Bait Chopper Injuries
Crewmembers aboard commercial fishing vessels that pot fish are often exposed to bait choppers—a machine used on board the ship to chop frozen bait quickly and efficiently. The machine has a wheel with blades that spins and chops the bait before it is dropped out of the bottom of the machine.
As bait gets collected, it can jam. If the machine gets plugged, the crewmember faces a dangerous situation when freeing the jam. If the operator’s hand gets too close to the blade, their hand is at risk of becoming caught in the spinning blades.
Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California Bait Chopper Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered a bait chopper injury due to the negligence of your maritime employer, it’s best to seek help from a skilled maritime lawyer. The experienced maritime injury attorneys of BoatLaw, LLP have decades of combined experience with maritime and personal injury law. They can review your options and form a strong strategy for obtaining favorable compensation.
If you reside in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, or California, call BoatLaw, LLP at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation.
Bait Chopper Injuries Under The Jones Act
Bait chopper injuries will be covered under the Jones Act if the injured worker is a deckhand on the commercial fishing vessel.. Under the Jones Act, if an individual loses their fingers or hand in a bait chopper, they areeligible for the following damages: loss of earnings, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
Loss Of Earnings
Loss of earnings includes past and future lost earnings resulting directly from the injury sustained. Past lost earnings are those the individual has already incurred because of the injury. For example, if a deckhandloses their finger, requiring them to leave work for an extended period of time to recover, all earnings and benefits not paid during their absence would be recoverable. Future earnings are earnings that someone is reasonably likely to lose because of their injuries. For example, if an injured seaman were required to change occupations because of their injury and their salary changed as a result, they would likely be awarded the difference in their lifetime salary.
Similar to loss of earnings, past and future medical expenses resulting directly from the injury sustained may be awarded. Past medical expenses are those that have already been incurred due to the injuries. For example, if the injured worker required a hospital stay or received surgeries, that will all be part of past medical expenses. Future medical expenses are more difficult to determine and are usually calculated based on the testimony of an expert witness who has reviewed the case.
Pain And Suffering
To determine pain and suffering, several factors are generally taken into consideration, including but not limited to:
- The severity of the injuries
- The pain, inconvenience, and other discomfort resulting from the injuries
- The impact of injuries on the victim’s life
- The impact of the injuries on social status and relationships
- The impact of the injuries on career prospects
- Degree of impairment
- The need for ongoing therapy or psychological care
- The necessity of care in the future, including prescriptions and surgeries
The amount of compensation received directly correlates to the damage caused by the bait chopper injury. In addition to the injury itself, damages suffered may include PTSD, isolation, and consortium.
United States Customs and Border Protection – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection website provides more information about the Jones Act and the role the United States plays.
International Maritime Organization – The International Maritime Organization website provides information concerning fishing vessel safety.
Bait Chopper Injury Attorneys | Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California
If you are a fisherman that has recently sustained a bait chopper injury, contact BoatLaw, LLP. Our experienced maritime attorneys have over four decades of experience obtaining optimal compensation for injured clients. They understand you, your job, and how your injuries will impact your ability to make a living in the future.
To learn about your legal rights and how BoatLaw, LLP can protect them, call 1 (800) 262-8529. We are prepared to discuss all your questions during an initial consultation today.
The maritime lawyers at BoatLaw, LLP are licensed in the courts of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California, and represent fishermen nationwide.