San Francisco and Oakland maritime attorneys Fiore Achermann represent Jones Act seamen and commercial fisherman throughout California — from Crescent City to San Diego.
We handle cases involving crew member personal injury and wrongful death under the Jones Act, General Maritime Law and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA).
Working on container ships, commercial fishing vessels, yachts, San Francisco Bay Area ferries or other vessels in navigable waters is dangerous work and accident happen — all too frequently.
A Jones Act seaman or woman, deckhand, engineer, cook or steward is entitled to compensation for injuries that occur due to negligence or lack of seaworthiness. Compensation generally includes past and future lost wages, unearned wages, maintenance and cure, found, past and future medical costs along with past and future pain and suffering, and under certain circumstances, punitive damages.
Pursuing a claim against your employer and the owner or operator of a vessel can have its challenges. Fiore Achermann has answers to legal questions involving navigable waters, how and when a claim should be made and where a lawsuit should be filed, and most importantly, what constitutes Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness: from inadequate crew, inadequate training or supervision, improper orders, lack of adequate personal protection and safety equipment to defects in equipment and improper maintenance.
Maintenance and Cure CLAIMS
If you are unsure whether you are entitled to maintenance (a daily sustenance allowance) or cure (medical treatment), the attorneys at Fiore Achermann can help ensure you receive maintenance and cure until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement or Maximum Cure. An injured or ill crew member is entitled to maintenance and cure regardless of fault or whether there is negligence or unseaworthiness.
Jennifer Fiore has been practicing maritime law since 1999 and has been holding Jones Act employers and vessel owners accountable for providing maintenance and cure benefits ever since.
LONGSHORE THIRD-PARTY CLAIMS
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) was implemented to compensate longshoreman and shore based workers who are hurt on the job due, in whole or part, to the negligence of third parties, not their employers. Potential responsible third parties involved in a work place accident include vessel owners and operators, port authorities, manufacturers, distributors and sellers of defective or dangerous products, equipment repairers and contractors.
A Section 905(b) lawsuit is allowed for "negligence of a vessel" that the worker was working on or "in connection with,” while a Section 933 lawsuit is allowed against other nonemployers on the work site.
Third-party claims generally help injured maritime workers, such as crane operators, dock workers, harbor workers, longshoremen or women, port workers, shipbuilders and repairers, and marine construction workers procure additional compensation in addition to their standard LHWCA benefits, like pain and suffering and punitive damages.
Maritime accidents caused by third parties happen for many reasons. Fiore Achermann knows how to handle third party claims. To name a few — malfunctioning or defective equipment, cranes, forklifts, handlers and tractors, electrical hazards, fall hazards, poorly maintained vessels and vehicles and unsafe docks, ports and harbors.
PASSENGER & BOATING INJURIES
If you were injured as a passenger on a cruise ship, ferry or small boat, you may have a negligence claim under maritime law for your personal injuries and damages. Owners and operators are usually responsible for accidents that occur while you are on board their vessel, and during ingress and egress (embarking and disembarking). From unsafe walkways and stairs, food poisoning and assaults by crew members or fellow passengers, you need to know your legal rights. There is usually a limited time to act printed on passenger tickets and contracts of carriage. You should consult with maritime attorneys Jennifer Fiore and Sophia Achermann at once.
Recreational boating accidents occur frequently in navigable waters and inland waterways throughout the San Francisco Bay and California on small boats and personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis. Many crashes and injuries are caused by operator negligence, drunk driving, poorly-maintained equipment or distributors and sellers of dangerous products.
Working with investigators and experts, the San Francisco and Oakland based law firm of Fiore Achermann can help determine the cause of the accident and hold the negligent parties responsible and work to get the compensation you deserve.