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What does unseaworthiness mean?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2020 | Maritime Accidents

Commercial boat accidents are much like plane crashes. They don’t happen all that frequently, but when they do, they’re often catastrophic. One of the reasons why water vessels become involved in serious accidents and people aboard often end up hurt is due to unseaworthiness. This is a term that legal analysts use to describe any situation that renders a boat unsafe and causes injuries.

It’s the water vessel owner’s responsibility to provide a safe place where crew members can work. Ships, offshore oil rigs, boats, barges, helicopters and even on-land transportation are all classified as “water vessels” under existing maritime laws. If the owner of one of these structures or modes of transportation fails to uphold their obligation to ensure worker safety and someone gets hurt, then the injured crew member may be entitled to file an injury claim.

Workers can file unseaworthiness claims should they become injured under any number of circumstances. They may sue if they find that the water vessel was improperly designed, constructed, maintained or inspected or in any other instances in which an accident could have been avoided had there only been some minor corrections made.

An injured crew member may also be able to file an unseaworthiness claim if they were hurt because the ship was outfitted with defective equipment.

If they can prove that the number of crew members hired to carry out the job tasks was insufficient or that they weren’t adequately trained, then this may give way to an injured crew member being able to file suit as well.

There’s a burden of proof that you must meet if you want to be successful in filing suit and recovering damages in your Manhattan case. You must be able to show that the water vessel’s owner was either negligent or that the boat or your fellow crew members were not seaworthy. An attorney can review the details surrounding your accident and advise you whether you may qualify to file suit here in New York.