As one of the most productive areas for fisheries on Earth, the Bering Sea is the source of employment and livelihood for hundreds of thousands of maritime workers worldwide ranging from fishermen to cargo ships and everything in between. This vast body of water covers over 800,000 square miles of the Earth’s surface between Alaska and Russia in the northern Pacific Ocean and offers untold opportunities for work and employment for any seafarer or fisher daring enough to brave their waters.
It should be no surprise to learn, however, that working conditions on the Bering Sea can be extremely dangerous due to the temperature and behavior of the water in the far north Pacific. Water levels can rise nearly 30 feet during fishing season, and combined with the dangerous winds and low temperatures, the Bering Sea is as dangerous as it is profitable for any worker looking to earn their living on these deadly waters.
Workers in these conditions are at great risk for a number of different maritime injuries, whether they’re hurt while working or fall victim to poor working conditions such as employer negligence, poorly maintained equipment, or other dangerous circumstances. While the risk for injury on the Bering Sea might be high, any injured maritime worker on the Bering Sea may be able to seek damages and compensation under the Jones Act.
The Bering Sea and the Jones Act
Any worker on a vessel flying the American flag, whether it’s in native waters or as far out as the Bering Sea, is covered by the Jones Act. A series of laws designed to, among other things, protect injured maritime workers from being financially ruined by injury on the job, the Jones Act gives you the opportunity to sue your employer for damages if your injury or illness is found to be the result of employer negligence.
Negligence under the Jones Act can take many forms. Onboard injuries caused by improperly maintained equipment, incorrectly followed safety procedures, or even the negligence and carelessness of a co-worker can be cause to seek compensation under the Jones Act. If you fall ill during the course of your employment due to unsafe work conditions, you may be entitled to seek maintenance and cure to help cover the cost of treatment for your illness. Even an unseaworthy vessel can be cause for damages and compensation if your injury is found to be the result of a shipowner ignoring standard maintenance procedures – a sadly common occurrence, even in the modern world of maritime work.
What Can I Do If I’m Injured On The Bering Sea?
After consulting an independent medical professional, if you believe your injury was the result of any kind of negligence on the shipowner’s part, you need to seek out a Jones Act lawyer immediately. Shipowners will frequently try to bargain with injured workers to get out of paying what is owed by offering low-ball offers. Don’t fall for their tricks – get the help of a skilled maritime law firm like O’Bryan Law.
As Jones Act attorneys on the world stage, O’Bryan Law has the skill, experience, and toughness you need to stand up to even the biggest fishing companies or cargo carriers on the Bering Sea and get the justice and money you deserve. Don’t get bullied out of what you’re owed after an injury on the Bering Sea – contact us today for a free consultation and stand up to the big shipowners.
*Dennis M. O’Bryan is enrolled to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which hears appeals from the federal district court of Alaska. 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.