Walnut Creek Commercial Fishing Accident Lawyer
Many people are surprised to see commercial fishing at or near the top of those “most dangerous jobs” lists which appear from time to time. But small fishing boats are quite hazardous. Nets and pulleys are constantly going up and down. Furthermore, these vessels usually operate in the open sea, where weather is unpredictable and unsafe. Finally, if something does go wrong, a first aid station is usually the only available medical treatment.
The dedicated Walnut Creek commercial fishing accident lawyers at Venardi Zurada know that there is no such thing as a simple commercial fishing boat injury claim. So, we work hard to evaluate your case and build a solid, evidence-based damages claim.
Types of Fishing Accidents
During the busy season, many boats are out almost constantly. As a result, the crew members often suffer from various occupational diseases. These conditions develop over the course of more than one work shift.
Knee, joint, and other pain is a good example. The aforementioned equipment usually requires fishermen to do a lot of bending, stooping, and kneeling. These joints can only take so much ear and tear. After many months at sea, they start wearing out. These injuries often permanently restrict mobility.
Hearing loss is another example. The Port of San Francisco is one of the busiest, and noisiest, ports in the United States. Most fishermen wear no ear protection when they come and go. So, they are completely exposed to this hazard. Exposure to sounds as quiet as 35 decibels, which is basically the noise level in an elementary school cafeteria, could cause permanent hearing loss.
If caught early enough, this injury is not difficult to treat. However, once the hearing loss reaches an advanced stage, the only option is usually risky and invasive ear surgery.
Trauma injuries, mostly falls, are a danger as well. Even the most experienced seamen could easily slip and fall on a wet deck that is pitching and rolling. Common fall injuries include broken bones and head injuries.
Your Legal Options
If the vessel was at sea when the injury happened, the Jones Act usually applies. Under this law, “seamen” are people who spend at least 30 percent of their professional time aboard an oceangoing or other vessel. Compensation is usually available if the ship owner’s negligence contributed to the injury in any way.
Assume that, during a period of heavy seas, Sam slips on a grease spot on deck. Most likely, the heavy seas substantially caused Sam to lose his balance. But if the grease spot contributed to the injury in any way, the Jones Act applies.
This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The DOHSA (Death on High Seas Act) usually applies in fatal accident cases. The type of available compensation is basically the same. Additional losses include items like lost future emotional support and lost future financial support. However, the burden of proof is a bit higher in these claims. So, our Walnut Creek commercial fishing accident lawyers always thoroughly evaluate your case.
California law, such as negligence or workers’ compensation, could apply in some situations as well.
Connect with a Hard-Hitting Alameda County Attorney
Injury victims are normally entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced commercial fishing accident lawyer in Walnut Creek, contact Venardi Zurada, LLP. Home, virtual, and hospital visits are available.