Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Astoria, Oregon
Astoria is a port city in Clatsop County, Oregon and the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. It is located where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean in the extreme northwest corner of Oregon. The maritime industry is a huge economic driver in Astoria. The Port of Astoria offers services to commercial fishing and shipping vessels at its deep-draft marine terminals and is home to three seafood processors.
Commercial fishing and shipping are two of the most hazardous jobs in the United States. Some common types of accidents include collisions, fires, capsizing, grounding, falls overboard, and machinery incidents. There are three primary avenues of recovery for seamen injured in a commercial fishing or shipping accident: 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the unseaworthiness doctrine, and 3) the Jones Act.
While injured seamen are recovering from an injury that they sustained while working in the service of a vessel, they have the right to maintenance and cure benefits under general maritime law. Maintenance covers day to day living expenses, and cure covers reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with the injury. You are entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits until no further treatment will improve the underlying condition. A doctor makes this determination, and workers have no obligation to visit a doctor selected by the employer. If your employer wrongfully denies your maintenance and cure claim, you may be entitled to attorney’s fees, compensatory damages, and punitive damages.
In addition to maintenance and cure, an injured seaman may be able to pursue a claim under the doctrine of unseaworthiness. This doctrine states that an employer has an absolute duty to provide its crew with a seaworthy vessel. A seaworthy vessel is one that is reasonably fit for its intended use. In addition to the ship itself, the crew must be adequate and competent and all parts and equipment on the vessel must be reasonably fit for their intended use. Though the unseaworthy condition does not need to be the only cause, it must have played a substantial part in the injury.
If you are a seaman who was injured due to employer negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and damages under the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, employers have an obligation to provide a safe working environment for their employers. Malfunctioning equipment, inadequate training, lack of safety gear, unsafe work areas, and overexertion are some examples of employer negligence. The majority of accidents on commercial fishing and shipping vessels are preventable, and even the smallest amount of negligence is enough to hold an employer liable under the Jones Act.
Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal industry law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing Puget Sound seamen against vessel owners, maritime employers, and maritime insurance companies. If you or a loved one were injured in a commercial fishing or shipping accident, contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through this website.