Deckhands are a vital part of the operation of many ships. They provide vital manual services on a wide range of vessels. Their duties vary from unloading and loading cargo to performing maintenance on the boat to handling lines and cables. Unfortunately, there are many opportunities in a deckhand's line of duty for severe injury. When that occurs, the injured deckhand should consult an attorney to determine his or her options for recovery.
A skilled Washington deckhand lawyer can represent you if you've been the victim of an injury at sea. At Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, we have decades of experience representing seamen, including those who have worked as deckhands throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. We can represent you on any type of injury. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a free consultation.
We are able to represent clients in federal courts in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California.
In you are hurt in an accident on land, you may know to turn to the court closest to where the injury occurred. However, there are no courts at sea, where a deckhand works. Instead, personal injury matters while aboard a vessel are governed by maritime law.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, often called the “Jones Act” after its author, governs the ability of those who work on the ocean to recover for certain injuries. The law gives “seamen” the right to sue an employer in the case of an accident in the scope of their employment.
A “seaman” is defined as an employee who is employed in the navigation of a vessel, who contributes to the accomplishment of a vessel’s mission, or to the operation or maintenance of the vessel at sea, at anchor or in preparation for future trips.
A deckhand has an important role in the navigation of a ship. In most circumstances, they will be covered by the Jones Act and able to recover under federal law.
Deckhands usually have multiple job responsibilities on a ship. Therefore, there tend to be multiple ways that a deckhand can be hurt. Some of the different ways can include:
Vessel operators are required to have adequate policies and procedures in place for the safety of deckhands and other seamen on a ship. The failure of a vessel operator to have those procedures in place, or the failure to have adequate supervision to ensure those procedures are followed, could result in the employer being liable for any injuries.
It is also the responsibility of vessel owners to ensure their ships are “seaworthy.” If a ship sinks because of faulty design, poor construction or inadequate maintenance, the vessel owner could be liable for any injuries caused by a sinking. A ship is also unseaworthy if it does not have staff that is adequate, sufficiently qualified or sufficiently equipped.
If you are the spouse, child or dependent of a deckhand lost at sea due to negligence, you may be able to recover under the Death on the High Seas Act. You will be able to recover any economic loss, including loss of support. The Jones Act may cover certain losses for death, as well.
If you are a deckhand who suffered an injury on board a ship for which you were a crewmember, or if your loved one was a deckhand lost at sea, you have a right to recover for your injuries. A Washington deckhand lawyer from Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski can help you obtain that compensation. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 for a free consultation.
This website was designed for martime lawyers and was created solely for general information purposes. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal or medical advice. Only a maritime attorney or physician licensed to practice in your state can provide you with official guidance based on the specific details surrounding your situation.
Additionally, contacting Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski via e-mail or phone does not create an attorney / client relationship. This relationship is only formed after a formal agreement has been made by both parties.