For maritime workers, boarding and disembarking a vessel is almost second nature. In some instance, gangways and ladders will provided to the crew to go back and forth between the vessel; but in many instances no means is provided to the crew.
Under maritime law, vessel owners are required to provide workers with a reasonably safe place to work and that includes a safe manner to go to and from the fishing vessel. In fact, depending on the vessel, there are statutes/regulations that require a boat owner or employer to provide a ladder or gangway for boarding and disembarking their ship. If a maritime accident is the result of a vessel owner or employer failing to maintain a reasonably safe means for getting on or off a ship, then the owner could be held accountable under negligence or unseaworthiness.
Maritime law is not as clear on the responsibility of a dock owner in a similar situation. However, often in cases where someone has an accident or is injured on a dock, wharf or pier, the property owner can be held responsible under state law.
In fact, according to WorkBoat, in a recent First Circuit Court of Appeals case out of Massachusetts, the court recognized that in a fatal accident involving a fisherman who slipped and fell on an icy area of a dock, the owner and leaseholder of the pier could be held responsible.
Free Confidential Consultation with a Lawyer Today
As maritime attorney Carolyn Latti explains in the video below, because a vessel or property owner’s insurance company will begin conducting a thorough investigation immediately following an accident, it is very important that you talk to an experienced maritime trial lawyer as soon as you can.
The sooner our attorneys can begin investigating the vessel or dock and speaking with witnesses, the better we can represent your interests against the insurance company. To learn more about shipyard, dock and pier accidents and injuries or to discuss your situation with a qualified attorney, call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys