Over 80 Combined Years Of Maritime Law Experience

Recovering lost wages after a fishing accident

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Maritime Claims

Commercial fishermen put their lives at risk every time they go out on the boat. Due the dangerous nature of their work, many Seattle fishermen are involved in accidents that result in serious injuries that keep them out of work for days at a time.

While they are out of work, they may have a difficult time supporting their families and paying their bills. Fortunately, injured fishermen and other seamen who are unable to work due to accident-related injuries may be able to recover compensation for lost wages.

How much can a fisherman recover in lost wages?

Fishermen are entitled to a certain amount in wages under their employment contracts. Under federal maritime injury law, if the fisherman is injured on a voyage or during the fishing season, they will be entitled to:

  • Wages they earned prior to the injury.
  • Unearned wages or wages they would have earned if they had made it to the end of the voyage or season, minus the amount they already received prior to the injury.

If the fisherman was injured in an accident that was caused by another party’s negligence, they may recover damages to cover lost wages, past and future, and loss of earning capacity under the Jones Act and unseaworthiness doctrine. Common forms of negligence include:

  • Failure to provide a safe working environment.
  • Failure to properly maintain equipment.
  • Failure to provide proper supervision.
  • Failure to provide necessary safety gear.
  • Failure to repair dangerous conditions on vessel.

Additionally, a fisherman or other seaman may be able to recover maintenance and cure for the cost of the room and board they would have gotten if they had not suffered an injury.

Fishermen and other seamen who have suffered injuries may be entitled to the above damages, as well as several other types of compensation, depending on the nature of their accident.