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Work On An Alaskan Factory Trawler Can Often Be Risky Business

This time of year can be remarkably busy for the many Alaskan fishermen that work on factory trawlers, particularly those employed in the business of fishing for pollock. Unfortunately, though, while this period tends to be a very lucrative time for those in the industry, the jobs associated with working on Alaskan factory trawlers are not without dangers - especially for fishermen, processors and deckhands.

Indeed, there are countless hazards present on factory trawlers that fishermen and processors must contend with on a daily basis. The risks related to this line of work are often tied to the working conditions themselves, which not only include dealing with dangerous processing equipment and nets but also long stressful hours. Sadly, however, even the most safety-conscious of fishermen can suffer an injury while working on an Alaskan fishing vessel no matter how many precautions are taken. Some of the injuries common for fishermen include:

  • Neck and back injuries
  • Severed limbs
  • Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to paralysis
  • Brain injuries
  • Hypothermia
  • Electrical and burn injuries
  • Drowning
Remedies may be Available if Injured on an Alaskan Trawler

Importantly, there may be several avenues of recourse available to fishermen injured on an Alaskan trawler. For instance, workers may be entitled to medical cure under maritime law for their injuries, which can include medical and surgical care as well as the cost of travel for treatment, and may last for as long as the process of recovery may require. Additionally, injured workers may be able to collect maintenance - a daily amount for food and lodging while receiving medical treatment - and unearned wages.

Alternatively, under maritime law and the Jones Act, a fisherman's employer may also be liable for any injuries caused by the negligent acts of one of his or her employees. Moreover, a shipowner may be held accountable should he or she fail to maintain the ship in a seaworthy condition - including the decks, passageways, tools and equipment on the ship - and this failure leads to an employee's injury.

Ultimately, the law surrounding fishermen injuries on Alaskan factory trawlers can be quite complex and difficult to comprehend, which is why it is often best to seek the counsel of an experienced maritime attorney if you are a victim of a fishing vessel accident. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help explain your rights and options and assist in investigating the cause of, and potential liability for, your injury.