Bristol Bay Fishermen Injury Claims
Experienced Jones Act Lawyer – Millions Recovered for Alaska Commercial Fishermen
Maritime injury lawyer James Beard has been representing commercial fishermen injured working in Bristol Bay for nearly 30 years. He is one of the Northwest’s most experienced Jones Act lawyers and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for Alaska commercial fishermen.
Fishing in Bristol Bay has been described as a war zone. The fishing is fast paced in close quarters, and your entire season must be made in a few weeks. Your boat, captain and crew must all work together to ensure that no one suffers a serious injury. A moment’s negligence aboard a Bristol Bay gillnetter can result in a lifelong injury. The captain of a Bristol Bay boat should never place the value of getting a few more fish on board if it will risk his crew’s safety. A dream summer job can become a nightmare if the captain of your vessel is not safety conscious or if a fellow crewman is reckless.
When deckhands and crewman working on tenders and gillnetters in Bristol Bay are injured, they are entitled to benefits under Federal maritime law. In almost all cases, an injured fisherman is entitled to maintenance and cure benefits when he is injured. Cure is the cost of the reasonable and necessary medical expenses associated with treating your injuries. The employer is required under maritime law to pay your medical bills. They must pay your transportation home to the point of hire. If your injury prevents you from completing the fishing season, the employer must pay you the wages you would have earned under your contract. Injured seaman and fishermen are also entitled to maintenance payments while they are recovering from their injuries. Maintenance is a daily living allowance, now typically paid at $35-50 per day, until the injured crewman has reached maximum medical improvement or is able to return to work aboard his vessel doing his usual duties.
Your employer owes you a safe place to work on a Bristol Bay fishing vessel or tendering vessel. This duty includes the duty to provide you proper training and supervision, equipment that is in safe and proper repair, and to operate the vessel in a reasonable, safe and prudent manner to protect you from injury. The vessel owner owes you a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel. To be seaworthy, a vessel must be reasonably fit to do the assigned task, and there must be adequate crew and proper equipment. A piece of vessel equipment that fails under normal and expected use creates an unseaworthy condition.
If you are injured as a result of negligence or unseaworthiness, you have the right to compensatory damages for your injuries. This compensation includes damages for pain and suffering, lost past and future wages, lost wage earning capacity, and past and future medical bills.
All boats working in Bristol Bay should have insurance to provide benefits and compensation to crewmen when they are injured. If you have been seriously injured, don’t trust the insurance company to treat you fairly. They want to pay you as little compensation as possible for your injuries; that’s how all insurance companies make their money.
If you have questions about your rights to compensation following a Bristol Bay injury accident, contact maritime lawyer James Beard to discuss your claim at 1-800-621-1091. Beard is always on the side of the injured crewman and never represents the vessel owner or their insurance company. When Beard tells you that you have a good case, his opinion is based upon over 30 years of experience representing injured Alaska crewmen and Bristol Bay fishermen.