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Seamen and maritime crew members working on different types of ships may be able to sue their employers for injuries they sustain at work. These lawsuits are typically available to workers on cruise ships, yachts, oil rigs, cargo ships, tugboats, and barges. Many of these jobs are quite dangerous, and it is up to your employer and the owner and operator of the ship to make sure that the staff and crew on board are safe, that cargo and other materials aboard the ship are loaded properly, and that safety equipment is in place to prevent injuries.
If your employer negligently allowed you to be injured, you may have a claim under the Jones Act and other parts of maritime law that allow you to seek compensation for your injuries. The attorneys for injured crew members and seamen on yachts, boats, and cruise ships at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. offer free legal consultations to help victims of injuries and accidents while working on ships. Call our Miami crewmember accident attorneys at (305) 204-5369 to set up a free legal consultation.
Suing for Injuries While Working on a Ship
If you are a crewmember or worker aboard a vessel, whether it be an oil tanker, yacht, cruise ship, or other ocean-going vessel, and you qualify as a “seaman,” and you may be governed by U.S. maritime law and the Jones Act. These laws create general duties and obligations for employers and ship owner and will often give the grounds for legal claims against them for injuries and accidents. These claims can often get victims compensation for damages such as the following:
- Medical care and treatment after an accident
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Retaliation by your employer for filing a claim
- Claims for damages stemming from unseaworthiness of the vessel
Working aboard ships can be very dangerous. Maritime law recognizes that a seaman must work under dangerous conditions. As such, it does not follow the doctrine of “assumption of the risk,” which means that you cannot be denied recovery simply because you knowingly undertook the risks of your job. However, your employer can assert that you are contributorily negligent, which means you did something unreasonably negligent that contributed to your own accident. Even if that is what happened, it would not block your claim like the assumption of the risk doctrine would. Instead, your damages would be reduced to account for your own level of fault.
Many of these jobs are somewhat risky, but your employer is not necessarily responsible for every single danger you face on the job. To get your employer to cover an injury at sea, you must prove that they did something wrong – usually something “negligent” – before the court can award you damages. This type of negligence in injuries for ship workers typically involves dangerous safety standards, insufficient or defective safety gear, negligent training, or dangerous conditions on the ship that should have been cleaned up or repaired.
If you can prove your employer was at fault for your injuries, you should be able to claim damages for any of the harms that resulted from the accident.
Causes of Injury for Ship Workers
There are many ways that workers are injured on ships. The risks you face in your job at sea will be different depending on what kind of ship you are on and what kind of job you perform.
Oil Ship and Oil Platform Workers
Workers on offshore drilling platforms and oil ships often face serious risks from high-pressure systems, heavy machinery, risks of fire and explosions, and even risks from transportation accidents to and from the ship or platform. These dangers can also include the risk of injury from lifting cargo, moving barrels, and operating cranes to load and offload oil as well.
Cruise Ship Workers
There are many jobs on cruise ships, each of which carries different risks. Seamen responsible for loading and offloading cargo and luggage can face injuries from lifting and carrying, cooks and chefs can face burns and cuts in the kitchen, servers and bartenders can slip and fall on wet surfaces or cut themselves on broken glass, and other workers could face injuries from dangerous conditions. Even cruise ship entertainers and other crew face risks of injury from assault or sexual assault committed by coworkers or passengers.
Yacht workers and other crew for luxury vessels like sailboats and pleasure craft often run the risk of injury from unsafe conditions, such as unrepaired handrails and slippery decks. These workers are also often at the whim of their employer, meaning that they could end up swept out into a dangerous storm or subjected to unwanted touching or sexual assault if the employer does not keep their safety as a top concern.
These are just some of the examples of injuries ship workers can face in some of these jobs. If you were injured in another type of accident or while working on a different type of ship, our Miami crewmember accident attorneys may still be able to help with your case.
Call Our Seamen and Crew Member Injury Lawyers for Injuries at Sea
The crewmember lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. bring with them over 75 years of combined experience. We can analyze what happened in your case and develop strategies to fight your case and work to get you full and just compensation for your injuries. For a free legal consultation and more information about where to file your claim and how to start working to get compensation for your injuries, call our Miami crewmember accident lawyers today at (305) 204-5369.