When I worked as an investigator for a New Orleans maritime injury attorney, I had a great time playing FBI and helping my boss find out who was responsible for the injuries of seamen. Maritime law is a more interesting field of law than most because it caters specifically to those working offshore on ships, docks, oil rigs, and in other coastal positions.
While you may think the laws are the same for personal injury cases on land and at sea, this isn’t true. Maritime employers have specific rules and safety requirements they need to follow to ensure none of their workers get hurt when out at sea. Any maritime employer can be held accountable for a worker’s injuries if they’re proven negligent or if they don’t obey the safety laws.
How I Helped Save a Seaman
One time my boss had a client who worked on a large fishing ship in the Gulf of Mexico. He almost drowned while on a work trip because his leg got caught in the fishing net and his fellow workers couldn’t bring him back up. Thankfully, they were able to cut the net loose and bring him up just in time; however, he was in a coma for weeks on end and suffered brain damage from the loss of oxygen.
He fell into the water because he tripped, but it wasn’t until after he’d hired my boss and I’d had the opportunity to investigate the situation further that I was able to identify the fault of his employer. The normal procedures of the boat showed that the nets were supposed to be placed and stored in a specific way. When leaving the dock, the company chose to misplace them, which is why they were in the way when my client fell.
If it weren’t for those nets getting misplaced, they wouldn’t have been able to catch our client in the water and result in his near drowning. Because of the deep investigation I did, my client received a large settlement from his employer.
Another Case Solved
I’m having a blast in Australia, but those small victories like helping out a seaman in need will always be vivid in my mind. It feels like an adventure investigating a case and getting to the bottom of who caused an accident. During my time in New Orleans, there were a lot of great seamen who I had the privilege to help. I’m happy to be where I am now, but that was a great period in my career!