Fish Processing Accident Lawyers in Mobile, Alabama
Fishing is one of the most important parts of the maritime industry, keeping millions across the United States fed. People who work in fish processing roles play an incredibly crucial part in this process, ensuring that fish are properly broken down, cleaned, and stored for shipping and sale. However, as is the case with any maritime role, fish processing workers face a significantly higher risk of injury than those who work on land. Fishing expeditions are tiring and time-consuming, and fish processing workers may put in long hours to keep up with fishermen’s output.
If you’ve been injured while working aboard a vessel, it’s time to talk to an attorney with extensive experience in maritime injury law. Call Fuquay Law Firm at 251-219-0329 to schedule a consultation now.
Common Injuries in Fish Processing Roles
Fish processing workers fill an important role in vessels in Mobile Bay, Bon Secour Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and other large bodies of water in this region. The work is fast-paced and detail-oriented, and in that type of environment, injuries are common. Some of the injuries reported by fish processing workers include:
- Cuts, including those deep enough to damage muscle and tendons
- Bacteria inhalation
- Skin irritation from chemical exposure
- Stab wounds caused by fish processing equipment
- Infections caused by exposure to bacteria found on and in fish
- Back and shoulder injuries caused by lifting heavy boxes of equipment or fish
- Broken bones
These injuries vary significantly in terms of severity, but most require some type of medical care and time away from work. Some injuries, such as amputations, can even cut a worker’s career short completely.
What Dangers Do Maritime Fish Processing Workers Face?
Knowing the dangers of a role can help employees avoid unintentional injuries and take steps to protect themselves. Physical dangers and biohazards are everywhere in the maritime industry, and fish processing workers aren’t exempt from that.
Fish themselves can be dangerous, often laden with bacteria that can lead to infection if it gets into your body. Fish spines and bones can also cause penetration wounds that damage soft tissue and give dangerous bacteria a fast pass into your bloodstream. Some people are allergic to fish, or the chemicals used to process them, so they may experience difficulty breathing, rashes, hives, or other signs of an allergic reaction.
The equipment used in fish processing is also incredibly hazardous. Machines that automatically remove fish heads and tails can also remove a worker’s fingers or other extremities. The extremely sharp knives and tools used to remove pin bones and process fish can also cause painful cuts or penetration wounds.
These specialized risks are in addition to the general dangers that all seamen face. Back and neck injuries are quite common, due to the tiring work of loading fish, unloading fish, and moving equipment. Slips and falls on deck or overboard are also risky. Poorly maintained vessels are a risk that’s present on every trip.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
If you become injured or ill while working as a fish processor, you are likely entitled to compensation. Under maritime law, you should receive maintenance and cure. The maintenance portion of your compensation is meant to cover necessary obligations like mortgage, rent, and insurance. “Cure” refers to the medical care you receive to return you to a state of full health—or, if a full recovery is not possible, to the point of maximum medical improvement.
What if your injury is caused by a negligent employer or an unseaworthy vessel? You may then have additional protection under the Jones Act.
How Maritime Law Can Protect You
The Jones Act protects seamen, including fish processors, when they are injured due to an employer’s negligence or a poorly maintained vessel. Under the Jones Act, an injured seaman can sue their employer to hold them accountable for negligence. However, this is more difficult than simply collecting maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure does not require proof of neglect—a lawsuit does.
For a lawsuit to be successful, the seaman must prove that the owner was negligent in their choices, that the negligence led to the seaman’s injury, and that the seaman suffered measurable losses. An injured worker may also sue the ship’s captain or a crew member if their negligence caused an injury.
Why Choose Fuquay Law Firm?
As you can imagine, proving negligence in a maritime injury case is quite challenging. Maritime law is substantially different from other areas of law and trusting an attorney without experience in this area can seriously weaken your case.
At Fuquay Law Firm, our dedication to maritime law makes us a natural choice for seamen, longshoremen, harbor workers, and other maritime employees in the Mobile area. The maritime industry is an incredibly important part of our region’s economy, and the workers of this industry are the biggest asset that employers have.
We know that negligent owners and captains can try to limit their financial damages by denying claims and trying to hide injuries. This leaves injured maritime workers just like you without the compensation they deserve. You work too hard to be treated poorly by the industry you serve. If you’ve been retaliated against for filing an injury claim, denied maintenance and cure, or been the victim of an unseaworthy vessel, it’s time to stand up for yourself and your rights.
Wherever you are in the injury claim process, we’re here to help. A fish processing injury can put you at grave risk of permanent disability and the loss of your career, and you deserve to be fairly compensated for that. Let us guide you through this process and protect your rights as a maritime worker.
Contact Fuquay Law Firm to Start Your Claim Now
When you’re ready to get the compensation you deserve for a maritime injury, it’s time to talk to the team at Fuquay Law Firm. Let’s sit down, talk about your injury, and create a plan to help you. Call us at 251-219-0329 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.