Ship Steward Injury

When a ship steward gets injured, it can be very damaging. These injuries can lead to long periods away from work, significant medical bills, and, sometimes, permanent physical damage. The emotional stress from the injury and its consequences can also be overwhelming for the victim and their family. It’s crucial for Injured ship stewards to know that they have the legal right to seek compensation.

A ship steward injury lawyer can guide victims through the legal process, aiming to get maximum compensation and justice. In the following article, we’ll go steward injuries, including their causes, legal options for victims, potential financial compensation under laws like the Jones Act, and how a lawyer can assist throughout the legal process.

Ship Steward Injury Lawyer

Ship stewards have a great deal of responsibility, are often overworked and strained. This may result in stress- and exhaustion-related work injuries or unpaid overtime.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, been denied payment or experienced any other type of workplace injury, you need to hire a strong personal injury attorney with a history of winning. The attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP excel at obtaining appropriate compensation for their clients.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation.

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About Ship Stewards

A ship steward is a key member of the crew on board a ship, playing the main role in ensuring the comfort and satisfaction of passengers. They are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of cabins, dining areas, and other passenger spaces. Ship stewards handle the distribution of linens, towels, and toiletries, and often assist in food and beverage service. Their duties extend to greeting passengers, responding to their requests, and sometimes organizing onboard activities. The role requires strong interpersonal skills as ship stewards interact directly with passengers, addressing concerns and improving their onboard experience. They must also comply with strict safety standards to ensure the well-being of everyone on board.

Victims of ship steward injuries often include both experienced and new crew members. Inexperienced stewards might lack familiarity with the ship’s layout and safety procedures, making them more susceptible to accidents. However, even experienced stewards are not immune, especially given the physically demanding work. Age can also be a factor; older workers may have a higher risk of injuries because of decreased mobility or slower reaction times. Moreover, those working on larger ships or in more demanding roles may face increased risks because of the scale and intensity of their duties.

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Types of Ship Steward Injuries

  1. Slips, Trips, and Falls:
    • Common on wet or uneven surfaces.
    • Can result in fractures, sprains, and head injuries.
  2. Lifting and Carrying Injuries:
    • Caused by handling heavy objects.
    • Can lead to back injuries and muscle strains.
  3. Repetitive Motion Injuries:
    • Such as tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • Arise from repetitive tasks like cleaning and serving.
  4. Burns and Scalds:
    • Occur from handling hot equipment or spills in kitchen areas.
    • Common injuries include burns to the skin and related complications.
  5. Exposure to Harmful Chemicals:
    • Used in cleaning and maintenance.
    • Can cause respiratory issues and skin conditions.

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Where Ship Steward Injuries Occur

In Washington, California, Oregon, and Alaska, ship steward injuries occur on a variety of vessels, from large cruise ships to smaller fishing boats. In these states, major ports and fishing areas are common sites for injuries. For instance, in Washington, the busy ports of Seattle and Tacoma see numerous ship-related activities, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Similarly, California’s ports like Los Angeles and San Francisco, known for heavy maritime traffic, are hotspots for injuries. Oregon’s coastal areas, particularly around Portland and Astoria, also report incidents involving ship stewards.

Alaska, with its significant fishing and cruise industries, especially in areas like Anchorage and Juneau, is another region where these injuries are common. The surrounding ocean and sea areas of these states, where maritime activity is concentrated, are also typical locations for incidents.

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Potential Liable Parties

The ship’s owner is often a primary party considered liable because they are responsible for ensuring the vessel is safe for all aboard. If the injury resulted from unsafe conditions on the ship, such as slippery decks or malfunctioning equipment, the owner might be liable for failing to maintain a safe environment. Additionally, the steward’s employer, which could be a separate entity from the ship’s owner, like a cruise line or shipping company, might also be liable. This liability arises from the duty of employers to provide a safe workplace, including proper training and safety equipment. In some cases, manufacturers of faulty equipment that led to the injury could be liable under product liability laws if the injury was caused by defective machinery or safety gear. Furthermore, if another crew member’s negligence or intentional act caused the injury, that individual might also be considered liable.

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Legal Options for Ship Stewards

If a ship steward decides to file a lawsuit for an injury, they might consider Jones Act negligence claims and general maritime unseaworthiness claims. The Jones Act allows maritime workers to sue their employers for negligence, meaning the steward must prove their injury was caused by the employer’s failure to provide a safe working environment. This could involve inadequate training, unsafe work practices, or failure to maintain equipment.

An unseaworthiness claim does not require proving negligence but instead focuses on the condition of the ship itself. If the vessel was not properly equipped or maintained, leading to the steward’s injury, the ship owner could be liable for operating an unseaworthy vessel.

Beyond the Jones Act, the steward could pursue general maritime injury lawsuits against parties other than their employer or the ship owner. This includes third-party contractors, equipment manufacturers, or other individuals or companies who contributed to the unsafe conditions that led to the injury.

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Potential Damages in Ship Steward Injury Cases

Through negligence claims, a steward can seek damages for injuries caused by the employer’s failure to maintain a safe working environment. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If an injury results from the ship being improperly equipped or maintained, the victim can seek similar damages as in negligence claims.

Maintenance and cure is a unique aspect of maritime law, requiring a ship owner to cover a seaman’s medical expenses and living costs until they’ve reached maximum medical improvement, regardless of fault.

In cases of wrongful death under the Jones Act, the victim’s family can seek compensation for lost financial support, funeral expenses, and emotional suffering.

In general maritime personal injury cases against parties other than the victim’s employer, damages can also be sought for injuries sustained due to negligence by third parties. These damages can cover medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

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Steps to Take After the Injury

  1. Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, attend to any injuries by getting medical help immediately.
  2. Report the Accident: Notify your supervisor or the shipowner about the accident as soon as you can.
  3. Document the Scene: Take the time to document the accident scene and collect contact information from any witnesses.
  4. Keep Medical Records: Preserve all medical records and receipts connected to the injury. These documents are crucial for any potential legal claims.

Under the Jones Act, individuals have up to three years from the time of their injury to pursue a negligence claim. Claims for unseaworthiness under general maritime law share this three-year statute of limitations.

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Role of a Ship Steward Injury Lawyer

A ship steward injury lawyer provides important support to injured stewards. They help in understanding and handling maritime law cases. The lawyer can evaluate the case, determine the appropriate claims to file, and identify potential liable parties. They assist in gathering evidence, like medical records and witness statements, to build a strong case. A lawyer also represents the steward in negotiations with employers or insurance companies. If necessary, they will take the case to court. They work hard to ensure that the victim’s rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

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Additional Resources

Everything You Need to Know About Ship Steward Jobs

This article from Martide dives into the complex roles of ship stewards and stewardesses, highlighting their role in maintaining the comfort and satisfaction of guests aboard luxury vessels. It sheds light on the duties these crew members perform, from meal preparation and service to housekeeping and personal assistance. The piece emphasizes the importance of strong hospitality skills and the necessity of safety training, providing an overview for those interested in pursuing a career in maritime hospitality.

Work Environment of Water Transportation Workers

This resource, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, offers an overview of the work environment for water transportation workers, including ship stewards. It discusses the challenges and conditions of working at sea, like long periods away from home and exposure to all types of weather. The document also touches on the efforts made by companies to ensure comfortable living conditions for their crews.

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Hire a Ship Steward Injury Lawyer

The lawyers at Boatlaw, LLP are experienced accident injury attorneys who are ready to provide strong legal assistance in seeking financial compensation for victims of offshore wind farm accidents. If you’ve been injured, we’re just a call away.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to secure an initial consultation.

We litigate maritime cases across the country from our offices in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California. We handle cases that occur in the Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Coos Bay, The Columbia River, Grays Harbor, Port Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Dutch Harbor, and the Gulf of Alaska.

Do not settle for less than what your case is worth.

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