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Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Coos Bay, Oregon

Coos Bay is located on the southwestern coast of Oregon where the Coos River meets the Pacific Ocean. It is home to the largest coastal deep-draft port between San Francisco and the Puget Sound. Port of Coos Bay supports both commercial fishing and commercial shipping. More than 1.5 million tons of cargo move through Coos Bay harbor each year. It is in the optimal location for shipping to and from Asia. Top export partners include China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Japan, and Canada.

In 2018, Coos Bay served approximately 250 commercial fishing vessels that landed almost 20 million pounds of seafood. Fish processing plants located in Coos Bay include Oregon Seafoods, Hallmark Fisheries, and Sea Fare Pacific.

Working on commercial fishing and shipping vessels in Coos Bay, Oregon is very dangerous. Vessel disasters, falls overboard, and deck accidents can lead to injury or even death. If you are injured on a commercial fishing or shipping vessel, you should reach out to an experienced maritime attorney because there are unique legal claims that you can pursue. The three primary legal claims are: 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the unseaworthiness doctrine, and 3) the Jones Act. These claims are frequently joined together.

Maintenance and cure benefits are available to all seamen that are injured while working in the service of their vessel. Maintenance includes compensation for the room and board (rent, utilities, property taxes, etc.) of the worker. Cure includes compensation for all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Injured workers are entitled to receive maintenance and cure no matter who was at fault for the injury. The employer must pay maintenance and cure until the seaman reaches maximum medical cure as determined by a doctor.

Seamen whose injury was caused by an unseaworthy condition can recover under the unseaworthiness doctrine. Seaworthy does not mean only that the vessel is navigable. Instead, it means that the ship’s hull, equipment, and crew are reasonably fit for their intended use. The vessel owner will be liable for injuries caused by unseaworthiness without regard to negligence. An injured seaman can recover under this doctrine even if the employer acted reasonably and had no knowledge of the unseaworthy condition.

The Jones Act allows seamen to recover who were injured as result of their employer’s negligence. Under the Jones Act, employers must provide its crewmen with a reasonably safe to work and use reasonable care to prevent injury. They are also responsible for the negligence of other crewmen. Employers cannot sacrifice profits and speed at the expense of the safety of their crewman. If negligence played any role in the injury, no matter how slight, the employer will be liable under the Jones Act.

Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing Coos Bay seaman 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.