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Commercial Fisherman Accident Lawyer

Commercial Fisherman Accident Lawyer

Commercial Fisherman Accident Claims and Wrongful Commercial Fishing Injury Attorney

Recreational fishing is a harmless, gentle pastime, but the fact is that commercial fishing—whether for tuna, lobster, or any other denizens of the sea—is one of the world’s most hazardous occupations. Commercial fishermen ply their trade in fair as well as foul weather, and often stay out at sea for days, or even weeks, at a time. 

What’s more, catching big fish like tuna requires the use of equally sizable fishing equipment, both to reel the fish in and to hoist it on board; crew members can easily be injured by snapping lines or wildly swinging winches.

With that said, though, the main hazard facing commercial fishermen is the same one that has afflicted sailors for thousands of years—drowning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 500 commercial fisherman died  in the U.S. between 2000 and 2009, most of them due to drowning (after diving, tripping, losing their balance, falling overboard after an accident, or being swept overboard by a large wave, among other causes).

Many of these deaths could have been prevented if crew members had been equipped with personal flotation devices; the CDC also recommends regular safety drills and ship inspections, and urges ships’ captains to pay more attention to hazardous weather and fishing conditions. 

To put these numbers into perspective, between 1992 and 2009, the fatality rate for fishermen was 128 deaths per 100,000 workers, compared to 4 deaths per 100,000 workers for U.S. workers as a whole.

Fishing Boat Owner Responsibilities

Although there are certain unavoidable risks connected with working on a commercial fishing vessel, not all maritime injuries and fatalities can be chalked up to accidents.  Fishing boat owners have an ethical responsibility to outfit their crews with the necessary safety gear, including flotation devices, and captains should not make reckless decisions that adversely affect the health and well-being of their crew.   In addition, fishing-boat crews should be well rested, and workers should not be compelled to put in unnecessarily long shifts, where severe fatigue could cause fatal errors in judgment.

Recreational Fishing Expeditions

A slightly different set of considerations comes into play when a ship (and its crew) are hired for a recreational fishing expedition. In this case, the crew, captain and owner should be aware that not all the passengers will be equally experienced, and should take care to provide all the necessary safety precautions (including personal flotation devices and, if necessary, instruction about reeling in large catches).

Boat accident injuries or deaths sustained during recreational fishing expeditions may well be actionable in court, and can expose the ship’s owner, captain and crew to significant damages.

Jones Act And Commercial Fishing Accidents

Under the Jones Act, workers on commercial fishing boats have legal recourse if they’ve been injured because of the recklessness or negligence of the ship’s owner or captain, or even of their fellow fishermen.

At the very least, plaintiffs are entitled to compensation for their medical bills and convalescence, and they may be owed additional damages in cases of gross negligence (such as failing to properly equip the boat with first-aid equipment or a working radio).

Experienced Boat Accident Lawyers• Free Consultation

Serving all of Hawaii and California from law offices in Honolulu, San Pedro, and San Diego

If you were injured in a boating accidents, or your loved one was been injured, was killed, or drowned on a commercial fishing expedition, you’re entitled to know the exact circumstances of the accident, and you may be entitled to damages if negligence or recklessness can be proved. 

To discuss your case for free, contact a fishing boat accident attorney immediately.  There is a statute of limitations on filing boating accidents and wrongful death claims and the sooner you call our law offices, the sooner we can begin building a strong case for you.

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Cases We Handle

  • maritime worker working on ship

    Longshoremen & Shipyard Workers

    Longshoring and shipyard work are very dangerous occupations. Workers in these fields, along with marine construction workers, are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, a very generous no-fault workers’ compensation system. It covers medical expenses, temporary disability, permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation.

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  • sea vessel docked at US shore

    Jones Act Seamen

    A seaman is a member of the crew of a vessel or group of vessels under common ownership or control. The vessel can be anything from a raft to a cargo ship. We represent seamen who work aboard recreational vessels, tugboats, dredges, barges, skiffs, workboats and cargo ships. We also represent seamen who are marine construction workers

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  • Diving

    We represent people who have been injured in SCUBA diving accidents and Commercial diving accidents. We also handle diving boat accidents. Diving can be very dangerous. We successfully represented a commercial diver who was seriously injured while cleaning the propeller of a U.S. Navy ship at Pearl Harbor

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  • accident at construction site and hard hat on floor

    Construction & Industrial Accidents

    Construction and industrial sites can be very dangerous. Although you generally cannot sue your own employer for a construction site or industrial accident (generally workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy against your employer) there are many circumstances in which you can file a third party lawsuit against an entity other than your employer for an unsafe condition at a work site which causes you to be injured

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  • Forklift and Crane Injuries Lawyer

    Crane & Forklift Accidents

    The Easley firm has extensive experience with crane and forklift accidents and workplace accidents involving dangerous equipment and machinery. These accidents can be caused by operator error and they can be caused by the unsafe and defective condition of the equipment

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  • auto accident involving two cars on a city street

    Motor Vehicle & Truck Accidents

    Motor vehicle accidents can result in serious injury and death. These kinds of accidents can involve automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians and unsafe road design and unsafe road conditions

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  • Catamaran Injuries Attorney

    Passenger Vessel Accidents

    Passenger accidents are common on recreational vessels, catamarans, tour boats and cruise ships.  They are frequently caused by rough sea conditions and unsafe conditions aboard the vessels.  The Easley firm has extensive experience in the field of maritime law.  We have made new law in the field of maritime law with numerous precedent setting decisions in the State Appellate Courts, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court

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  • Defense Base Act

    The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act which covers civilian employees of U.S. defense contractors injured overseas, including war zones. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensations Act as extended by the Defense Base Act is a very generous no fault workers’ compensation system

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Areas Where We Practice

Preston Easley is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He served five years of active duty as a Naval officer — three years as a deck officer on a fast frigate and two years as a patrol boat skipper. Mr. Easley also served aboard a tank landing ship in the reserves.




Let Us Get You The Compensation You Deserve

Preston Easley is an experienced lawyer with considerable expertise in handling federal and state personal injury cases. He will aggressively seek the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. Attorney Easley represents victims of serious and fatal accidents involving cars, trucks, construction projects and maritime work.

Construction Workers We Help

  • Crane and Forklift Operators
  • Pile Drivers
  • Scaffold Workers
  • Iron Workers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Operating Engineers
  • Electricians

Maritime Workers We Help

  • National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) Shipyard Workers
  • Manson Construction Company Workers
  • Manson Dredging Workers
  • Dutra Dredging Workers
  • Commercial Divers
  • Scuba Divers
  • Commercial Fisherman
  • Government Maritime Claims Against the Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, or the US Coast Guard, etc.
  • Marine Construction Workers
  • Offshore Oil and Gas Workers
  • Seamen
  • Shipyard Workers
  • YYK Enterprises, Inc.
  • Pacific Tugboat Service
  • Long Beach Container Terminal
  • Tugboat, Dredge, Longshoremen, and Ferry Workers
  • Barge Crews and Barge Workers
  • Marisco Limited
  • HL Welding
  • SSA Marine
  • Catalina Express
  • R.E. State Engineering
  • Shimmick Construction
  • Nova Group
  • American Scaffolding
  • Safway Scaffolding
  • Kirby Tugs
  • Crowley Tugboats
  • P&R Water Taxi
  • Continental Maritime
  • Pacific Ship Repair
  • Seaward Marine
  • Healy Tibbitts
  • General Construction
  • BAE Shipyards
  • South Coast Welding
  • Matson
  • Pasha
  • Hawaii Stevedores, Inc.
  • McCabe, Hamilton & Renny
  • Young Brothers
  • Sause Bros.
  • Foss Maritime
  • Fenix Marine Services
  • ITS
  • Total Terminals
  • TraPac
  • PCMC
  • Maersk
  • Yang Ming
  • China Overseas Shipping
  • Evergreen

Boating Accidents

  • Catamaran Accidents
  • Charter and Tour Boats
  • Cruise Ship Accidents
  • Passenger Accidents
  • Jet Ski and Personal Watercraft
  • Motorboat Accidents
  • Recreational Accidents
  • Scuba Diving Accidents
  • Speed Boat Accidents
  • Yachts and Sail Boat Accidents
  • Repair Accidents
  • Crew Accidents
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