Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Homer, Alaska
Homer, Alaska, nicknamed the “Halibut Fishing Capital of the World,” is located on Kachemak Bay on the southwest side of Kenai Peninsula 200 miles southwest of Anchorage. The city is the farthest point on the Sterling Highway, the state’s highway system. Homer’s port facilities are located on the Homer Spit, a 4.5 mile natural finger of land that extends into the Kachemak Bay. Commercial fishing, along with sport fishing and tourism, is the foundation of Homer’s economy and several species of salmon, halibut and other catches are fished in its waters.
Although commercial fishing and shipping in Homer, AK has gotten more sophisticated over time with better safety equipment and navigation technology, it is still incredibly dangerous job. If you were injured on a commercial fishing or shipping vessel, it is important that you speak to an experienced maritime lawyer to understand what you may be entitled to. Due to the unique dangers faced by seamen, the law offers different protections for workers who were injured at sea. Generally, injured workers in other industries are eligible for workers compensation, but injured seamen may pursue compensation and/or damages through general maritime law or the Jones Act.
If you were injured at sea, you are most likely entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under general maritime law. These benefits are available no matter the cause of the injury or who was at fault. Maintenance benefits refers to a daily living allowance that must be paid while you are recovering from your injury. Cure benefits refers to medical expenses that must be covered by your employer. Covered medical expenses include expenses like: doctors bills, physical therapy, prosthetic devices, medications, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs, and pain management treatment.
Sometimes maritime employers and insurance companies, looking to save on expenses, will withhold medical or maintenance benefits. If it is determined that the benefits were willfully and wantonly withheld, you may be entitled to punitive damages.
If your employers negligence played a role in your injury, you may be entitled to recover under the Jones Act. If you were injured, you should not except blame or simply try to guess whether or not your employer was negligent. Instead, you should be sure to contact an experienced attorney. There are many ways that an employer could be negligent. For example, an employer could be negligent for failing to providing a safe place to work or failing to provide adequate safety training. In addition to the maintenance and cure benefits, under the Jones Act an injured worker may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost wages, future lost wage earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and future medical expenses.
Maritime law is complex and it is important that you find an experienced maritime attorney to represent you and help get you the compensation and/or damages that you deserve. The attorneys at Kraft Davies are experienced in representing injured Alaskan seamen against vessel owners, maritime employers, and maritime insurance companies. Contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through our website.