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What Makes a Ship Unseaworthy?

  • Seamen who are injured at work aren’t able to obtain your run-of-the-mill workers compensation benefits. Instead, seamen who suffer an injury are only able to recover damages under the Jones Act and federal maritime law. Continue reading to learn more about the Jones Act and maritime law as it applies to damages for injured seamen.


    Negligence and the Jones Act

    The Jones Act is a federal law that allows injured seamen to bring a lawsuit against their negligent employer to recover damages. The Jones Act explicitly states that it is up to the maritime employer to provide a safe work environment for their seamen at all times.

    Even the slightest unsafe condition can be grounds for a seaman to sue their employer. It doesn’t matter how little the unsafe conditions might have contributed to the cause of the seamen’s injury; as long as the employer’s negligence contributed at all, they can be brought to court for damages.


    A Ship’s Unseaworthiness

    In conjunction with the Jones Act and related damages, you have federal maritime law. In order for an injured seaman to pursue a claim under maritime law, the seaman will need to establish that a vessel is unseaworthy.

    A seaworthy ship will provide a safe work environment, function correctly, and have the necessary equipment for its seamen to work with. If the ship is even remotely unsafe, it will be considered unseaworthy.

    For example, if the vessel’s engine breaks down and the ship’s owner wants to save money by holding off on the repairs but the seamen continue work and are subsequently injured, then an injured seaman can file a claim against the ship’s owner.

    Maritime law and the Jones Act can be quite complex. When you aren’t sure if the ship you were working on was unseaworthy, a New Orleans offshore injury lawyer will be able to review the details of your case to ascertain whether or not you can secure compensation through both laws.


    Reach out to a New Orleans Offshore Injury Lawyer

    If you are a seaman who has suffered an injury while working on a vessel, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Speak with a knowledgeable New Orleans offshore injury lawyer at Braud & Gallagher to schedule your free case review today. You can schedule yours by visiting our website or by giving our office a call at 1-800-256-5674.