How Does The Law Protect An Injured Deckhand?
Anyone who has worked as a deckhand can attest to the dangers in their line of work and any experienced fisherman will tell you that these dangers are not limited to sudden traumatic accidents. In fact, a high number of individuals who work the long hours in physically demanding jobs will end up suffering from repetitive stress injuries to the hands, elbows and shoulders. Others suffer hearing loss, are exposed to toxic chemicals or suffer other injuries that permanently harm their ability to work.
A Seattle based law firm, the Law Office of Neil T. Lindquist aggressively represents deckhands and other service personnel on oceangoing vessels, including cruise ships. Principal attorney Neil Lindquist is a former Alaskan Fisherman with comprehensive knowledge of shipboard operations and he knows the difference between what’s safe, and what constitutes negligence.
PERSONAL INJURY COMPENSATION UNDER THE JONES ACT
Anyone who is injured while working on a vessel is likely protected as a Jones Act Seaman. The Jones Act allows qualified seamen to seek legal compensation from their employer for their financial losses and the consequences of their physical injuries when those injures resulted from negligence by the vessel’s owner, operator, or another seaman.
Per maritime law, a seaman is someone who has an employment-related connection with a specific ship or shipping company. They must spend at least 30% of their working time with that ship or fleet of ships. In addition, the employee’s duties must directly contribute to the ship’s functions or to accomplishing its assigned tasks. When a worker legally meets these two qualifications, they are covered by the Jones Act personal injury clauses as a seaman.
An injured Jones Act Seaman is entitled to be compensated for a wide variety of damages such as lost earnings, lost earning capacity, past and future medical expenses, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. However, in order to receive compensation, the Seaman will have to sufficiently prove each individual type of damage and this can turn into a complicated process. If you have been injured on a vessel and you want guidance on how to navigate your Jones Act Claim, talk to an expert for free who will listen to your situation and explain how to protect your rights.
INJURED DECKHANDS ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION KNOWN AS “MAINTENANCE AND CURE”
It is a well settled rule of maritime law that when a Seaman falls ill or suffers an injury while in the service of a vessel, they are then entitled to maintenance and cure. Maintenance is monetary compensation for a seaman’s day-to-day living expenses, whereas, cure is payment for the Seaman’s medical expenses, including travel to and from the medical providers.
Neither fault nor negligence will prevent an injured Seaman from receiving maintenance and cure, only instances of “gross misconduct.” A Seaman’s right to maintenance and cure begins one boards the ship to commence their voyage or they participate in vessel preparations for the voyage. In many cases, a Seaman who suffers an injury while on land will receive the identical maintenance and cure as a Seaman who is injured at sea.
Maintenance and cure is a Plaintiff friendly area of law that should be handled by an experienced maritime attorney.
Whether the injured party is you or someone you care about, it is essential to any claim that swift action is taken to preserve evidence, investigate the facts, and have qualified physicians or other experts examine the injuries and losses. Maritime law is complicated and as anyone who has been through the process will tell you, HAVING AN EXPERIENCED MARITIME ATTORNEY PAYS OFF.
If you’ve suffered an injury in a maritime accident or vessel collision — call our personal injury lawyers for free at 425-372-7799 or contact us via e-mail for a free consultation at [email protected] You pay no fees unless we make a recovery on your claim.
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