Injured Crew Member Medevaced from Fishing Vessel
A crew member was injured aboard the Seattle based fishing vessel SHIRLEY R while located 30 miles off the coast of Gray Harbor, Washington when he fell on-board and injured his head. The Coast Guard was summoned to help transport the injured crew member via helicopter and then ambulance to a Grays Harbor Community Hospital to treat his head injuries. The last report listed the crew member in stable condition. This aid from the Pacific Northwest section of the Coast Guard arrived soon after two rescues were called off in Ketchikan and Unimak Island, Alaska. The missing man from Unimak Island, Alaska was also a fisherman, and the other missing gentleman in Ketchikan was the owner of a houseboat.
These recent Coast Guard reports highlight the dangers that seamen, whether commercial fishermen or leisure mariners, face when sailing on the Pacific Ocean. While accidents and disappearances like these occur with unfortunate regularity in the seafaring industry, some are beyond the natural dangers of a life at sea and can be prevented. A vessel owner is obligated to provide a seaworthy vessel to its crew member and passengers, and must provide the traditional remedies of maintenance (daily stipend for living expenses) and cure (payments for medical care and recovery). Injured crew members or the family of a crew member while working during a voyage may also seek action through the federal Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act. Understanding what options are available to you is important, and the Washington Maritime Attorneys Gordon Webb and John Merriam are here to help navigate which avenue of legal resource is best for you.
The Jones Act is also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, and was designed to help the injured and the deceased's family recover damages, or monetary compensation, from the employer. This law helps hold the employer accountable for any negligence that leads to a crew member's death, injury, or illness. Maintenance and cure are some of the damages that may be recovered under the Jones Act, in addition to loss of companionship, burial or cremation costs, and future earning. To qualify, the injured or deceased crew member must have contributed to the function of the vessel or the accomplishment of the mission.
The attorneys of Seattle Maritime Attorneys represent injured seamen, passengers and injured fishermen living throughout the United States, including Anchorage, Alaska; Seattle, Washington; California and Oregon. For a free evaluation and assistance with your case, please contact us on 1-800-877-1007 to discuss your claim with an experienced maritime lawyer to learn more about your rights to compensation.
While the Jones Act includes remedies for death of a crew member, the appropriate remedy for death at sea beyond a marine league off the U.S. Coast is the Death on the High Seas Act, or DOHSA. This statute holds the ship owner accountable and provides pecuniary and non-precuniary damages to the family members who qualify to file suit. These damages include funeral expenses, lost wages, and loss of companionship, but do not include punitive damages.
If you have been injured while working at sea as a crew member for a cruise ship, commercial fishing vessel, or tug and barge company, contact our office to speak with one of our experienced Washington Jones Act attorneys today. We aggressively fight for our clients to receive the compensation they deserve. Call today at 877.800.1007 or contact us online.