Commercial diving accidents happen all too frequently in Louisiana. Several commercial diving operations and diving schools operate in the greater New Orleans area. When a commercial diving accident happens, the results can be devastating. Commercial diving can be a dangerous maritime job, and accidents often occur when divers are engaged in underwater construction work and oil rig work, which involves large, heavy equipment.
Commercial diving accidents can cause severe injuries that result in a lifetime of difficulties. In some cases, they may even cause the diver’s death. The families of victims who died in commercial diving accidents deserve justice for the loss of their loved ones. If you or your loved one has suffered an injury in a commercial diving accident, you deserve a lawyer who will advocate for your rights after the accident. Contact the New Orleans admiralty lawyers at Koch & Schmidt today to schedule your initial consultation. We are strong advocates for our clients, so that they have the best possible chance to win the compensation they deserve.
Injuries Caused in Commercial Diving Accidents
The injuries caused by commercial diving accidents are often extremely severe. Drowning is always a risk of commercial driving. Commercial diving usually involves using heavy equipment while underwater. The use of heavy equipment still carries the risk of becoming injured by the machinery. Commercial divers often engage in cutting and welding metal, which increases the risk of cuts and burns. Other health and occupational hazards of commercial diving include:
- Physical injuries from heavy equipment
- Low visibility
- Circulatory risks
- Severe burns
The Risk of Dysbarism in Commercial Diving
Commercial diving accidents can cause a change in pressure for the diver, resulting in dysbarism. Dysbarism refers to several medical symptoms that can happen when a commercial diver becomes exposed to rapidly changing environmental air pressure. Even experienced commercial divers can become subject to the severe effects of dysbarism, including decompression sickness. Decompression sickness is commonly called “the bends.” When a diver comes up to the surface too quickly, his or her body cannot re-pressurize in time, resulting in severe sickness. This can result in permanent bodily injuries and death in severe cases.
Gas embolisms are another dangerous type of dysbarism. These bubbles of gas often consist of nitrogen. When commercial divers are exposed to deep pressure, these gas bubbles can form in the diver’s body. When a commercial diver comes to the surface too quickly, these bubbles can burst and damage the diver’s organs. Finally, ear barotrauma can cause vertigo, fluid collection, and ruptured eardrums.
Commercial Divers Should Receive Adequate Training
Commercial diving comes with many general risks and hazards. Due to the risky nature of commercial diving, companies that employ divers should ensure that their drivers receive adequate training. Safety training is one of the most critical aspects of commercial diving. A diver’s employer has the responsibility to properly train their divers and make sure they have the necessary qualifications to dive.
Employers also have a legal duty to maintain a safe working environment. If you or your loved one suffered an injury caused by a lack of safety protocols, unsafe equipment, or because of a lack of training from your employer, we could help. You may have a legal right to bring a lawsuit against your employer for the injuries you’ve suffered as a result of your commercial diving accident.
Poorly Maintained Diving Equipment
One of the leading causes of commercial diving accidents is poorly maintained equipment. Employers have a responsibility to provide divers with properly maintained equipment. Equipment should be in proper working order. Employers should also keep accurate logs of equipment maintenance and record when the equipment is tested.
Every time mechanics perform a test on the equipment, they should document the work in maintenance logs. When commercial diving equipment deteriorates, diving companies should throw the equipment away. Allowing divers to use degraded tools can cause serious diving accidents, should the equipment fail underwater. Commercial employers also have a duty to ensure that their divers have all necessary equipment, including the following:
- A diver’s helmet
- Seals on dry suits
- Hose connections
Making a Legal Claim After a Commercial Diving Accident
If you or your loved one have experienced a serious injury caused by a commercial diving accident, you may be wondering what to do now. Life after a traumatic diving accident is extremely challenging. In many cases, victims of commercial diving accidents need to take time off of work to recover. Without the ability to earn a living, paying for all of the medical costs related to the diving injury can become difficult, if not impossible.
When another person or company’s negligence contributed to your diving accident and injuries, you may have a valid legal claim for compensation. Diving companies have a duty to provide their divers with safe, working equipment. Employers must provide adequate training and a safe working environment. When employers act negligently, and their negligence causes a diver’s injuries, they are financially liable for the employee’s injuries.
The Jones Act is a federal law that allows the victims of certain maritime accidents to file legal claims against their employers. Commercial divers are often able to file legal claims against their employers for damages. The injured party may file a lawsuit after a commercial diving accident when the employer’s negligence contributed to the accident.
Contact a Commercial Diving Accident Lawyer Today
If you are considering filing a lawsuit for compensation after a commercial diving accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Koch & Schmidt, we have decades of experience in maritime law matters and personal injury law. We understand all of the local and federal laws involved in bringing a lawsuit for injuries caused in a commercial diving accident.
The sooner you speak with one of our experienced lawyers about your case, the better. Our legal team provides clients effective legal representation. We advocate for our clients every step of the way. Contact our New Orleans law firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you.