Can Crabbers Sue Over Maritime Injuries?

Can Crabbers Sue Over Maritime Injuries?

Are you a commercial fisherman or crabber? If you are, you should know that there are various laws that protect you in the event of a maritime injury. These laws protect all commercial anglers, regardless of whether they are captains, mates, deck bosses, engineers, cooks or deck hands.

Keep in mind, the type of law that governs your injury claim may depend on where your injury took place and the type of work you were doing. In particular, the Jones Act allows for injured seamen to recover money if they were hurt on the job, if their employer’s negligence led to the injury.

What is Considered Negligence in a Maritime Claim?

Remember, an employer has a duty to make sure that you perform work in a reasonably safe environment, if you are a seamen. This means that they cannot place you at risk for harm or expose you to poor work conditions. Some examples of negligence that may come up during a maritime injury case include:

  • An incompetent crew (when the act of another employee injures a seamen)
  • improper procedures
  • Dangerous work conditions (defective or unsafe equipment, dangerous weather conditions leading to an accident,  or failing to maintain safety equipment)

If negligence was a cause of your injury,  you may also be able to file a lawsuit against your employer to obtain damages.  Speaking to a maritime injury attorney may be in your best interest, as he or she could determine how to best proceed with any claim.

Deadliest Catch Crabber Sues Over Firework Explosion Injuries

One injury case generating national headlines is that of commercial crabber David “Beaver” Zielinski, a former deckhand on the Time Bandit, which is featured on the show “Deadliest Catch”. In a lawsuit, Zielinski claims that a firework explosion on the vessel shattered his right hand and forearm in January 2013

Zielinski claims that the firework was a Time Bandit-brand device, and that the ship’s owners, Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand, marketed the fireworks on their television show. Zielinski reportedly claims that he lit the firework as part of a stunt for the television show, and that it was “unreasonably dangerous” for the owners to have large fireworks on the vessel.

An Attorney Can Help You Move Forward Following a Maritime Injury

While the case above is unusual in its nature, if you are ever injured in a maritime accident, your best option may be to speak to an attorney, as the laws are incredibly complex.

In the video above, attorney David Anderson explains the importance of legal representation in maritime law.

[Latti’s Little Extra: The U.S. Coast Guard limits how many pots can be carried on crab vessels to help prevent capsizing incidents.]

Latti & Anderson LLPNationwide Maritime Attorneys