Commercial Fishermen Compensation
Are Commercial Fishermen Entitled to Workers Compensation?
Federal Maritime Law applies to claims involving injuries to commercial fishermen. Under Federal Maritime Law, a seaman injured through negligence or unseaworthiness is entitled to compensatory damages under the Jones Act and the General Maritime Law. Damages may include compensation for past and future lost wages, lost future earning capacity, disability, past and future pain and suffering, and costs of vocational retraining. Your employer and vessel owner owe you a duty to provide a safe place to work and seaworthy vessel. Most accidents at sea could be prevented if proper safety procedures are followed. Fishermen and seamen never assume the risk of negligent acts or an unseaworthy condition.
Federal Maritime Law Benefits Apply to Injured Fishermen
Commercial fishermen are in almost all cases excluded from State workers compensation benefits. A commercial fisherman must rely upon his rights to compensation under the Federal Maritime Law and the Jones Act. Federal Maritime Law is similar to workers compensation in several ways, but has several important advantages.
Maintenance and Cure
In almost all cases, under Federal Maritime Law, a seaman who becomes ill or injured aboard a vessel is entitled to maintenance and cure. These are no-fault remedies that your employer must pay. It is your right as an injured seaman to recover these benefits. Maintenance is a daily living allowance which must be paid until the injured crewman has reached maximum medical improvement. “Cure” is all reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with an injury or illness which arises while a seaman is employed aboard a vessel. You have the right to select your own doctor.
Compensation for Lost Wages and Pain and Suffering
Unlike the State workers compensation systems, an injured seaman has the right to sue his employer and vessel owner for negligence and unseaworthiness. This enables a seaman to get full and complete compensation for his or her injuries, including damages for past and future lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering.
Experience Maritime Lawyers for Commercial Fishermen
Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP has been representing injured fishermen throughout the United States for over 20 years. They have handled thousands of Jones Act injury cases and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients. They are always on the side of the injured fisherman, and are dedicated to getting their clients full and complete compensation for their injuries. They have taken on the tough cases and handled such highly publicized cases as the Alaska Ranger, Arctic Rose, Aleutian Enterprise, Katmai, Galaxy, Pace Setter, and many others. They understand how accidents happen aboard fishing vessels, and know how those accidents could have been prevented.
If you have questions about your rights to compensation for injuries received working as a fisherman, contact a maritime lawyer at Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP for a free initial consultation. Let them explain to you your rights under the Jones Act.