Under general maritime law, a vessel owner has an absolute duty to provide a seaworthy vessel to its crew members. The ship owner is responsible for a vessel’s unseaworthiness, whether the owner is the injured seaman’s employer or a third party, regardless of whether the owner was negligent.
A vessel is unseaworthy if the vessel’s owner fails to provide a vessel, including her equipment and crew, which is reasonably fit and safe for the purpose of intended use. Unseaworthiness may arise from a variety of conditions, such as defective gear, a cluttered deck, disrepair or an unfit crew. Also, an inadequate, understaffed or ill-trained crew may make a vessel unseaworthy. An unsafe work method or unsafe procedures on a vessel can render a vessel unseaworthy. Failure by a ship owner to provide adequate equipment for the performance of an assigned task also makes a vessel unseaworthy.
In order for an injured party to recover under the theory of unseaworthiness of a vessel, he needs to establish a causal connection between his injuries and the breach of duty that rendered the vessel unseaworthy. In other words, the seaman is required to prove that the unseaworthy condition played a substantial part in causing the injury and the injury was a direct result or a reasonably probable consequence of the unseaworthiness.
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of a vessel that was unseaworthy it is important that you contact a Jones Act Lawyer. Our lawyers have the required expertise to determine whether the vessel you were working on was unseaworthy. Contact Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C. today to speak to an experienced Jones Act Lawyer.