Injured Seamen: Protected by Law
Injuries on ships and boats are very common, and are often very serious or even deadly. Between 2000 and 2009, over one hundred commercial fishermen were killed while fishing. Half of these succumbed to vessel disasters, and 30 percent fell overboard. Defective equipment, lack of safety gear, and knife injuries are frequent causes of personal injury to fishermen and other seamen and shipboard workers.
These injuries can be life changing and may threaten the financial livelihood of an entire family. If you or your family are suffering due to your injury at sea, we want to help you.
Maritime law includes significant protections for those who work at and are injured at sea or while working on board a ship or boat. Maritime law is derived from our common law, which has built up through court decisions over hundreds of years. Additional rights were created by The Jones Act of 1920, which is federal legislation that was passed to protect American workers injured at sea. Maritime workers who become sick or are injured while performing duties on board a ship are covered and protected by the Jones Act.
Click here for the Seattle Water and Boating Regulations and Information booklet to see information from Harbor Patrol.
Common Maritime Injuries and Damages
If you have suffered a personal injury on the job while working as a fisherman, fish processor, or other maritime industry, you may require medical treatment. You may be unable to work for some time and lose wages. You might suffer a serious disability and never return to your normal work. You might lose the ability to engage in many of your normal daily, enjoyable life activities. You may be left suffering from chronic pain.
Under maritime law, you can recover your monetary losses – called “economic damages”, and may also be compensated for your pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, which are referred to as “noneconomic damages”.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries are among the most prevalent maritime injuries. Uneven, slippery, or cluttered vessel decks may result in slip and fall accidents. Similarly, unguarded vessel edges may cause slip and fall injuries. These injuries, which can be devastating, can result in broken bones, concussions, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury, and even death.
Fishing injuries, meanwhile, affect shrimpers, lumpers, crab fishermen, and general fishermen. Common injuries include crush injuries from poorly stowed equipment, as well as neck and back injuries caused by overwork and the heavy nature of much of the work.
Dock and Pier Accidents
Other very common Maritime injuries are those that occur on docks and piers. Seamen are often injured in dock and pier accidents during heavy cargo unloading, due to cluttered or slippery walkways, and from heavy equipment operation. Dock and pier injuries frequently involve crush injuries, traumatic brain injuries including concussions, and neck and back injuries.
Receiving Compensation for Your Losses and Damages
Maritime injuries are often extreme. Broken bones, amputations, crushed hands and feet, brain injuries, and even death are too common. These injuries can leave the injured seaman and his family financially devastated. Fortunately, with the help of an experienced Maritime attorney, compensation for all the injured Seaman’s damages and losses can be obtained.
Contacting Your Professional Provider
If you or a loved one have experienced a maritime-related injury, contact a professional provider today. Experienced attorneys at Lehmbecker Law offer the knowledge and experience to help you with you case.
Your health, job quality and life always come first, and we are ready to help.