A fishing vessel is any kind of boat or ship that is used for the purpose of catching fish. A fishing boat or ship operates in oceans, rivers, or lakes. A fishing vessel is specialized boat that is capable of hunting, locating, catching, loading, discharging, processing, and conserving its cargo at sea. There are many types of fishing vessels including trawlers, seiners, dredgers, gillnetters, lift netters, several different types of line vessels such as trap setters, trawler-purse seiners, handliners, among others.
Life aboard a fishing vessel can be very dangerous. In the United States the fatality rate of fisherman is 25-30 times higher than the national average with 160 deaths per 100,000 persons. Seamen aboard fishing vessels face dangers everyday from the various heavy machinery on board, severe weather conditions, to slippery fish gurry on the decks. Many times, however, negligence is the reason for injury. An accident due to negligence can occur for many different reasons. The owner of the fishing vessel may have tried to cut costs with repairs or equipment making the vessel unseaworthy. A vessel is considered unseaworthy “if the vessel, or any of its parts or equipment, is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose or if its crew is not reasonably adequate or competent to perform the work assigned.” Or the captain may make a haphazard decision leading to dangerous conditions while the vessel is on the water. Many cases of negligence occur due to the actions of a fellow crew member. If you have experienced an injury due to the negligence of others, you need to consult a fishing vessel injury lawyer.
Seamen aboard fishing vessels are vulnerable to various types of injuries. An experienced Houston fishing vessel attorney recognizes that seaman can suffer an accident which lead to injuries to their arms, back, neck, spine, feet, or knees. Sometimes multiple parts of the body are injured, while occasionally, the injuries are so severe that they result in the death of the person.
Working as a seaman is a physical occupation. Any number of injuries can sideline a seaman, who, many times, is the sole provider for his family. Some of the consequences to a debilitating injury are not only the lack of a paycheck, but also the burden of medical bills. In the worst case scenario, the loss of life, the seaman’s family will be left with bills and no income.
A fishing vessel accident lawyer will educate you about the differences between Workers Compensation and Maintenance and Cure monies. The fishing vessel company may offer you either Workers Compensation benefits or Maintenance and Cure monies. Seamen who are injured while at sea are entitled to maintenance and cure from their employers. This is a right that seamen have under general maritime law. Knowing and understanding your basic rights right is important since a maritime worker’s right to time loss, medical bills, and contractual wages until the end of the voyage are frequently improperly contested by ship owners. In addition, if your injury on an American flagged fishing vessel was a result of negligence, you may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act as well. It is vital that you consult a fishing vessel injury lawyer.
The Jones Act calls for additional compensation if a seaman’s injury is a result of negligence on the part of the fishing vessel owner, captain, or fellow employee. At Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP you will find an experienced fishing vessel injury attorney who specializes in Jones Act claims. Experience is key in dealing with the laws in maritime injury cases and a fishing vessel injury attorney is knowledgeable with the kind of litigation information that is important to you.
A regular injury attorney is not well versed in the complex maritime laws that are necessary to understand in order for an injured client to prove negligence in court. A fishing vessel accident lawyer with experience in maritime cases is needed. At our firm you will maritime attorneys who have extensive experience handling crewboat injury accidents, jack up barge injuries, tugboat collisions, and more. Our Houston fishing vessel lawyers have won Jones Act cases time and time again allowing injured seamen to receive proper compensation. We understand the consequences that injuries have on maritime workers and their families. At Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP we guarantee that we have a fishing vessel accident lawyer that will fight for you. We will do everything possible to help you receive the compensation you deserve.