As a commercial fisherman, you can handle the physical labor, the 20-hour days, the foul weather and the time away from home. It’s part of the job. But you didn’t bargain for an unseaworthy fishing vessel, untrained crew or an employer who failed to focus on boat safety. Whether you have been injured in a fishing boat, a shrimping boat or a crab boat, as a Jones Act seaman you may have rights to compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., stand up for the hard-working fishermen and deckhands of commercial fishing boats, shrimping boats and crab boats that bring home the seafood that feeds our nation. When a serious fishing boat occurs, we are the Louisiana maritime law firm that commercial fishermen and marine workers across the Gulf turn to for help.
A serious head or back or hand injury can leave you unable to handle the physical demands of a fisherman for an extended period. You need to clearly understand your legal options to obtain full maintenance and cure benefits and compensation for a shrimp boat accident, a crab boat accident or a commercial fishing vessel accident.
It’s important to make the right call when seeking an experienced Jones Act attorney to represent you. If you contact Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P, you’ll find a law firm that puts the interest of injured maritime workers first.
Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive an initial consultation free from Mr. Gordon, Mr. Elias or Mr. Seely. We answer calls 24 hours a day. Contact us today. You’ll be glad you called us.
Shrimp Boat Accident Attorney
Louisiana’s commercial fishermen, shrimpers and crabbers are a hardy breed. Many Louisiana families have made a living on the water for generations. But commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous jobs you can have. The rate of injuries and deaths in commercial fishing accidents and shrimping accidents is many times higher than in other occupations. Commercial shrimpers in the Gulf of Mexico are involved in a high percentage of fatal accidents and serious injury accidents. Employers and other responsible third parties may be held accountable for a preventable accident.
If you are a commercial fisherman and have been injured while in the service of a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, you may have legal rights as a Jones Act seaman under federal law. Talk to a maritime attorney who thoroughly understands the Fishing Vessel Safety Act and how it applies to your accident if you were injured through the carelessness of a vessel owner or another crew member.
Fishing Boat Injury Lawyers in Louisiana
Louisiana’s most productive ports for commercial fishing include Intracoastal City, Venice, Golden Meadow and Leeville, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Commercial fishing, shrimping and crabbing in the Gulf of Mexico involves long hours, strenuous labor and harsh working conditions, including inclement weather and rough seas. As a commercial fisherman or shrimper, you’re ready to handle the physical demands of the job. But you rely on the vessel owner to provide a seaworthy boat with a trained crew and a competent captain. Unfortunately, many commercial fishing boat owners disregard crew safety until a serious injury or fatality occurs.
From 2000 to 2010, an average of 46 commercial fishermen and shrimpers died each year in the U.S., according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The death rate for commercial fishermen is 124 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to 4 deaths per 100,000 among all U.S. workers. The Gulf of Mexico is the location of some of the most dangerous fishing grounds, based on the number of fatalities.
More than half of all fishing vessel casualties occurred after a vessel disaster such as a sinking, capsizing, fire or vessel being struck by a large wave. Many occurred during severe weather. Falls overboard account for the second highest number of casualties. Causes of falls overboard include trips and slips, loss of balance and entanglement in gear.
Deckhands and mates can lose a finger or hand if it gets entangled in a line or other fishing gear. Slipping on a deck covered in oil or fish slime can cause a serious back injury or hip injury. Many commercial fishing accidents are avoidable if the vessel owner or operator focuses on safety and routine equipment maintenance.
Shrimp Boat Injury Lawyer in Louisiana
Louisiana’s shrimping industry includes both shrimpers that work the inshore waters and larger shrimping boats that harvest shrimp in deep water farther offshore. Productive shrimping fleets are based in the areas around Port Fourchon, Golden Meadow, Leeville, Morgan City, Venice and Lafayette.
Louisiana’s shrimpers landed 74 million pounds of shrimp in 2010, a significant portion of the total U.S. catch. Yet fatalities in the shrimping industry in the Gulf of Mexico make it the most hazardous fishery in the nation based on the overall number of fatalities. A total of 55 deaths were recorded on Gulf shrimping boats from 2000 to 2009, according to federal data.
Falls overboard accounted for a more than half of the deaths in shrimping boat accidents in the Gulf. Fishermen fell overboard after tripping or losing their balance. None of the shrimpers who died of a fall overboard was wearing a flotation device. Other injuries involve getting a limb caught in the heavy-duty winches that haul the nets and the fishing gear. Serious and fatal injuries may be prevented by installing emergency stop buttons on heavy duty winches.
After a serious injury on a commercial shrimping boat, you need a Louisiana maritime attorney who thoroughly understands the Fishing Vessel Safety Act and how it applies to your accident. You may be out of work for an extended period, but your employer is required to provide certain benefits under general maritime law. If you were injured through the carelessness of a vessel owner or another crew, you may be entitled to seek compensation under the Jones Act. A shrimp boat accident lawyer at Gordon, Elias and Seely, L.L.P., can help you receive full compensation after a serious fishing boat or shrimp boat injury.
Louisiana Crab Boat Injury Lawyer
Blue crabs support a substantial commercial fishery in the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana crabbers haul up more than 30 million pounds of crabs in a typical year, making Louisiana a leader among crab producing states.
But crabbing is dangerous work. Crew working aboard crab boats in the Gulf typically have legal rights as Jones Act seamen. Accidents may be caused by overloading a vessel with crab pots, a lack of maintenance to the boat or working in rough seas.
If you or a loved one was seriously injured through the carelessness of a crabbing boat owner or another crew, you may be entitled to seek compensation under the Jones Act and general maritime law. A crabbing boat lawyer at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., can make sure you receive full compensation after a serious fishing boat or crab boat injury.
Call A Louisiana Commercial Fishing Vessel Accident Lawyer
If you are a commercial fisherman, a shrimper, or a crabber or crew on a fish processing vessel and have been injured in the Gulf of Mexico, or if a loved one died in a commercial fishing accident, you may have legal rights under federal law. It’s critical to understand how the Jones Act and Fishing Vessel Safety Act apply to your accident. A Louisiana maritime lawyer at Gordon, Elias & Seely, L.L.P., will explain your options.
We are licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas. Call 800-773-6770 or fill out the online contact form to receive a free initial consultation. Mr. Gordon and Mr. Elias will be glad to answer your questions.