Commercial Fishing Boat Accidents

Even with shows like the History Chanel’s Deadliest Catch, most people don’t realize how dangerous commercial fishing boats, and boating in general, can be. However every year thousands of people are severely hurt in fishing boat accidents. Getting compensation for these injuries can be extremely difficult. If you’ve been hurt in a commercial fishing boat accident you need a lawyer that understands maritime personal injury. You need someone on your side to help make sure that you get all the money you’re legally entitled to.

Who Should Pay?

Men and women who work on commercial fishing boats often work for weeks or months far out at sea. Even fishermen who come home most every night are still at risk for getting injured. Who should pay for injuries that happen in commercial fishing boat accidents?

In the United States people who are hurt on the job typically can draw worker’s compensation benefits. However, offshore accidents, such as those happening on commercial fishing boats, are always covered by worker’s compensation plans.

The federal Jones Act was created to help make sure that workers out at sea had a way to be compensated for their injuries. Unfortunately, the Jones Act does not always apply to commercial fisherman. The Jones Act requires a substantial amount of time be spent on a boat to qualify for compensation under the act. It can be difficult to determine what that means. Because of the seasonal nature of the work, commercial fisherman often cannot meet the equipment of the Jones Act.

General personal injury law requires that people who are negligent or reckless pay compensation to those that they injure. In commercial fishing boat accidents usually the owner of the ship, or the employer of the fisherman, is responsible for damages. But because of the complexities of the law it can be difficult to know the best way to file a claim to get the compensation you deserve.

Types of Commercial Fishing Boat Accidents

Fishing boats are dangerous places. Minor injuries happen every day all over the world as people try to make a living from the sea. Some typical examples of commercial fishing boat accidents include:

  • Falling overboard
  • Getting tangled in a net
  • Being hurt by another crew member
  • Getting crushed by improperly stowed cargo
  • Being harmed by heavy machinery
  • Getting cut by a blade

It is impossible to list all the ways one can be injured on a commercial fishing boat. The three most common sources of injury are personal mistakes, negligence of other crewmembers, failure of the ship owner to create a safe working environment.

Ship owners are responsible for making sure their vessels are seaworthy and all the equipment on board is properly maintained. Failure to meet this duty can result in ship owners being liable for damages when crew members are injured.

Injuries From Fishing Boat Accidents

While the kind of minor daily injuries that happen don’t always warrant a personal injury claim, catastrophic injuries are not the only kind that should be compensated. Often times workers suffer pain and suffering along with the physical injury. The law provides compensation for this as well.

Some of the most common types of injuries and commercial fishing boat accidents include:

  • Drowning
  • Amputation of lambs
  • Crush injuries
  • Fractured bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Hypothermia
  • Horn and strained ligaments and tendons
  • Severe laceration
  • Repetitive stress injuries

The mere fact that you were injured in a commercial fishing boat accident does not mean that you will be able to recover damages. You first need to show that the damages were caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior.

This means that the person who injured you must have owed you some type of duty and then failed to meet that duty in a way that was what the law calls, the “proximate cause” of your injury.

If you qualify to file a claim under the Jones Act, the burden of proof will be lower. If you qualify for worker’s compensation you most likely will not need to prove any type of fault. You only need to show that the injury was caused by work

What Type of Lawyer Do You Need?

When you have an injury and want to file a claim it can be difficult to find the right lawyer who knows how to handle commercial fishing boat accidents. General personal injury lawyers often not experienced in dealing with injuries that happen at sea.

Maritime lawyers handle most matters that happen on and around boats. However, not all maritime lawyers handle injury claims. Commercial fishing boat accidents are unique in that they may involve general personal injury law, worker’s compensation law, the Jones Act, and other maritime laws.

If you have been hurt in the commercial fishing boat accident you need a lawyer that handles maritime injuries. You don’t have to face the claims process by yourself. Finding a lawyer can be tough.

Let us help you find a maritime injury lawyer with a successful track record of bringing commercial fishing boat injury claims. Make sure your rights are protected and you and your family get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us to schedule your free consultation.

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