You know that your stevedoring operations carry a certain amount of risk for the longshoremen you employ. You probably make just as many efforts to ensure their safety as you do to ensure the safety of the cargo you handle. Nevertheless, accidents happen. When they do, it could be at least partially up to you to determine who bears responsibility.
A different kind of injury
You may already be familiar with common concepts in maritime or standard injury law, but injuries longshoreman suffer can sometimes seem to be a unique combination of both. In actuality, these cases are unique. They often require an in-depth analysis of the specific material situations leading to the injury claims.
A shared responsibility
One of the main issues, prevalent in many stevedoring injury cases, is the shared responsibility of the stevedore and the ship operator to provide a safe working environment for the longshoremen performing the cargo operation. On your side, that could mean maintaining safe equipment and providing adequate training. On the ship’s side, it could mean clearing the deck of any hazards, informing the crew of the details of the cargo operation, maintaining vigilance during the operation to ensure a hazard-free environment and so on.
A strong position
Because you base your entire business on the care you take in handling cargo, it is highly probable that you already have exhaustive safety procedures in place. You probably also have records of these procedures. This type of evidence could strengthen your position if you believe that the ship was primarily responsible for the unsafe conditions that lead to a longshoreman injury.
You probably already know this if you are a stevedore, but maritime law has the potential to get somewhat complicated. This is true for your business contracts, but it is also true for any type of personal injury lawsuit that you may encounter. The negotiation and litigation of these types of cases may involve both Louisiana and federal law.