When Can I File an Unseaworthiness Claim?
Maritime workers making a claim under the Jones Act may also be eligible to make an unseaworthiness claim. An injured seaman can file unseaworthiness claims for injuries that result due to unsafe conditions on a vessel. Those unsafe conditions can range from tools and equipment that are not properly maintained and slippery work surfaces, to crews that are too small and co-workers who have a tendency toward violence and assault. Unseaworthiness, therefore, covers an entire range of conditions that workers may not always be aware of.
A vessel owner is required to provide a seaworthy vessel. In simple terms, this means a vessel:
- Is in a reasonably fit condition for the purpose for which it is intended
- Has safe and properly functioning equipment and tools
- Has safe work surfaces and other work conditions
- Provides sufficient safety devices, fire fighting systems, and life saving equipment to all crewmembers
- Provides safe working conditions
- Provides enough crew members
- Provides competent and experienced crewmembers