A maritime lawyer, also known as an admiralty attorney, is a lawyer that specializes in legal cases involving vessels and maritime accidents on or near the water. Maritime accidents often result in injury or death to commercial mariners, passengers and others working around vessels. A maritime personal injury lawyer can help injury victims or surviving family members seek justice through monetary compensation.
A salty maritime attorney can help your case in many ways, including:
Investigating the facts of the case by interviewing witnesses and identifying evidence
Performing legal research on discrete issue of law relating to your case
Draft documents to communicate with insurance interests, the defendant, and the court
Arguing your case during motion practice and trial
Ship officers are special class of Merchant Mariners. They are typically well-educated and heavily credentialed in the safe operation of commercial vessels. The captain of a ship is in charge of everything that goes on aboard. Under the captain are the Deck Department and the Engine Department. The leader of the Deck Department is the Chief Mate—the second in command of the ship. The Chief Mate is often assisted by other deck officers like the second mate, third mate, and deck cadet. The leader of the Engine Department is the Chief Engineer who may be assisted by a second engineer and a third engineer. All of these ranks are officers. There are many non-officer positions aboard a ship as well. The officers are the leaders.
Ship officers still regularly face risks and hazards as part of their jobs on a vessel. Engineers may be faced with defective electrical equipment, loud noises, engine room fires, chemical spills, toxic fumes, and crushing hazards. Deck officers can be exposed to shifting cargo, failed cranes, slippery conditions, airborne toxins, falling from great heights, and going overboard.
All ship officers can be injured in accidents involving:
Slips, trip, and falls
Inadequate safety equipment
Working without adequate rest periods
Defective stairs and railing
Injuries resulting from these shipboard safety issues can vary widely.
Traumatic brain injuries
Many of these injuries can be career ending. Others may result in wrongful death of a mariner. In most instances, severe injuries and deaths were avoidable.
Mariner Law, PLLC has experience representing injured officers against vessel owners. Ship officers may be entitled to maintenance, cure, and unearned wages benefits after being injured or turning ill on a ship. These benefits are available without fault of the vessel owner or maritime employer. If the vessel owner or maritime employer is guilty of negligence or allowing unsafe conditions to exist onboard, they may be liable to the ship officer for additional forms of money damages under the Jones Act and the doctrine of unseaworthiness in maritime law. These are complex areas of law that Mariner Law, PLLC regularly deals with as part of its practice.
Ship officers put a lot of effort, time, energy, and financial resources into their careers. Yet a maritime injury can take them off the job in an instant. Make sure you know your rights under the law. Contact a maritime lawyer at Mariner Law, PLLC to ensure that your interests and your future are protected. Consultation is free: (253) 600-2531. The firm proudly serves mariner clients in Washington, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and nationwide.