Whether you’re working on the crab boats of the Bering Sea, the tuna fleet of the Western Pacific, or in one of the local fisheries on the West Coast, Alaska or Hawaii, commercial fishing offers high-paying job opportunities that are hard to match ashore.
But there can be a price to pay, and unfortunately the price can be very high because commercial fishing is still one of the most dangerous occupations in the country.
You’ve probably heard of something called the Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to injuries to seamen.
If you were a regular member of the crew of a fishing boat when you were injured, your rights will be determined under the Jones Act.
If you weren’t a regular member of the crew, your rights will probably be determined under another federal law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
We have videos, other videos, on the website covering both of those acts, specifically. You’ll want to take a look at them because your rights are very different under each.
One of the circumstances that makes commercial fishing cases challenging is that many of the employers are small companies that own one or two boats.
There are special defenses in the Maritime law, such as the Limitation of Liability Act, that can make it difficult to recover from these small companies, even when the accident was their fault.
And the big companies use multiple small corporations to take advantage of these same defenses.
If you’ve been injured working on a commercial fishing boat, you need to talk to a lawyer who knows how to defeat these special defenses, or you could be left with a serious injury and no compensation at all.
Another of the challenges in commercial fishing cases is that, when you’re off injured, you’re off the boat, and that leaves the boat owner, and even sometimes the crew, with the opportunity to make up a story about how the accident happened, even to claim that it was your fault.
When you’re not there, you need somebody looking after your rights.
At my office, we’ve been handling injury cases for commercial fishermen for over 30 years. We know how to investigate a case, how to prove up a case, whether it’s under the Jones Act or under the Longshore Act.
And we know how to get you the compensation that you deserve.