a worker in the maritime industry, being able to meet the physical demands of working on a dredge is critical to success. However, dredge workers are commonly at risk of accidents and injuries.
Common personal injuries resulting from dredging accidents are:
- Amputations of limbs and fingers
- Crush injuries to hands and feet
- Hand and wrist injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Hip injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Leg, knee, or ankle injuries
Dredge workers who have sustained an injury while working on a vessel in or around Charleston waterways should immediately seek medical attention.
After seeking medical care, injured individuals may have major concerns about how they will cover medical expenses, and in the event of requiring an extended period of time off work for recovery, how they will provide for their family.
Typically, a Charleston worker who has suffered a workplace injury would turn to South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Act for medical coverage and benefits. However, in many cases with dredge workers and other maritime employees, the state’s workers’ compensation system may not be applicable, or the best route to pursue compensation for injuries.
The Jones Act
This does not mean that dredge workers do not have any means of recovering for their injuries. The federally enacted Jones Act provides injured dredge workers and other maritime employees the right to seek damages for their injuries. The Charleston dredge accident lawyer understands the hardship an injury can bring to a worker and their family, and has experience helping hard-working dredge and maritime workers pursue compensation under the Jones Act for:
- Medical care and treatment
- Disability payments
- Room and board for time spent recovering and away from your vessel
- Pain and suffering
Unfortunately, many dredge workers and other maritime workers are unfamiliar with the intricate filing procedures and qualifications. Others have their claims denied because they did not properly file their application, or did not file in time. However, a dedicated and experienced dredge accident lawyer understands the impact an accident can have on a person’s life and strives to provide clear guidance and aggressive advocacy for injured workers in Charleston and other South Carolina cities.
Speak with a Charleston Dredge Accident Attorney Today
If you have suffered an injury on a dredging vessel in the Charleston harbor, contact a Charleston dredge accident lawyer today with experience and dedication to helping injured dredge workers and maritime employees receive the compensation they deserve.