Are you a maritime worker who has been injured on the job? Are you a family member of a seaman who was fatally injured at work?
Maritime work, which includes all work performed onboard a seafaring vessel, exposes maritime workers, or seamen, to risks of accidents and injuries on a daily basis. Herschensohn Law recognizes the dangers of working at sea and specializes in representing maritime workers and their families in cases of injury or wrongful death. We represent seamen injured aboard fishing vessels, fish processors, tugboats, ships, ferry boats, crab boats, dredges, and all other types of vessels.
Do any of these common accidents aboard a vessel sound familiar: falls, slips, falling objects, burns, or diving accidents? Additionally, many maritime accidents also are due to negligence, such as broken equipment, failure to repair equipment, lack of safety equipment, lack of safety training, or the overworking of seamen. If you are a maritime worker and have been injured while working on a boat, and your employer is not meeting its financial obligations, know that you have rights and could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, or short-term and long-term disability.
Additionally, Herschensohn Law aggressively seeks compensation for families in claims of wrongful death of loved ones at sea. We have the compassion, knowledge, and understanding to cope with the most difficult cases.
If you have been injured on the water, there’s a good chance that you’re covered by the Jones Act, also known as section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act is a federal law that formalized the rights of seamen, and it provides sailors with the ability to seek damages from the ship owner, captain, or crew in the case of an injury as a result of negligence (or failure to maintain safe equipment, not selecting competent crewmen, failure to avoid heavy weather, and more) or unseaworthiness (or that some condition or aspect of the vessel was not working properly or safely). Injuries cover work-related accidents as well as injuries occurring while living aboard the vessel and leaving or arriving on the boat.
Maintenance and Cure
In addition to the provisions of the Jones Act that protect seamen from ship owner negligence, seamen also are protected by age-old maritime traditions known as “Seaman’s Benefits.” Injured maritime workers are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits when they are injured or become sick on the vessel. These benefits provide a small living stipend, medical care, and unearned wages.
Working on a fishing boat can be thrilling yet very dangerous. Fishing boat workers could be at sea for weeks or months, and medical care is not often available immediately. Many workers aboard fishing boats are self-employed, seasonal workers who are exposed to long hours and strenuous tasks. Unfortunately, slick decks, tumultuous weather, and even negligence can cause injuries, such as broken bones, cuts, hypothermia, and other traumatic injuries.
Ferries carrying passengers and vehicles are very convenient and quite common in the state of Washington. In fact, Washington operates the largest ferry system in the United States. Although safety standards exist, ferry worker accidents occur due to icy or slick decks and ladders, unsafe ramps, and more.
The amount of marine construction in Seattle continues to increase with maintaining, expanding, and improving of ports, marinas, and bridges. Marine construction can be very dangerous since contractors are working near water on a daily basis, exposing them to tides, currents, waves, and swells. As a result, marine construction workers are subject to transportation incidents, slips and falls, and contact with objects or equipment.
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Following an injury on a vessel, a maritime worker should not guess at his or her legal rights. Before talking to the employer or the insurance company, you should talk to a knowledgeable lawyer. For an experienced Seattle maritime attorney to handle your case, trust the team at Herschensohn Law. We have extensive knowledge of maritime law and the Jones Act. To learn more about how a Seattle Maritime attorney can help you recover compensation for your injuries at sea, contact us for a free evaluation to begin discussing your case from one of our offices in West Seattle, Tacoma, Kenmore, and Kent.