Fishing and maritime accidents and fishing vessel accidents are devastating to say the least. Just a brief moment of negligence can lead to an injury that impacts a crew member and his family for life. When seaman, construction workers, commercial fishermen and other maritime workers are injured at sea, they have a right to compensation for their injuries. Big insurers and the maritime employers they represent will try their hardest to take advantage of the injured, but a competent maritime attorney will not let that happen. Russell and Hill has a history of helping Tacoma maritime workers collect damages for their injuries and hold the responsible party accountable, whether your injury occurred at sea, on a ship or oil rig, or on land, while working on the dock or in the harbor.
In most maritime cases, strict liability falls on the employer, the owner of the vessel, and of course, the vessel’s insurance company. From the moment an incident occurs, it is the job of the insurance adjuster assigned to your case to minimize any payout that you receive. Under the Jones Act, your employer owes you a duty to ensure that you have a safe place of employment and that the vessel you board is a seaworthy vessel. This extends to seeing that the crew of the vessel is appropriately trained and that any equipment on the vessel is in good condition and in working order. Fishing equipment, machinery and other hazardous items must be used and stored properly to prevent you from becoming injured while aboard.
Similar to worker’s compensation, maintenance and cure claims provide for medical bill payment and payment of wages to the injured maritime worker. Regardless of who is at fault in the injury, maintenance and cure provides this benefit under maritime law. Similarly, those maritime workers injured while working on docks, ports and harbors are usually covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, a law that provides benefits for the injured worker while he/she recovers.
The cruise and ferry industry is mammoth in the Pacific Northwest. If you are injured while a passenger on either, you have a right to seek damages. Operators and owners of vessels can be held accountable when they fail to provide due care to their passengers. As in other maritime accident claims, you can hold the at-fault party accountable for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The sea is a beautiful but dangerous place, especially when negligence occurs aboard a seagoing vessel. Maritime accidents can yield injuries with difficult recovery periods that can run from weeks to months or even years in the most serious cases. If you have experienced a maritime accident, you need to have an aggressive attorney in your corner who has experience both in negotiation and litigation of maritime claims. Contact Russell and Hill to arrange your no-cost obligation-free case review and consultation with our Tacoma maritime accident attorney now.