What Is An Unseaworthiness Claim?
When seamen become injured while working aboard a vessel, the general maritime law provides them with basic rights.
If a seaman’s injuries were the result of unsafe conditions aboard the vessel, the general maritime law allows the injured seaman to recover for personal injuries caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel.
What Is An Unseaworthy Vessel?
Under the Doctrine of Unseaworthiness, a ship’s owner has a duty to provide a seaworthy vessel for their crew and passengers.
A vessel is considered to be seaworthy when all of its parts and equipment are reasonably fit for their intended purpose and the vessel is operated by a reasonably adequate crew that is adequately trained for their assigned work. A vessel that is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose and/or operated by a crew that is not reasonably adequate or competent to perform its assigned work is considered to be unseaworthy.
What Are Some Of The Conditions That Make A Vessel Unseaworthy?
Vessel owners must provide members of the crew with a seaworthy vessel, i.e., a safe place to work. When they fail to do so, accidents can happen which can result in serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, internal organ injuries, burns, disfigurement, amputations, crush injuries, and nerve damage, to name just a few.
Some of the unsafe conditions that make a vessel unseaworthy are:
- Slip and trip hazards
- Improperly maintained tools and equipment
- Inadequately trained crew
- Insufficient crew for the vessel’s intended purpose
- Insufficient supervision
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Poorly maintained steps and railings
- Unsafe gangways
- Lack of proper warning signs
- Improperly stowed cargoes
- Electrical hazards
- Poor ventilation
Don’t Wait Too Long To File An Unseaworthiness Claim
Filing an unseaworthiness claim can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a background in maritime or admiralty law. To get the total compensation you deserve for your injuries, you need the representation of an experienced maritime injury lawyer. Don’t wait too long to take action — you only have three years from the date of your injuries in which to file an unseaworthiness claim. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the better.
Speak To The New Orleans Maritime Lawyers At Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC
Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC has a well-earned reputation for being one of the finest maritime and admiralty law litigation firms in the country. Our Louisiana maritime lawyers have played a crucial role in many of the most important maritime cases in the last 40 years – including those that defined the requirements for a person and a vessel to be governed by the Jones Act, determined the elements of recoverable damages under the general maritime law, and defined the availability of punitive damages to Jones Act seamen.
You can contact the law offices of Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, LLC through our website, or call us at (800) 960-1526 to schedule a free initial consultation. We are headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, but serve clients all over the Gulf Coast and across the U.S.