If you were injured in an underwater welding accident, you deserve maximum compensation.
Underwater welders perform tedious work in difficult underwater environments off the Texas shore, where the potential for an accident constantly threatens them. Accidents in underwater welding can have devastating consequences.
All too often, underwater welders are injured or killed while working, making this one of the most dangerous maritime jobs. From 2011 to 2017, 460 commercial divers were injured on the job, and 39 divers were killed. Better training and equipment maintenance could have prevented many of these tragedies.
Our lawyers at Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP fight for the rights of injured workers in Texas. We know that injured workers and grieving family members deserve passionate advocates who will stand up to big companies. As experienced trial lawyers, we will not back down until we get you the money you deserve.
Here, we will explain underwater welding dangers and tell you about available compensation when you are injured in a diving accident.
How Are Underwater Welders Injured?
Underwater welding accidents occur due to many factors, from weather and environmental conditions to machinery and equipment malfunction.
Diving requires precision with little room for error, and divers can sustain injuries if they encounter the following hazards:
- Rapid pressure changes when a diver heads to the surface of the water too fast
- Cold underwater temperatures
- Underwater predators such as sharks
- Equipment explosions
Such underwater hazards can cause a diver debilitating injuries, including the following:
- Decompression sickness
- Broken bones
- Muscle strains
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- Severed limbs
Deep-sea divers may not have quick access to medical care, delaying critical medical treatment. Delays in care can cause more severe injuries or even the death of divers.
What Compensation Is Available to Injured Divers?
Divers may receive injury compensation under several different laws, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
The Jones Act
If the diver worked on a vessel in navigable waters, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit under the Jones Act. The Jones Act, a federal law designed to protect maritime workers, allows workers to sue their employers.
Divers who are eligible to sue under the Jones Act can recover these types of damages:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The pain and suffering provision of the Jones Act allows injured offshore workers to have the potential to recover much more money than land-based workers filing under workers’ compensation.
If the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, the injured diver may be able to recover the following compensation:
- Medical bills
- A portion of weekly wages
- Vocational rehabilitation (job retraining)
If a diver works onshore or is otherwise ineligible for a Jones Act claim, then workers’ compensation may provide the necessary money.
Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The LHWCA covers workers who are injured or killed while working on a pier, wharf, dock, or adjoining location. Divers eligible to file suit under this act can recover these types of damages:
- A portion of lost wages
- Payment for bodily injury; and
- Medical bill reimbursement
A worker recovers compensation under the LHWCA in various amounts, depending on whether their injury partially or totally disabled them. Whether or not the worker can return to work also factors into the LHWCA compensation formula.
General maritime law provides “maintenance and cure” compensation for injured workers. This entails a daily stipend and coverage for medical expenses, but it does not provide the same amount of compensation available under federal laws like the Jones Act or LHWCA.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Lawyer
If you were injured in an underwater welding accident, you need to contact a knowledgeable maritime lawyer. As we have shown, many complicated and overlapping laws govern maritime accident cases. You need an attorney who knows the details of these laws and who can fight for your maximum compensation.
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, our attorneys work tirelessly to protect injured offshore workers. We have seen the pain that underwater welding accidents and other workplace injuries can cause workers and their family members, and we believe you deserve justice.
We give each client personalized attention, working to get you every penny you deserve for the harm you have suffered.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact our maritime injury attorneys for a free consultation. If you hire us, we work on contingency, meaning you will owe us nothing until we win your case. Start your path to pursuing maximum accident compensation today.