Dredge Accident Lawyers
Our Dredge Accident Firm Demands the Answers Workers Deserve
Dredges are the workhorses of the maritime industry. They are used to clear sediment and other underwater debris to make sure waterways remain navigable for other types of vessels. Because dredges use machinery and deal with hard-to-clear material, dredge workers face many dangers.
Whether a dredge is on a vessel or anchored in or near the water, companies have a responsibility to protect workers. Since the dangers associated with a dredge are well known, accidents involving them are often preventable. No worker deserves to have their life changed because of an accident.
At Arnold & Itkin, our team has a history of fighting for the compensation of injured offshore workers. We’ve recovered billions of dollars, and we’re ready to fight for the justice that you deserve. Finding out if you have a case is free and our team only collects a fee if we obtain results for you.
Call our dredge accident lawyers at (888) 493-1629 for a free consultation. We are here to help.
What Are Dredges?
Dredging describes the process of excavating material from an aquatic environment and dredges are the tools used to accomplish this job. In the maritime industry, dredges are primarily used for the construction and maintenance of water channels. They’re used to clear the bottom of a pathway and then continue to clear the channel to make sure currents don’t cause a high buildup of sediment.
Typically, dredges are identifiable by the long crane-like structure that sit on top of them. However, differing types of dredges might lack a visible or obvious crane.
There are two popular types of dredges:
- Suction dredges
- Mechanical dredges
As suggested by their name, suction dredges remove sediment from the bottom of waterways by using a tube that sucks it up like a vacuum. These dredges can work in conjunction with a cutting mechanism that makes sediment easier to remove, which helps prevent clogs in the dredge’s pipe. Mechanical dredges use buckets and grabbers to break through material and lift it from the bottom of a waterway. These excavating arm most often resembles the bucket or backhoe of a construction tractor or digger.
Dangers Associated with Dredging
A defining characteristic of most dredges is the force they use to extract sediment from the sand. Creating the force involves the skillful and safe use of massive pieces of equipment. Compounding the dangers of working with the heavy equipment of a dredge are the dangers faced by all maritime workers—slippery decks, rough waters, and other dangers consistently place a vessel’s crew at risk.
Common dredge accidents and hazards include:
- Falling objects or materials
- Slip and falls
- Malfunctioning machinery
- Improperly maintained machinery
- Inadequate safety equipment and training
- Crush injuries
- Collisions with other vessels
One of the most frustrating aspects of dredge accidents is how preventable they are. Dredgers are known to be inherently unsafe. Yet, since we're familiar with what causes accidents on dredging vessels, preventing them is almost always possible. When a company fails to protect workers with adequate safety equipment, training, and maintenance, they are needlessly placing their lives at risk. Likewise, companies that operate in other industries are familiar with the work that dredgers do for them. They are also responsible for protecting crew of dredgers from accidents.
After accidents, dredge workers suffer from life-altering injuries such as:
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Toxic exposure
- And more
The Corpus Christi Ship Channel Explosion
Dredges are important because of how much other industries rely on them to make safe water channels. Since a dredge often operates alongside other types of commerce, they risk facing the dangers of being near larger ships and dangerous materials associated with the industries that rely on their work.
On August 21, 2020, a Corpus Christi Ship Channel explosion claimed the lives of four workers and injured eight more. The incident occurred after the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd struck a submerged pipeline and triggered a massive explosion. After the blast, the dredger caught on fire, broke apart, and sank. The vessel was owned and operated by the Orion Group. It took three days to recover the bodies of all victims. Initial reports indicated that the submerged pipeline was not properly marked to alert dredge workers of its presence.
Other Incidents involving the Wayman L. Boyd & Orion Marine Group
The Wayman L. Boyd and Orion Marine Group were at the center of a lawsuit in 2012. The case involved a voyage from Houston to Port Lavaca. Additional details are unclear at this time. Then, in 2014, a worker was airlifted to the hospital after he was struck by a bucket in Olympia, Washington. Finally, Orion Marine received at least one citation for a serious violation for them Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the months before this incident.
Can Dredge Workers Receive Compensation After an Accident?
The Jones Act was passed nearly 100 years ago. It provides offshore workers with the opportunity to pursue negligent parties that cause a serious or deadly accident. Before the Jones Act, workers were only able to receive compensation for the living expenses and medical debt they accrued while recovering.
In maritime law, dredgers are considered Jones Act vessels, making crew members eligible for compensation after suffering from negligence.
With the Jones Act, an injured dredge worker can receive compensation that accounts for the scope of their injuries, rather than for the immediate financial repercussions of them. This way, they have a chance to recover as much as possible after suffering from the negligence of another party.
The Jones Act can help injured dredge workers and their families recover compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Decreased earning capacity
- Past, present, and future medical care
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium
Call Our Dredge Injury Lawyers Now at (888) 493-1629
Arnold & Itkin isn’t afraid of the fight it takes to get injured offshore workers and their families the compensation they deserve. When negligence caused the Deepwater Horizon to explode, we were there to demand answers for its crew. After the El Faro was ordered to sail into a dangerous storm and disappeared, we helped family members of the lost crew hold its owner accountable. These are just two examples of the ways we’ve helped offshore workers and their families recover after serious accidents.
Our history of results makes Arnold & Itkin the team those suffering from dredging accidents need. We never accept excuses, we always seek the best results, and we refuse to back down from a fight because our clients deserve justice, no matter what. Call us now for a free consultation of your case. Receiving our help is affordable because we only charge for our services if we obtain results for you.
Finding answers starts with a phone call. Our dredge accident lawyers are standing by to help you now at (888) 493-1629.
Our team proudly serves the injured nationwide, including throughout Texas, Louisiana, and the entire Gulf Coast. We help individual from places such as Brownsville, Pasadena, McAllen, Edinburg, Mission, Weslaco, Rio Grande City, Hidalgo, Port Lavaca, Roma, and the surrounding areas. Call today to learn more.