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December 9th, 2009

Texas Shrimper Seriously Injured in Fishing Vessel Accident

A Port Isabel shrimper has been seriously injured in an accident on a fishing vessel just off the coast of the Louisiana.

The shrimper was left with scalp injuries, and had a portion of his scalp ripped off. Making things worse for Gerard Garcia is that he is in the county illegally, and faces mounting hospital bills. In an interview to KRGV, Garcia says he doesn’t expect the government to foot his medical bills, but he does expect Zinco Marine, his employer, to pay his medical expenses.

Garcia requires surgery and skin grafts to heal his scalp. Zinco Marine representatives have told KRGV that they will cover his medical expenses.

As a seaman, Garcia should not have to worry about his medical expenses after an injury. These expenses will come under a seaman’s cure rights that will begin as soon as the injury occurs. Under cure rights, a seaman is eligible for expenses to cover his medical bills which include

  • Hospital expenses
  • Doctor’s fees
  • Cost of prescription drugs
  • Surgeries
  • Physical therapy

If the seaman qualifies as a Jones Act seaman, he has other additional avenues for recovery. If his injury occurred because of the employer’s negligence, then he is eligible for a claim of negligence under the Jones Act. Besides, if a maritime attorney can prove an injury occurred because of unseaworthy conditions on the vessel, the seaman may also file a claim of unseaworthiness along with his Jones Act claim of negligence.

As maritime lawyers, we are continually  impressed with how the Jones Act protects seamen, guarantees them a fair allowance for their daily expenses while they are injured, provides for medical treatment expenses, as well as additional options for recovery in case of negligence or unseaworthiness. It’s how the law protects those who work in unbelievably difficult conditions, often at high risk of injury and death.

For a free evaluation of your offshore injury claims, please e-mail us at info@smslegal.com. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers

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