Crew Member Accidents & Injuries
Our firm believes that cruise lines must be held accountable for the safety and well-being of its crew members, and fights for the rights of those who have suffered injuries while working onboard a vessel. Our law firm fights to protect the legal rights of crew members in cases involving personal injury, failure to provide medical treatment, wage disputes and other matters that occur onboard cruise ships and other vessels.
Bringing a Crew Member Claim
Unlike those who work on land, seamen cannot file for workers’ compensation. Instead, injured crew members typically file claims under general maritime law for Unseaworthiness, Maintenance & Cure, and Unearned Wages and under a Federal Statute called the Jones Act.
One of the first issues to address in a potential crew member claim is whether the crew member is in fact a Seaman. Sometimes this is an easy question to answer. Other times it can be quite difficult. The law affords many protections to those who are considered seaman, so defendants, such as cruise lines, often fight hard to establish that a person injured working on or around a ship is not a seaman. The Jones Act generally defines a seaman as a person who spends a significant amount of their time working as a crew member or captain on a vessel that is “in navigation,” but that simple definition can actually be deceptively complicated.
Under the Jones Act, an employer must provide its crew members with a reasonably safe place to work.
There are many types of incidents that can lead to a crew member claim under the Jones Act, including:
- Slip and falls
- Trip and falls
- Injuries resulting from improperly maintained equipment
- Failure for the employer to properly train
- Assault and battery
- Failure to provide safe conditions
The burden of proof for a claim brought by a crew member under the Jones Act is much lower than a standard negligence claim brought on land. Accordingly, a crew member need only prove that the employer’s negligence contributed even in the slightest to the injury. In addition, an employer may be strictly liable for injuries that resulted from its failure to comply with a statute or other legal regulation.
The damages recoverable include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. A crew member has three years from the date of the injury to bring a claim under the Jones Act.
Contact a Maritime Attorney Who Handles Crew Member Accidents
If you are a seaman who was injured on a vessel, it is important to consult with an attorney who handles maritime law claims and understands the Jones Act. With over fifteen years of experience, our law firm represents crew members who have been injured on cruise ships and fights for their right to fair compensation from negligent employers. If you are a crew member who suffered an injury, call today for a free consultation.