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Can You Sue If You’re Injured on a Crab Boat?
For our communities in Washington state, the ocean holds special importance. Many residents of Seattle and the surrounding areas rely on the ocean as a source of income, for food, and for recreation. If you fish for crab or work for a company that operates crab fishing along the Washington coast, you hold certain rights as a worker in the maritime industry.
However, while crab fishing and other types of commercial fishing are major economic contributors to the state of Washington, it can be quite dangerous. If you or someone you know suffered an injury while working on a crab boat, you may have legal remedies available to you — including the option to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you have been injured on a commercial fishing boat, call a workers compensation lawyer today.
Maritime and Admiralty Laws in Seattle
Maritime workers are subject to a special set of federal laws, unlike most workers in other industries who abide by state regulations for injury claims. Under these pieces of legislation, you can file a claim against an employer whose negligence may be responsible for your crab boat injuries.
- The Jones Act is arguably the most important law for maritime workers in regards to on-the-job injuries. Under this Act, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover compensation for any injuries suffered as a result of their negligence.
- Maritime law also requires that all owners must ensure that their vessels, including crab boats, are seaworthy. This means that the boat and all equipment are fit for their intended purpose. If you suffer an injury related to an unseaworthy boat, you could file a claim under this statute.
- If you are on a crab boat that sinks, the boat must have all the appropriate safety equipment to protect you and other crew members. If the vessel does not have this equipment and you suffer a serious injury or have a loved one who dies, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Common Injuries in Crab Boat Accidents
Crab fishing is a dangerous industry to work in, and with proper precautions, employers can protect their crew against the most common hazards. However, accidents still occur and employers may still act in negligence. If you suffer any of the following injuries on a crab boat as a result of your employer’s negligence, contact a maritime attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for compensation.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Lacerations, bruises, and sprains
- Back or neck injuries
What Damages Can You Claim in a Crab Boat Lawsuit?
Under the Jones Act, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your negligent employer if you suffer injuries as a result of their negligence as a crab boat. You can claim the same types of damages you are eligible for under a personal injury lawsuit, including the following.
- Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Disability accommodations for your home or vehicle
- Pain and suffering damages, including the development of mental illnesses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Disability and disfigurement
While you may have the right to claim these damages, it can be difficult to prove negligence in a crab boat lawsuit without an attorney on your side. Proving negligence can be a complex process that may involve using evidence and resources you may not have access to.
If you suffered an injury on a crab boat in Washington state, you may have the option to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injuries. Since maritime and admiralty laws are a complex practice area, it is important to contact a Seattle personal injury attorney with experience assisting crab fisherpeople with their claims.
An attorney can provide a number of benefits for your future lawsuit, including access to hard-to-obtain resources, a knowledge of the legal processes you will need to undergo, and experience developing a strong and compelling argument in favor of our compensation. Contact your lawyer as soon as possible to begin strategizing your next steps.