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Category: Tugboat Injuries

When is a Tugboat Considered “Unseaworthy”?

Tugboat Injuries Jun 14, 2017

When seeking to recover financial compensation for injuries sustained in a tugboat accident, one potential source of recovery is the tugboat’s owner. Tugboat owners have a legal obligation to maintain safe working conditions on their vessels, and when they fail to do so, maritime law states that they can be held accountable for any losses crewmembers and other workers onboard face as a result of their injuries. This is what is known as the doctrine of “unseaworthiness.” Examples of Unseaworthy Conditions on Tugboats In broad terms, any condition onboard a tugboat that increases workers’ risk of injury has the potential to qualify as an “unseaworthy” condition. For example, the following are all common dangers that can justify claims for compensation against tugboat owners: Equipment that is worn out or in need of repair Improperly-designed fixtures or equipment Loose steps or railings Missing rails or safety equipment Unprotected openings Unsafe lines, tools and machinery Trip hazards on deck Oily or icy conditions on deck Improper lighting Walking surfaces that lack anti-skid protection However, these types of issues are not the only issues that can render a tugboat unseaworthy. The following are examples of unseaworthy conditions as well: Excessive work hours – Forcing the tugboat’s captain or crewmembers to work excessively-long hours can be a form of unseaworthiness. Inadequate access to safety equipment – Tugboat owners must supply those onboard with appropriate safety equipment, such as personal floatation devices, fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Missing warning signs – Failure to post […]

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Injured on a Tugboat? Find Out Who May Be Responsible

Tugboat Injuries Jun 5, 2017

After any type of accident, identifying the party (or parties) responsible is one of the first steps toward pursuing a claim for financial compensation. With medical bills piling up and the potential for significant lost income, job-related injuries can often put maritime workers’ financial futures on the line. As a result, fighting for just compensation needs to be a top priority, and it is critical to promptly conduct a thorough investigation focused on determining who deserves to be held accountable. 1. Your Employer The first option is your employer. Under the Jones Act, if you were injured onboard a tugboat or barge, in most cases your employer will be obligated to pay you no-fault benefits known as “maintenance and cure.” Since these are no-fault benefits, your employer must pay regardless of the cause of your injury. In addition to maintenance and cure benefits (which in some cases can be less than $25 per day), the Jones Act also entitles you to seek full compensation for your injuries if the accident resulted from your employer’s negligence. The Jones Act applies a standard of “slight” negligence, which means that your employer can be held accountable if it made any mistake that played any role in causing your injuries. 2. The Tugboat’s Owner If your employer does not own the tugboat or barge on which you were injured, you may be able to seek compensation from the tugboat’s owner as well. Claims against vessel owners are not made under the Jones Act, but […]

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