Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Hammond, Oregon
Hammond is located in Clatsop County, Oregon where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean on the west side of Youngs Bay. It is a twenty-minute drive west of Astoria. Historically, commercial fishing and shipping have been a significant part of Hammond’s economy, but this has slowed in recent years. However, there is a proposed project to dredge the Hammond Marina, hopefully revitalizing the town’s maritime industry. In addition to the marina, Pacific Seafood has a fish processing plant near Hammond.
Working on a commercial fishing or shipping vessel is inherently dangerous. Harsh weather conditions, falls overboard, and vessel disasters can all cause injury. If you are injured on a commercial fishing or shipping vessel in Hammond, there are three separate legal claims that you can pursue: 1) maintenance and cure, 2) the unseaworthiness doctrine, and 3) the Jones Act.
Maintenance and cure benefits are available to all injured seamen regardless of who was at fault for the injury. All that is required is that the crewman was injured while working in the service of the vessel. Maintenance covers a daily allowance for room and board, and cure covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses. Unearned wages are also available under maintenance and cure. Unearned wages cover any compensation the worker would have received if the injury had not forced the worker to leave the vessel. Injured seamen are entitled to receive maintenance and cure until the time that no further treatment will help them recover.
The unseaworthiness doctrine provides that an injured seaman can recover damages if his or her injury was caused by an unseaworthy vessel. A vessel is unseaworthy if any part of the ship, its equipment, or crew is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose. Defective equipment or machinery, an understaffed crew, unsafe work practices, or damage to the vessel could all give rise to an unseaworthy condition. The vessel owner is responsible whether or not they were aware of the unseaworthy condition.
The Jones Act is a statutory remedy passed in the 1920s that allows seamen injured while working to sue for negligence damages if the employer failed to provide a safe working environment or use reasonable care to prevent injuries. Seamen can recover under the Jones Act even if the vessel was docked at the time of the accident. The Jones Act has a lower burden of proof than most personal injury claims. The crewman only needs to show that the employer’s negligence played some role, however slight, in causing the injury. Recovery under the Jones Act is limited to past and future loss of income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and disability.
Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal injury law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing Hammond 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.