COMMERCIAL FISHING ACCIDENT AND WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY
Being a deck hand or processor aboard a commercial fishing vessel offers a number of rewards. For some, it’s the chance to make good money in a short period of time; for others, it’s the adrenaline rush of being at sea. There are numerous jobs on a commercial fishing boat, such as fish-processors, Bader machine operators, Boatswains (“Bosun”) deckhands, quality controllers (“QC”), mates, pursers and engineers. Regardless of your position, your job involves risks that are far outside of the course of shore-based employment. As a result, commercial fishing injuries and wrongful death accidents are all too common unfortunately. In fact, according to published reports, commercial fishing has had the highest fatality rate of any industry in the United States between 1992 and 2011.
When you have been injured or your family member has died when working as a commercial fisherman, you need a law firm that is knowledgeable to handle the special nature of your injury or wrongful death claim to get the best results because of special maritime laws which apply. Berschler Associates, PC, represents injured commercial fishermen fishing for all sorts of species, such as Dungeness Crab, tuna, Alaska King Crab, pollack, shrimp and sardines. We represent fishermen working throughout the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Alaska and the Gulf Coast. We also represent clients throughout the United States including the California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska Great Lakes, Texas, Louisiana and Florida. Our clients have worked aboard on all types of commercial fishing vessels, including Factory Trawlers, Crabbers, Long Liners, Seiners, Draggers and Shrimpers.
If you have been injured while working on one of these vessels, you have the right to certain up-front financial protection and, also, to claim compensation for your injuries, lost earnings and future needs under the maritime law. The up-front protection are benefits called maintenance and cure. Maintenance refers to your daily costs for lodging and food. Cure involves payment for your medical expenses, including transportation to doctors. You will be entitled to these benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (“MMI”). You may also qualify for “unearned wages” which means the base earnings you would have been paid for the rest of the voyage or contract had you stayed aboard, instead of having to leave because you became Not Fit For (sea) Duty (“NFFD”).These benefits are paid while your claim remains open.
If you can prove that your injuries were cause by your employer’s negligence or by an unseaworthy condition, you will be able to obtain additional compensation under the federal law, the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. section 3014) and/or the general maritime law, in addition to maintenance and cure. You can obtain compensation from your employer or vessel operator for your past and future lost wages, past and future pain and suffering and, if applicable, future health care cost and/or job re-training. This sort of compensation is a one-time, lump sum payment.
If you have been injured while working on a commercial fishing boat, one of your biggest worries may be whether or not you can return to work. Working as a commercial fisherman requires stamina and strength. If your injury possibly will keep you away from the sea for a long period of time, it is vital that your attorney is able to prepare an accurate calculation of your potential lost of wages. Berschler Associates, PC, has successfully represented countless injured fishermen and knows exactly how to calculate all of your damages – and how to gather the necessary evidence to prove your claim. The limit as to how much time you have to make your can claim change from one ship to the next. You will need a certified legal specialist in maritime and admiralty law to help you navigate through these questions and challenges, without mistakes or false starts, to get you all the money compensation that you deserve.
If you have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one aboard a commercial fishing vessel, the laws about who can make the claim, what types of money damages can be claimed and the time limit (statute of limitations) on when such claims can be made are different from state law and change depending upon where the vessel was when the death occurred. Again, you will need a certified legal specialist in maritime and admiralty law to help you navigate through these questions and challenges, without mistakes or false starts, to get you all the money compensation that you deserve.
Call or e-mail – 24/7 – our maritime and admiralty law attorneys to set up a consultation. The consultation is free. In personal injury, wrongful death and/or maintenance and cure cases, we usually offer contingency fees (no attorney’s fees or other payments up-front).
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury at sea or on other navigable waters, call or e-mail – 24/7 – our maritime and admiralty law attorneys to set up a consultation. . The consultation is free. In personal injury, wrongful death and/or maintenance and cure cases, we usually offer contingency fees (no attorneys fees upfront).