Slip & Fall on Deck
Crewmen frequently are injured when they slip and fall on the decks of vessels. Slip and fall injuries can result in serious and permanent injuries to crewmen. In most cases, these accidents are easily preventable results of employer negligence or unseaworthiness of the vessel. Under maritime law, the vessel owner may be responsible for a slippery condition on deck if it is only temporarily present. Crewmen who are injured in slip and fall accidents are covered by the Jones Act. Key to successfully proving the vessel was at fault is to establish proof of what caused the crewmen to slip and fall, how long was it present, and establishing how the accident could have been prevented.Case Example
M.Z. suffered a herniated disc while working as a deckhand on a factory trawler in Alaska. His accident was the result of fish slime on deck following a haul back of the cod end. The captain of the vessel testified that it was the procedure aboard the fishing boat to immediately wash down the deck following the haul back, and before the net was shot back out.
The vessel owner's contention that the deck had been washed down prior to M.Z.'s accident was defeated when the deck boss testified exactly opposite of the captain, stating that the deck was not washed down until after the cod end was shot back out. The conflicting testimony between the two witnesses identified by the vessel owner established that safe practice required the deck to be washed down after the haul back, and that this was not done in M.Z.'s case.
Unfortunately, M.Z.'s injury was permanent, and he could not return to work as a deckhand. It was necessary to fuse his back, and he suffered from chronic pain. His accident could have been prevented had the crew taken just the few extra minutes necessary to wash down the deck before setting the net back out.Experienced Representation
At the Seattle and Anchorage offices of Stacey & Jacobsen, our maritime law attorneys have successfully handled hundreds of slip and fall cases aboard fishing vessels, tug boats, and ferries. If you have been injured in a slip and fall aboard ship—whether the accident has happened on deck, in the galley, in crew quarters, on ladders, or on stairs—you should retain experienced maritime lawyers to review your claim.
Obtaining prior accident reports, researching industry standards, and understanding how things work aboard ship, gives our lawyers the experience necessary to effectively handle these types of injury claims. Installing non-slip surfaces, having hand holds and grab bars in place, repairing defective equipment, cleaning up oil, hydraulic spills, and leaks promptly, and keeping the deck shipshape at all times, is imperative to the safety of a vessel crew.
Many states have established guidelines that prohibit a lawyer from communicating past successes or financial results obtained if that communication is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve. We support those guidelines because no two death or personal injury cases are identical and because past success is not a guarantee of future success. While no law firm involved in handling difficult cases gets a successful result every time, over the years the lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC have successfully handled many diverse cases in many different courts. The verdicts and settlements included on this page are for informational use only. Nothing on this page should be construed as a guarantee of results. The results in any case relate to the particular facts and circumstances of the particular legal situation. Results can vary widely given similar facts and circumstances.