When Unseaworthiness and Unsafe
Conditions Lead to Injury – Seattle, Washington Lawyers
To comply with federal maritime law, the owners of commercial boats and ships must provide a seaworthy vessel for their employees. If they fail to do so and a crew member is injured, the vessel's owner is responsible for paying damages to the injury victim.
At Beard, Stacey and Jacobsen, LLP, in Seattle, Washington, our lawyers are skilled at analyzing maritime injury claims to determine if unseaworthiness or unsafe conditions aboard the boat caused or contributed to a client's injuries.
What Is a Seaworthy Vessel?
Federal maritime law considers a boat seaworthy if it is reasonably fit to be used for its intended purpose. Is the vessel in good enough shape to accomplish its mission? Is the equipment adequately safe? Is it manned by a competent crew? If not, it may be found unseaworthy. Maritime law favors the injured seaman and the vessel owner and a seaman’s employer owes each crewman aboard the vessel a very high duty to protect the seaman from foreseeable and preventable injuries.
We carefully investigate each case to determine whether the owner violated any Coast Guard regulations by failing to properly maintain or equip the vessel. Noncompliance with Coast Guard regulations can cause a vessel to be considered unseaworthy.
The doctrine of unseaworthiness holds boat owners strictly liable for damages. That means injured seamen do not have to prove that their employers knew about the dangerous situation — only that it existed and caused serious harm.
The following conditions can render a boat unseaworthy:
- Undermanned boat
- Defective boat design
- Dangerous or defective tools or equipment
- Lack of training
- Inadequate or missing safety equipment
- Lack of safety guards on machinery
- Failure to comply with safety regulations
- Inadequate supervision
- Failure to provide proper tools
- Excessive working hours for crew
If you have been injured because of the unseaworthiness of a vessel, you can rely on the attorneys of Beard, Stacey and Jacobsen, LLP. Please contact us today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.