Maritime Injury Claims Involving Vessel Unseaworthiness
Federal Maritime Law imposes on each vessel owner the duty to provide their crewmen a seaworthy vessel. Where a crewman is injured as a result of unseaworthiness, the crewman has claims for compensatory damages for lost wages, lost wage earning capacity, pain and suffering, medical expenses, vocational retraining, and other monetary damages. Injured seamen also have claims for negligence under the Jones Act, and for maintenance and cure under the General Maritime Law.
The lawyers at Stacey & Jacobsen, LLP are experienced in handling claims involving unseaworthiness. They understand how accidents happen aboard ships, tugs, barges, and fishing vessels, and know how those accidents can be prevented. They understand the work that seamen do, and appreciate how injuries can impact a seaman’s ability to earn a living in the future. They have handled thousands of maritime injury claims, and recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients located through out the Nation.
Under Federal Maritime Law strict liability is imposed upon a vessel owner who fails to provide a seaworthy vessel. To be seaworthy, a vessel and the vessel’s equipment must be reasonably fit for its intended purpose. The vessel must also be manned by crew reasonably adequate and competent to do the work assigned. Experienced maritime lawyers know how to determine whether or not a vessel meets the standards of seaworthiness. Things that may render a vessel unseaworthy include such things as: Failure to properly train the crew or institute safe working standards; faulty or dangerous equipment and lack of maintenance; failure to have proper life-saving equipment; improper or negligent design of the ship; violation of safety codes and regulations; improper manning and under-manning; excessive hours of work; crewmen with vicious propensities; improper drug and alcohol use; and lack of proper tools and equipment. A piece of ship’s equipment that fails under normal and expected use renders a vessel unseaworthy.
In any case involving injury to a crewman aboard a vessel, experienced maritime lawyers will investigate to determine wether or not the vessel was unseaworthy. Unseaworthiness claims and Jones Act claims are usually brought together at the same time. Failure to correct an unseaworthy condition may also give raise to a negligence claim under the Jones Act.