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According to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 4900 maritime accidents occurred last year causing 61 fatalities and 155 injuries.
Given the sometimes hazardous and unpredictable working conditions both at sea and shoreside, the high risk of injury is not surprising. However, this expectation doesn’t excuse an employer's negligence as a cause of injury.
If you have been injured on a vessel, in port, during processing, on the docks, or in any other maritime activity due to the negligence of your employer, you deserve compensation and justice through a maritime injury claim.
Whether you sustained an injury while aboard a fish processing boat in Alaska, operating a crane at sea near Oregon, operating a ferry in Washington, or aboard a cargo ship off the coast of California, you have rights.
If you are a dockworker, cook, engineer, fisherman, deckhand, captain, crew member, or other person associated with a maritime task, you are likely classified as a seaman under maritime law and therefore qualify to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Though your employer is legally obligated to provide maintenance and cure to address your medical expenses, this may not be sufficient to address your short-term and long-term treatment costs. Additionally, the presence of negligence – which your employer will usually deny – means that you have a right to pursue further compensation under the Jones Act or another maritime law.
The types of injury claims that can be filed under maritime law such as the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act are as numerous as the situations that cause the injuries. Some of the more common injuries that occur as a result of negligence aboard a vessel or shoreside include:
All of these injuries are serious and can take not only time and money to heal, but can sometimes lead to permanent life changes and even necessitate a career switch. If the injury is severe enough, the job the worker performed before probably can no longer be done in safely, even after healing.
If you suffer a severe injury like this due to the negligence of an employer or third party, an experienced maritime injury attorney will fight for maximum compensation. Your right to money damages can be protected by filing an action that includes a Jones Act claim for negligence and unseaworthiness as well as a maintenance and cure claim.
No matter how much of a settlement your employer presents you, you should always review your options with an experienced maritime injury lawyer to ensure you receive fair compensation. Remember, your employer and their insurance company will work hard to protect their bottom line – not you.
With offices in Bellingham and Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, our maritime injury attorneys of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski are passionate about maritime life and are experienced seamen. Our maritime and admiralty lawyers fight as hard and as long as it takes to get you the compensation you deserve.
Your first consultation with Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski is free and you are not charged a single fee unless a monetary recovery is made in your favor, so call 1 (800) 262-8529 today to schedule yours and see what we can do for your maritime injury claim.
This article was last updated on Thursday, November 3, 2016.