Cruise Ship / Yacht / Crewmembers / Seamen Claims

Accidents on Vessels are Common And Often Unreported

Cruise ship, and yacht crewmembers are involved in accidents on a regular basis. Because of a seaman’s fear of losing his job or facing reprisal for reporting an accident, injuries are not always reported. Even if injuries are reported, sometimes too much time elapses between the injury and the claim, leaving the crewmember with extremely limited options, or no options at all, for recovery.

Injured Seamen and Medical Care

Cruise ship and yacht crewmembers don’t always receive the medical care or compensation they deserve for shipboard-related injuries, but they are entitled to seek legal help from a maritime lawyer as soon as an incident occurs.

Seafarers who are injured or become ill while in service of their vessel have the right under maritime law to receive medical care, food, and shelter.  Maintenance and cure are a basic right of the seaman.

The Jones Act

Under the Jones Act, when applicable, certain protections apply to seamen with various connections to maritime work and vessels.  Some cruise ship crewmembers are covered by the Jones Act and if so are entitled to bring a negligence claim against their employers.  For example, professional seamen on yachts can be considered seamen entitled to Jones Act remedies and the remedies of maintenance and cure if they meet the tests of their duties contributing to the function of the vessel and the employment is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature.

Workers on floating casinos may or may not be seamen depending in part on the regularity of the navigation of the vessel.

Seaman’s claims encompass the rights of seamen aboard any type of vessel. To be considered a “seaman,” the worker must aid in the navigation of the vessel or contribute to the mission of the vessel. For example, entertainers aboard cruise ships are considered seamen because they aid in the mission of the vessel – which is to provide cruise vacations. Also, the worker must spend a significant amount (generally 30% or more) of his or her time working on a vessel, rather than on land.

If work is ashore and a “vessel” is not involved, it is unlikely that the worker will be considered a seaman.  However, a non-seaman worker performing traditional seaman’s work might also be considered a seaman for the purposes of the law.

Determining Jones Act seaman status, jurisdiction and venue are crucial first steps in deciding the nature and extent of an injured worker’s rights under the law.  The initial inquiry is whether the cruise ship, yacht or casino crewmembers are seamen and what law is applicable to their claims.  At Clark & Zedella we have sorted out these complicated issues for cruise ship, yacht and casino crew and seamen for decades.

If the Jones Act is applicable to the maritime worker, a seaman injured in the course of employment can bring a lawsuit against his or her employer. Our Jones Act law firm has represented many seamen and maritime employees who were injured or suffered death while working on vessels and watercraft of every kind, including cruise ships, yachts, cargo ships, tug boats, and barges.

Seafarer Damages in General

Generally, all seafarers have rights under maritime laws to:

Further, a seaman who becomes ill or injured while in the service of a vessel due to the fault of the seaman’s employer, is entitled to compensation for the seaman’s injuries, future lost wages, loss of earning capacity and pain and suffering.

If you have become ill or have suffered an injury while working onboard a vessel, including a cruise ship, yacht or floating casino (or on land while in the service of a vessel) a maritime attorney at our firm will consult with you and help you recover the maximum compensation to which you are entitled under the law.

Admiralty, Maritime and Boating Accident Specialists

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