Medical Negligence at Sea
Medical Negligence at Sea – Jones Act Claims For Failure to Provide Medical Care
Working at sea is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. When accidents happen at sea, or a crewman becomes seriously ill while aboard the vessel, the employer has a duty to seek all reasonable and necessary available medical care. Depending upon the size, crew compliment, and area the ship will be operating in, there will be differing demands for levels of preparation and trained personnel. All vessels should be equipped with basic medical supplies and their crew trained in emergency first aid procedures. Many larger ships now carry a trained medic or ship nurse, and extensive medical supplies. Consultation with the Coast Guard or private ship-to-shore medical consultants via satellite is now readily available. In severe injury cases, crewmen should be medivaced from the ship to a qualified shore-side hospital.
Far too frequently seamen suffer serious injury or death because their employer failed to get them prompt and reasonable medical care. Because vessels are frequently large distances from healthcare facilities, the crew must be prepared and trained to act when a seaman has a deteriorating medical condition. A day’s delay may be the difference between life and death. Misdiagnosis aboard a ship, improper medical care, or delays in medical care, can aggravate or worsen a seaman’s health.
A vessel schedule and profits should never be put ahead of a seaman’s need for medical attention. Where an employer willfully delays providing treatment to an injured seaman, it may give raise to a claim for an assessment of punitive damages under maritime law.
The lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC are some of the most experience maritime lawyers in the Nation. They have handled thousands of Jones Act injury cases. They know how injured and ill crewmen should be treated aboard a vessel. Medical negligence cases of any type are highly complex. If you have been injured aboard ship because of negligent medical treatment or delays in medical treatment, contact a lawyer at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC to discuss your claims under Federal Maritime Law.