The mighty Pacific Ocean stands as the world’s largest single body of water. Covering more than 68 million square miles of the Earth’s surface, it borders Asia, Australia, and the Americas and takes up roughly 46% of the entire surface of Earth.
Thanks to its size and location, the Pacific Ocean serves as a vital part of international trade, transportation, and commerce for any country bordering its waters. Untold hundreds of thousands of ships pass through its waters every year, from cruise lines carrying passengers to warmer climates, to the millions of dollars worth of goods being traded among the dominant Pacific Rim economies, to the thousands of pounds of fish caught every year for sale to restaurants, distributors, and even private citizens.
As a central hub for travel and commerce, the Pacific Ocean is going to see a lot of boating traffic, including fishing trawlers, tanker ships, container vessels, and more. Any area with this much traffic is bound to be the site of maritime injuries, and these injuries can be devastating to a maritime worker and their family. Lucky for you, even as far out as the Pacific Ocean, your rights are still protected by the Jones Act.
Pacific Ocean Injuries and the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a major component of American maritime law. Under the Jones Act, any worker onboard a vessel flying the American flag (even ones travelling through the Pacific Ocean) is given the right to seek damages for injuries suffered while working on said vessel. If the injury can be proven to be the fault of negligence on behalf of the shipowner, the injured worker can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, emotional trauma, and more.
Accidents can abound on the Pacific Ocean; negligent operation of a winch by a co-worker can cause shoulder damage, fish processors can cause a number of debilitating injuries and losses, and even something as simple as an improperly-cleaned deck can lead to falling damage. The Jones Act gives you the chance to stand up to the big shipowners and seek justice for your injuries no matter what body of water they happened on.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured On The Pacific Ocean?
The first thing to do, no matter how serious the injury, is to contact a maritime injury attorney like O’Bryan Law. In many cases, shipowners will try to get you to sign agreements or statements that can severely limit (or completely eradicate) your ability to seek financial compensation for your injuries.
O’Bryan Law is a firm of Jones Act lawyers with the experience, skill, and determination you need to win your maritime law injury case. We’ve got decades of combined experience and knowledge – exactly the skills you need to help win your maritime injury claims. Contact us today and let us fight for you.
*Dennis M. O’Bryan is enrolled to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which decides appeals from the federal district courts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California. He is a member of the bar of the federal district court for the Northern District of California and the District of Hawaii. In those federal district courts in which he is not generally enrolled to practice, he gains admission pro hac vice, on a case by case basis, by securing the sponsorship of a reputable local attorney. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, where his office is located.