Under maritime law, ship owners have a legal responsibility to maintain their vessels in seaworthy condition. This requirement is designed to make sure that workers onboard tankers, freighters, tugboats, barges, supply boats, crew boats and other vessels are not put at risk by dangerous conditions that can – and should – be avoided with proper care. Unfortunately, many vessel owners fail to meet their duties. Unseaworthy conditions are far too common, and too often they leave offshore workers suffering from serious, and sometimes life-changing, injuries. If you were injured as the result of an unseaworthy condition, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation, and it is critical that you stand up for your legal rights. Understanding Your “Unseaworthiness” Claim Unseaworthiness claims are unique from most other types of injury compensation claims because they are subject to the rule of “strict liability.” Under strict liability, a vessel owner is liable for injuries resulting from an unseaworthy condition regardless of whether the owner caused the condition, and even regardless of whether the owner knew the condition existed. If you were injured on a vessel and you can establish that an unseaworthy condition is to blame, the law entitles you to financial compensation. What constitutes an “unseaworthy” condition? The list is actually longer than you might think. Examples of unseaworthy conditions include: Dangerous conditions resulting from inadequate vessel maintenance Inadequate, inexperienced or unsupervised crew Lack of adequate safety equipment, including first aid kits and floatation devices Old tools or equipment that are […]
The Jones Act is a federal law that governs the liability of vessel operators and marine employers for work-related injuries or the death of an employee.