Commercial Fishing Injury Lawyer
Commercial fishing is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Hazardous weather conditions, heavy-duty equipment, and improper safety protocols all contribute to accidents on the job. On average, roughly 124 deaths occur per 100,000 employees. Compared to the national average of 4 per 100,000 workers, commercial fishing proves to be particularly risky. A ten-year study by the Commercial Fishing Incident Database found a total of 545 commercial fishermen died in the U.S. Most of these accidents (51%) occurred after a disaster on the vessel. 31% occurred from fishermen falling overboard. The remaining deaths occurred from injury onboard or onshore. If you or someone you love have suffered or are suffering from a commercial fishing injury, contact an experienced national commercial fishing injury attorney at Daspit Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
The high fatality rate in commercial fishing is staggering enough, but even more commercial fisherman are injured each year. Long hours and labor intensive work makes for a tired fisherman, and a tired fisherman is at high risk for injury. Injuries on a commercial fishing vessel vary widely and can be caused by a number of situations. Often, fishermen sustain extensive injuries, which alter their ability to work. If you have been injured in a commercial fishing accident, you are protected under the Jones Act.
Commercial Fishermen Are Protected Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act was enacted in 1920, and it is a federal law that protects maritime workers out at sea. Because seamen are not covered by traditional worker’s comp, like they would be on land, the Jones Act offers recourse when a seaman is injured and needs to seek compensation. The Jones Act allows injured seamen to file negligence claims against their employers, and in some cases, the owner of the vessel. Your employer has a responsibility to provide you with a safe work environment and take steps to maintain that safety. When your employer does not uphold this responsibility, resulting in an accident or injury, he or she is considered negligent. Contact an experienced and successful commercial fishing injury lawyer for a free legal consultation if you or a loved one have been injured while commercial fishing at the workplace. Our attorneys serve Houston, Biloxi, New Orleans, Lafayette, and nationwide.
Proving Negligence in Jones Act Cases
Like traditional personal injury claims, an injured seaman must prove his or her employer’s negligence. Unlike a personal injury claim, however, the seamen must only prove as little as 1% negligence to receive compensation. Therefore, it is not as difficult to recoup medical costs as with traditional personal injury cases. The Jones Act requires employers to pay for an injured seaman’s “maintenance and cure” during the recovery period. This includes living expenses like rent, utilities, and food. It also includes any medical expenses needed to “cure” the seaman until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement.
Who Is Covered by the Jones Act?
Most commercial fisherman are covered under the Jones Act. A seaman is defined by the Jones Act as someone who spends most of his or her time (generally 30% or more) working as a crewmember or captain of a vessel in navigation. Maritime workers injured onshore are covered by the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which is similar to traditional workers’ comp.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney for Help
After an incident occurs, you should report your injury to your employer immediately. You will be expected to fill out an accident report that designates who was at fault for the accident. After receiving medical treatment, contact an experienced maritime injury attorney. The maritime attorneys at Daspit Law Firm, based out of Houston, Texas, have experience in a wide spectrum of maritime law cases. Our national commercial fishing injury lawyers have worked on several million-dollar cases against commercial employers. Some of these maritime cases include but are not limited to:
- Jones Act
- Offshore Accidents
- Oil Rig Injuries and Accidents
- Longshoreman Rights
- Maritime Fires and Explosions
- Marine Terminal Accidents
- Maritime Piracy
- Oil Platform Accidents
- PSV Accidents
Our commercial fishing injury attorneys take a personal approach with all of our clients, getting to know their individual stories. We will help you get the most compensation possible to pay for your medical expenses and cost of living. We’re available 24/7, so contact us whenever you are ready to explore your options.