Commercial fisherman risk their lives every day to catch a supply of fresh fish for consumption throughout the United States and abroad. The profession is not for the faint of heart, as the work is as dangerous as it is rigorous.
If you or a loved one have been injured while working as a commercial fisherman, a knowledgeable maritime injury attorney could work on your case to help you seek compensation for your injuries. An experienced Pascagoula Commercial Fishing Injury Lawyer could help you to hold the responsible party accountable and recoup compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Personal injuries at sea fall under a body of mostly federal maritime law. This long-standing law recognizes the importance and value of the profession, thereby giving injured workers and their families remedies in case of injury. Resolving such claims hinges on determining the status of the injured party and defendant, and the nature of the maritime environment or employment.
A critical law for injuries occurring in the Pascagoula commercial fishing industry is the Jones Act of 1920. This law provides seamen and those who work at sea with a negligence-based claim against employers and a right to a jury trial.
Seamen are employees who spend more than 30 percent of their working hours on vessels in navigable waters, as is the case for many commercial fishers. A negligence claim argues that the employer failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, resulting in a harmful accident for which the plaintiff seeks compensation.
In a Jones Act claim, an injured Pascagoula commercial fisherman will allege that the employer owed them a duty of care. The duty of care could be, for example, to provide a safe working environment, including a well-maintained vessel, an adequately staffed vessel, or one free from malfunctioning equipment, and unsafe orders. If the employer does not act reasonably in fulfilling this obligation or commits a statutory violation, they will have breached their duty.
The injured worker needs to prove that this breach of duty caused their injuries. Proving causation is generally easier under the Jones Act than with traditional negligence actions because the plaintiff need only prove that the employer’s negligence was a cause of their injuries rather than the proximate cause.
In the event of a fatal accident, another law, such as the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), could be applicable. A Pascagoula commercial fishing injury attorney could help an injured victim or their family bring the appropriate lawsuit for damages resulting from the incident.
By law, the time for filing maritime tort actions to recover damages for personal injury or death is within three years of the date of the incident. Failing to file a lawsuit within this timeframe means that a plaintiff loses their legal rights to seek compensation.
Following an accident, it is best to seek help from an experienced attorney. The lawyer could investigate the cause of your accident and help you seek compensation for damages.
Speak to a seasoned Pascagoula commercial fishing lawyer today to learn about your legal options.