Oakland Commercial Fishing Accident Lawyer
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. The fatality rate for commercial fishing is 29 times higher than the national average for other industries. Almost half of commercial fishermen deaths occurred after a vessel disaster. Fishermen put themselves at risk of severe injury or death on a daily basis in order to provide the fish for our markets and restaurants.
Whether you are a deckhand, captain, processor, or engineer, if you were injured while working on a commercial fishing vessel, you might be entitled to compensation. The Oakland commercial fishing accident attorneys at Venardi Zurada are here to help. Legal claims resulting from injuries sustained aboard a commercial vessel on navigable waters are based upon the Jones Act, which is much more generous than workers’ compensation. We understand the dangerous nature of your job, and we have significant experience representing injured workers in Jones Act and general maritime accident claims. We represent trollers, crabbers, lobstermen, workers aboard clam and scallop boats, longliners, swordfish and tuna fishermen, processing vessels, shrimpers, and all other types of commercial fisherman.
Recovering Damages After a Fishing Injury
If you were hurt while working aboard a commercial fishing boat, you might be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Because commercial fishermen work off the coast or on navigable waters, they are not protected by state workers’ compensation laws. They are also not bound by workers’ comp limitations. Instead, injured fishermen can bring a negligence lawsuit against their employers and other parties through a Jones Act claim.
Under the terms of the Jones Act, a seaman (meaning anyone who works aboard a water vessel that operates on navigable waters) who is injured while working aboard a vessel can bring a lawsuit against their employer or other responsible parties. The injured worker must demonstrate that their employer or other party acted negligently in a manner that caused the accident. Injured workers can recover a variety of damages, including past and future lost wages, past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life enjoyment, emotional distress, and others. Discuss your accident with a knowledgeable Oakland commercial fisherman injury lawyer to evaluate the types of damages to which you may be entitled in a Jones Act lawsuit.
Types of Commercial Fishing Accidents
Commercial fishing is extremely dangerous and poses many risks. A variety of accidents and injuries can occur aboard a commercial fishing vessel. Some of the more common accidents and incidents that may occur include the following:
- Crane and winch failures
- Limbs caught in machinery, netting, cables, or rigging
- Cable and line bites
- Slips, trips, and falls on slippery decks, ladders, and gangways
- Hands and fingers crushed in machinery or due to improperly secured portholes and hatches
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Ignoring hazardous weather and other dangerous conditions
- Falling through open hatches
- Improper operation of machinery by a captain, crew member, or contractor
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost half of all of the commercial fishermen who were killed on the job died after a vessel disaster. Another 30 percent of the fatalities occurred when a fisherman fell overboard, 12 percent died from injuries sustained onboard the vessel, and the remaining nine percent died while diving or as a result of other onshore injuries.
Whatever the nature of your accident, if you were hurt in your capacity as a commercial fisherman, you could be entitled to compensation. A seasoned Oakland commercial fishing accident attorney at Venardi Zurada can help you build a strong case for recovery and work to maximize your available damages.
Experienced Maritime Accident Lawyers Serving Injured Commercial Fisherman
If you or someone you love has been hurt while working in commercial fishing off the California coast or anywhere in the Bay Area, reach out to the Oakland maritime attorneys at Venardi Zurada, LLP, to fight for the compensation you are owed. Our seasoned admiralty and maritime law attorneys have years of dedicated maritime law practice, as well as a personal history living and working aboard water vessels. We are ready to bring that unique combination of expertise to bear in helping you recover after your commercial fishing injury. Call 925-937-3900 or contact us online for a free consultation.