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Just a brief moment of negligence on the water can lead to devastating fishing and maritime accidents. Fishermen, seamen, oil and gas workers, dock workers and drillers on inland waters and off shore are continually exposed to hazardous conditions in Pacific waters. Working at sea is dangerous, and most people go into the field knowing the inherent perils that exist, but no one can really prepare for the harrowing accidents that can occur until it hits home. Our Auburn maritime accident attorney can help you seek compensation for your losses and recoup the losses you experience as a result of your injuries.

Maritime accidents occur on the sea and can be work- or recreational-related, involving watercraft of all different types, shapes and sizes, ranging from massive cruise ships to small boats. Maritime accident law also applies to accidents that happen on the docks, off-shore drilling rigs and during participation in water sports. Depending on the severity, maritime accidents can lead to property damage, injury and even death. Some common maritime accident claims stem from:

  • Off-shore oil rig accidents
  • Cruise ship accidents
  • Commercial fishing boat accidents
  • Marine crane accidents
  • Accidents on barges, cargo ships and tankers
  • Accidents on commercial fishing boats
  • Shipyard incidents
  • Commercial diving accidents

Maritime Accident Causes

Negligence is the number one cause of maritime accidents, giving rise to maritime accident claims in situations where equipment aboard a specific vessel becomes unfit for use on the water, or unseaworthy. Maritime accidents may also be due to:

  • Inappropriate equipment
  • Unsafe working conditions
  • Lack of medical treatment after an injury occurs
  • Poor training
  • Failure to follow safety standards
  • Ignoring safety rules
  • Lack of appropriate safety gear

The Jones Act, General Maritime Law and Admiralty Law

There is a distinct area of the law that provides direction for maritime accident claims. Many claims of this nature are governed by the General Maritime Law known as the Jones Act or the Admiralty Law. This law covers matters such as navigation, commerce, and passenger transportation at sea. It also governs commercial activities related to the sea, including land-based activities that support maritime work, such as dock work. Under the Jones Act, maritime employees and seaman have specific rights, including the right to hold the owner of a ship or their employers negligent when certain conditions exist.

Under the Jones Act, certain provisions apply. For example, in maritime claims by an employee, the injured worker must spend 30 percent or more of his working time in the service of a working vessel on navigable waters. Moreover, the burden of proof for liability in Jones Act cases is lessened than in traditional civil court, so these cases are not as laborious to prove. Injured employees and other victims may claim damages that are nearly identical to those claimed in personal injury actions, including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering as well as future medical costs and future lost wages.

Consulting with an Auburn Maritime Attorney

If you or your loved one were injured during a maritime accident, contact Russell and Hill right away. Our Auburn maritime attorney will handle your case with compassion and help you get the compensation due to you under the law. Reach out for your free consultation now.

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