When Unseaworthy Vessels Cause Maritime Injuries

Maritime workers are generally entitled to expect that the vessels on which they work are "seaworthy;" meaning that they are suitable and safe for use at sea (and other bodies of water).

When unseaworthy vessels cause maritime injuries, injured workers can be entitled to compensation for their injuries and losses.

At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, our attorneys are skilled at helping injured maritime workers determine and prove when unseaworthy vessels have caused or contributed to their injuries. Knowledgeable and dedicated to protecting our clients' rights and interests, our lawyers can help injured maritime workers:

  • Effectively stand up to negligent shipowners, employers and other parties
  • Pursue the justice and recovery they deserve so they can concentrate on restoring their life.

The Unseaworthiness Doctrine

According to U.S. maritime laws, unseaworthiness describes a ship (or other watercraft) that cannot safely perform its intended function due to some problem or issue with:

  • The design of the vessel
  • The maintenance of the vessel
  • The equipment on the vessel
  • The crew working on/operating the vessel.

With the unseaworthiness doctrine, it's also important to understand that:

  • A vessel can be considered to be unseaworthy even it can be navigated or sailed without a risk of sinking.
  • Recovering damages under this doctrine generally requires proving that some aspect of the vessel (which can include its equipment and crew) was unseaworthy — and that this unseaworthy aspect caused or contributed to a worker's injuries.

Unseaworthy Claims And Recoveries

Unseaworthiness claims for maritime workers are generally related to the setting of the vessel and/or the crew working on the vessel. Some specific examples of unseaworthiness claims include (and are by no means exclusive to):

  • Failing to maintain equipment or fixtures aboard vessels
  • Using inherently defective or dangerous equipment or fixtures on vessels
  • Failing to provide safety features or safety equipment on vessels
  • Failing to warn about dangerous areas or equipment on vessels
  • Failing to comply with essential safety protocols
  • Failing to hire sufficient crew members and/or properly train the crew
  • Forcing crew members to work excessive hours
  • Failing to provide adequate supervision for crew members.

When unseaworthiness claims are successful, injured maritime workers can recover damages that include (and may not be limited to):

  • Lost wages
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physical and mental suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disability
  • Funeral and burial costs

We Are Here To Help You

Do not hesitate to find out whether your injury case has merit. Call Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, at 337-513-4436 or contact us online today. Our office is in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but we are prepared to help clients throughout the state.