According to the International Maritime Pilots Association, a ship pilot was killed recently during a fall accident on a vessel. The 58-year-old pilot was on a vessel that was sailing on the River Elbe. At the time of the accident, the pilot was attempting to board the boat. He had been standing on a ladder, when he slipped and fell into the water.
Other crew members were able to jump into the water, and retrieve him. By the time he was brought out of the water, he was in an unconscious state. Efforts were made to resuscitate him, and he was rushed to the hospital, but he died later.
Many maritime workers will be covered under a section of Maritime/Admiralty law called the Jones Act. Also called the Merchant Marine Act, the Jones Act covers workers who meet the standard criteria for Jones Act seamen.
Broadly, these workers must be assigned to a vessel in navigation, and must have a substantial relationship with the vessel. Workers covered under the Jones Act may be eligible for benefits that include maintenance and cure, as well as the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer or the vessel owner if the injury was caused by negligence. For instance, a seaman may file an unseaworthiness lawsuit when the injury has been caused by poor working conditions on the vessel.
Determination of a person’s status under the Jones Act is crucial to your case, because workers covered under this act may be eligible for much higher damages than available to persons under other Maritime laws.
The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent injured maritime workers covered under the Jones Act.