When a seaman becomes injured or ill while working in the service of a vessel at sea, it’s important that they receive the proper medical treatment they need as quickly as possible.
Under maritime law, a vessel’s owners must provide a sick or injured seaman with prompt and adequate medical care, since delays in getting the proper treatment could make the seaman’s condition worse. However, what happens when ship owners are negligent in this duty, either by providing substandard medical treatment or unreasonably delaying access to effective treatment? If their condition suffers as a result of this negligence, the stricken seaman can seek compensation for their losses and damages by filing a personal injury claim.
What Happens When Adequate Medical Care Is Not Available Aboard the Vessel?
Many vessels lack the proper medical equipment or trained personnel to provide the necessary level of care a sick or injured seaman requires.
If adequate medical care is not available aboard the vessel, the vessel’s owner must act promptly to ensure the stricken seamen get the treatment they need, even if the vessel is miles at sea. They may have to employ a variety of means to fulfill their duty to get the seaman this care as soon as possible, including placing the seaman aboard a transfer vessel or helicopter or even returning to port.
Unfortunately, adverse weather and other conditions may delay attempts to get a seaman the medical treatment they require.
What Can a Seaman Do If Ship Owners are Derelict in Their Duty to Provide Adequate Medical Care?
If you are a seaman whose injury or illness became worse due to the ship owner’s negligence in providing adequate and prompt medical care, the Jones Act and other maritime laws give you the right to seek compensation for the damages and losses caused by their negligence.
In order to prevail in a Jones Act claim, you must be able to prove that:
- You were working in the service of a vessel at sea when you became injured or ill;
- The ship’s owner was negligent in providing prompt and adequate care for your condition;
- Your condition was made worse because of this negligence; and
- These complications resulted in damages that can be assigned a dollar amount.
Filing a Jones Act claim against ship owners for failing to provide prompt and adequate medical care can be a challenge. Hiring an experienced maritime attorney to represent you is the best move you can make. They can help you in all aspects of a maritime injury claim, from collecting the evidence needed to establish your claim, to negotiating with an insurance company or arguing your case in front of a judge.
The Lambert Firm Is Dedicated to Protecting the Rights of Injured Seamen
The Lambert Firm has been protecting the rights of injured seamen and other maritime workers for over 40 years. As one of America’s premier maritime injury law firms, we are dedicated to ensuring you get the total compensation you are due for your injuries. We’ve helped thousands of maritime workers all over the United States obtain the compensation they deserve.
Call the Lambert Firm at 800-521-1750 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced maritime accident attorney. Most of our maritime cases are handled on a contingency basis, which means there are no upfront costs to our clients and we only collect a fee after we’ve secured your cash settlement. The Lambert Firm is based in New Orleans, but we represent injured clients nationwide.