Vessel owners, by law, must provide a “seaworthy vessel” that is suitable for it’s intended use. An unseaworthiness claim arises when an injury is caused by the conditions of the vessel itself. An unsafe condition may include defective equipment, lack of proper safety equipment, and even untrained or incompetent crew members.
Conditions that may be Considered “Unseaworthy”
- worn out, malfunctioning, or poorly maintained machinery and equipment
- lack of appropriate safety equipment life jackets, life rafts, fire extinguishers, etc.
- lack of proper safety and warning signs
- Lack or unsafe exits between the vessel and shore
- Trip, slip, and fall hazards such as ropes left in walkways, or oil on decks
- Too few crew members to perform tasks safely
- Untrained or incompetent crew members
- Insufficient supervision
The Jones Act
The Jones Act allows for injured employees to seek compensation from their employers for injuries sustained on the water. As well, the Jones Act permits those who have been injured to file an unseaworthiness claim (if applicable) against the owner of the vessel, too. Whether or not it’s the employer’s fault or the vessel owner’s fault, an employee may be able to seek redress against either one under the Jones Act.
Shipping and other sea-based jobs can be very dangerous. Sadly, some vessel owners and employers do not take care to ensure that their working conditions are safe for all their employees. The fact is, those in charge of a ship have a responsibility to make sure that the possibility for injuries is minimized on a vessel.
Contact Maritime Lawyer Richard Serpe
An experienced maritime lawyer can help you get the results, the settlement and the financial compensation you deserve for your long term care.
- Master of Laws in Maritime: After law school, Richard Serpe obtained a Master of Laws in Admiralty law from Tulane University School of Law.
- Proctor of Admiralty: He has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
- Jones Act Case Success: He has successfully prosecuted cases under the Jones Act, bringing fair and just compensation to those who were injured while performing their duties.
- Protecting Injured Seamen: Richard Serpe has years of experience in protecting the rights of injured seamen. He knows how the insurers of commercial vessels will do everything they can to minimize their financial liability, even if it is at the expense of decent treatment for the injured.
- Protecting Families: Richard Serpe has successfully settled cases for recreational boating victims that resulted in the death of a loved one by a maritime vessel.