Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Everett, Washington
Everett, Washington is located on the Puget Sound 25 miles north of Seattle. It is the largest city in Snohomish County. Commercial shipping is a vital part of Everett’s economy. The Port of Everett operates eight shipping berths that specialize in over-dimensional, high, wide, and heavy cargoes. The port has the highest economic output in Washington state, and it is the third largest container port in Washington State. Additionally, commercial fishing still plays a significant part in Everett’s culture, although it is not as significant a part of the local economy as it was in the past. However, as of 2012, there were more than 30 commercial fishing boats operating in Everett.
Working on a commercial or shipping vessel is a very dangerous job. If a worker is injured, the law affords multiple legal claims under general maritime law and the Jones Act that are unique to seamen. The three primary avenues of recovery for injured seamen are: 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the unseaworthiness doctrine, and 3) the Jones Act.
Maintenance and cure benefits are available in almost every case where a seaman was injured while working in the service of a vessel. Maintenance is a daily living allowance typically paid every two weeks, and cure covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. A seaman is entitled to receive maintenance and cure until he reaches maximum medical cure, meaning that no further treatment will improve his condition. It is irrelevant who or what caused the injury. Furthermore, if an employer intentionally fails to pay maintenance and cure benefits, the seaman may be entitled to punitive damages.
A claim under the unseaworthiness doctrine is available to seamen when the injury is caused by an unseaworthy condition of the vessel, its equipment, or its crew. A condition is unseaworthy if it is not reasonably fit for its intended use. Examples of unseaworthy conditions include a slippery deck, worn out equipment, or a lack of proper warnings. A vessel owner does not need to be aware of an unseaworthy condition to be liable. Their duty to provide a seaworthy vessel is absolute.
A Jones Act claim can be pursued when an injury is caused by the employer’s negligence. The employer has a duty to provide its seamen with a reasonably safe place to work. The employer is also responsible for the negligence of other employees and supervisors and known unsafe conditions. The employer’s negligence does not need to be the main cause of the injury. It only needs to a cause, no matter how small, of the injury. To successfully pursue a Jones Act claim, you must hire experience attorneys who will be able to fully investigate the facts and evidence of your injury.
Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal industry law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing seamen from Everett against vessel owners, maritime employers, and maritime insurance companies. If you were injured in a commercial fishing or shipping accident and have questions about your right to recovery, contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through this website.