South Carolina Maritime Lawyer
Although maritime trade has positive impacts in the finances in South Carolina, many seamen and longshore workers are injured on the job due to unsafe working conditions, unsafe vessels, and neglect on the part of their employers.
Dangerous Professions: Maritime Jobs, Accidents and Injuries
According to the South Carolina Ports, A 2015 study by the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business concluded that the Port’s statewide impacts include:
- $53 billion in annual economic activity
- 187,600 jobs
- $10.2 billion in labor income
- 10 percent of total annual gross state product
- $912 million in tax revenue
Although the benefits of maritime trade to South Carolina’s economy are significant, Seamen and longshore workers can pay the price. Working at a port or on a maritime vessel is many times physically exhausting and dangerous. Maritime workers handle heavy objects many times, or work around machines that are capable of causing serious injuries if they are not operated or maintained properly.
Port facilities and maritime vessels in particular are dangerous due to the risk factors involved. For example, an empty 20-foot shipping container weighs 4,700 lbs and can seriously injure or kill a maritime worker if it is not secured properly.
Some of the accidents that cause injuries among maritime workers in ports or aboard vessels include:
- Extreme Working Condition
- Erratic Time Schedules
- Slip and Falls
- Asbestosis and Mesothelioma
- Stress-related Illnesses
- Chemical Hazards
- Fires and Electricity
- Substandard or Older Vessels
- Kidnapping or Piracy
- Salvage Diving
Maritime-related injuries are by nature serious, life-threatening, and often deadly. The work setting can be dangerous mix even in the best of circumstances, but when negligence by employers or a vessel’s seaworthiness is compromised, the results can be devastating.
These are some of the most common occupational injuries suffered by South Carolina maritime workers:
- Back and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Dental trauma
- Puncture wounds
Maritime Workers Rights and Compensation
Due to the dangerous nature of work in ports, on vessels that sail on navigable waters, or on offshore facilities, laws such as the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Act exist to protect maritime workers’ rights.
Though each law has unique processes, they allow seamen and longshore workers in South Carolina to get compensation for work-related injuries caused by the negligence of their employers or unsafe working conditions ashore or afloat.
Because these law cases are complex and need to be resolved before the statute of limitations expire, an experienced maritime lawyer is needed to help injured maritime workers get compensation.