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Commercial Fishing Can Cause Injuries to Maritime Workers

Maritime Injuries Nov 16, 2020

Commercial Fishing Labeled One of Most Dangerous Occupation by CDC

Each year many maritime workers, passengers, and even innocent bystanders are injured. One maritime occupation that can be especially dangerous is commercial fishing.  Commercial fishing typically entails the harvesting of fresh fish and other seafood from their natural habitats. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),  commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In fact, according to NIOSH, from 2000-2017, commercial fisherman experienced a fatality rate of 114 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers, compared to that of 4 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers among all U.S. Workers.  

Commercial Fishing Vessel Accident Near Florence, Oregon Claims Lives

An example of a dangerous commercial fishing accident occurred in June 2020 when a fishing boat called the Acquarius struck the south jetty in the Siuslaw River Bar near Florence, Oregon, and started taking on water, causing crew members to jump overboard. This particular area has a very narrow channel, and the Oregon State Marine Board warns boaters to use extreme caution when operating near this bar. The U.S Coast Guard responded to the vessel’s distress call to help the crew who had abandoned the ship. Unfortunately, two individuals were lost as a result of this commercial fishing boat accident.  

Maritime workers, such as these individuals, are severely injured each year because of vessel accidents such as this one.  If you or a loved one sustained a serious maritime injury while engaging in commercial fishing, the experienced maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm are here to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.  Call our office today for a free case evaluation. Our firm is different from other maritime law firms because we always put our clients first and fight for injured maritime workers. 

Why is Commercial Fishing So Dangerous?

There are many reasons why commercial fishing is so dangerous.  Commercial fishers work in extra hazardous working conditions that include, for example, long work hours, working in dangerous weather, and strenuous physical labor, among other conditions. Common accidents for fishermen include falling overboard, back injuries, injuries sustained from vessel collisions and capsizing, among other issues. According to NIOSH, from 2000-2017, 791 commercial fishermen died while fishing in the United States.  Below is a breakdown of accidents causing these fatalities: 

  • 48% occurred after a vessel disaster
  • 30% occurred when a fisherman fell overboard 
  • 13% resulted from an injury sustained onboard 
  • 9% occurred while diving or from onshore injuries

How Can a Jones Act Accident Lawyer Help?

Accidents sustained by commercial fishermen can be severe.  Fortunately, there are laws that protect maritime workers, such as the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).  These federal laws apply to various maritime workers, depending on their job responsibilities, and help them receive compensation for damages they sustain while working aboard a vessel.  Some examples of damages that maritime workers may recover include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical bills 
  • Lost wages 
  • Costs from rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering

For more information on maritime injury laws, contact the maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm.  Also, reference our article called Maritime Legislation that Protects You for more details.

Next Steps: Contact the Maritime Accident Lawyers at Willis Law Firm Today. We Can Help!

Are you a commercial fisherman injured while working aboard a vessel? If so, contact the maritime accident lawyers at Willis Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.  Our experienced team can answer your questions about maritime law and the compensation to which you may be entitled. You can contact Willis Law Firm by phone at 1-800-468-4878 or email us through our online webform to find out more about your legal rights and options.

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