Commercial fishing accident claims

Commercial fishing accident claims

For getting your life back on track

The world of commercial fishing is fraught with risks, and when accidents happen, the impact can be life-changing. If you’ve been involved in a trawler fishing boat accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch with Switalskis to make a commercial fishing accident claim. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

At Switalskis, we're not just experts in handling these types of claims; we're also your trusted supporter throughout the entire process. We can provide you with the best legal advice tailored to your situation thanks to our client-focused approach. We're not just here to talk at you; we're here to listen and provide solutions that make sense for you.

If you’ve been injured while working as a commercial fisherman, we know that you could be dealing with potentially serious injuries. With our unique blend of legal expertise, genuine care, and a straightforward approach that cuts through the jargon, we’ll help you get the compensation you need, so you can focus on what really matters: your recovery and wellbeing.

Ready to take the first step? Call us on 0800 138 0458 to get your commercial fishing accident claim started, or contact us through the website.

How Switalskis can help you

When you choose Switalskis for your commercial fishing accident claim, you're getting more than just legal representation; you're gaining a dedicated team who are committed to standing by your side from start to finish. We understand that dealing with a trawler fishing accident is a stressful and often confusing time. That's why we aim to make the legal process as smooth and straightforward as possible for you.

Here’s what to expect from working with Switalskis:

  • We'll help you navigate the complexities of liability, negligence and compensation, breaking down legal jargon into language that’s easy to understand. We're here to empower you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
  • We’ll provide you with regular updates at all stages of the process, and we're always available to answer any questions you may have. Transparency is key to building trust, and we're committed to being as open and honest as possible.
  • From the moment you reach out to us, we take the time to understand your specific circumstances, needs and concerns. We tailor our services to meet your individual requirements, to make sure you get the best possible outcome.
  • We offer emotional support and practical guidance, whether that means providing help with medical appointments or dealing with insurance companies.
  • We’ll provide a number of potential funding options, with most of our cases handled on a no win, no fee basis. It's all part of our commitment to making legal support accessible to everyone.

Our team is made up of seasoned professionals who have years of experience in handling commercial fishing accident claims. So, if you're looking for a law firm that offers more than just legal advice, Switalskis is the choice for you. We're your advocates, your confidants, and your supporters in this journey.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

When can I make a fishing accident compensation claim?

If you've been involved in a commercial fishing accident, you may be wondering whether you’re eligible to make a claim for compensation. Much of this will depend on proving that your employer failed to deliver on their duty of care. We’ll need to be able to establish the following:

  • Liability: this refers to the responsibility that someone (usually an employer or equipment manufacturer) has for your safety while you're on the job. If thiey fail to meet their safety obligations and you're injured as a result, they could be held liable for your injuries.
  • Negligence: this goes hand-in-hand with liability. It's the failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing injury or loss to another person. In a commercial fishing environment, negligence could manifest in various ways, such as inadequate training, poor maintenance of equipment, or failure to provide appropriate safety gear.

To make a successful claim, you'll need to prove that the responsible party was negligent and that their negligence led to your accident. This often involves gathering evidence like accident reports, witness statements and expert testimonies. Don't worry; we'll guide you through this process and make sure you have a strong case.

If you've been injured in a commercial fishing accident and believe that someone else is at fault, you likely have grounds for a claim. We're here to help you understand your rights and navigate the complexities of liability and negligence.

What are the most common causes of trawler fishing accidents?

ommercial fishing, particularly on trawlers, is one of the most hazardous occupations. The risks are many, and accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Here's a closer look at some of the most frequent causes:

  • Equipment failure: one of the leading causes of accidents on trawlers is equipment failure. Whether it's a malfunctioning winch, a snapped fishing line or a faulty navigation system, equipment that doesn't work as it should can put lives at risk. Employers have a responsibility to check that all equipment is well-maintained and fit for purpose.
  • Inadequate training: proper training is essential in any job, but it's especially vital in a high-risk environment like a fishing trawler. Lack of training in operating machinery, safety protocols or emergency procedures can lead to accidents. It's the employer's duty to provide comprehensive training to all crew members.
  • Poor weather conditions: poor weather conditions like high winds, rough seas and fog can make an already dangerous job even riskier. While weather conditions are beyond anyone's control, inadequate preparation and safety measures can make the problem even worse.
  • Human error: mistakes happen, but in a high-stakes environment like a trawler, a simple human error can have severe consequences. This could range from misjudging distances while navigating to improperly securing equipment.
  • Overcrowding and overwork: trawlers have limited space, and overcrowding can make it difficult to move or operate equipment safely. Similarly, long working hours can lead to tiredness, affecting concentration and decision-making abilities, which in turn can lead to accidents.
  • Lack of safety measures: sometimes accidents happen because safety measures were either not in place or not followed. This could include a lack of safety gear, absence of safety barriers, or failure to follow safety protocols.

Understanding the common causes of trawler fishing accidents can help you identify who is liable for your accident. It can also help you understand what went wrong, and how it could have been prevented. If you've been involved in a trawler fishing accident and you feel that any of these factors were responsible, you may have a valid claim.

What are the most common injuries associated with trawler fishing accidents?

Working on a trawler is a physically demanding job that exposes you to a variety of risks. When accidents happen, the injuries sustained can range from minor to life-altering; in some cases, they can even be fatal.

Here's a rundown of some of the most common injuries.

  • Broken bones and fractures: falls on the deck, being struck by equipment, or accidents during loading and unloading can result in broken bones and fractures. These injuries often need immediate medical attention and can have long-term consequences on your ability to work.
  • Head injuries: head injuries, including concussions, are a serious concern. They can happen as a result of falls, being hit by swinging equipment, or other accidents on the trawler. The impact of a head injury can range from mild to severe and can have lasting effects on your health.
  • Burns and scalds: exposure to hot equipment, steam or even chemicals used on the trawler can result in burns and scalds. These injuries can be extremely painful and may need extensive treatment.
  • Hypothermia and cold-related injuries: working in cold, wet conditions for extended periods can lead to hypothermia or other cold-related injuries like frostbite. These conditions can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
  • Drowning and near-drowning incidents: given that the work environment is at sea, there's always a risk of falling overboard. Drowning or near-drowning incidents are a grim reality and underscore the importance of proper safety measures.
  • Musculoskeletal injuries: the physical demands of the job can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, including sprains, strains and chronic back or joint pain. While they may seem minor initially, they can become debilitating over time.
  • Psychological trauma: the psychological impact of a trawler accident can be serious. The emotional toll can be just as damaging as the physical injuries, leading to conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder.

Understanding the types of injuries commonly associated with trawler fishing can help you make sense of your situation and understand what you need to do next. If you've suffered from any of these injuries due to a trawler fishing accident, you may be eligible for compensation.

Can I make a claim on behalf of a loved one who died in a commercial fishing accident?

Losing a loved one in a commercial fishing accident is an unimaginable tragedy. The emotional toll is heavy, and the last thing you might be thinking about is making a legal claim. However, if your loved one's death was due to negligence or a lack of safety measures, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. We understand this is a sensitive issue, and we're here to guide you through it.

Typically, immediate family members like spouses, children or parents can make a claim on behalf of the deceased. In some cases, other relatives - or even close friends who were financially dependent on the deceased - may also be eligible to claim.

The claim can cover a range of losses, from funeral expenses to loss of income, especially if the deceased was the primary breadwinner. Compensation can also be sought for the emotional suffering and loss of companionship, though no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a loved one.

We understand that this is an emotionally charged issue. Our team is trained to handle such cases with the sensitivity they deserve. We're not just here to offer legal advice; we're here to offer emotional support as well. You can also rest assured that all discussions and proceedings will be handled to provide you with privacy and confidentiality.

What evidence will I need to make a fishing accident compensation claim?

If you've been involved in a fishing accident, you're probably wondering what steps you need to take to make a claim. One of the most essential aspects of this process is gathering evidence. A well-documented case can make all the difference in securing the compensation you deserve.

Here's a rundown of the kind of evidence you'll need:

  • Accident reports: the first piece of evidence you should aim to secure is the accident report or a report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. This is usually filed with the employer or the vessel's captain. It details the circumstances of the accident, the injuries you’ve sustained, and any immediate actions taken. If an official report wasn't filed, make sure to document the incident yourself in as much detail as possible.
  • Medical records: these serve as concrete proof of your injuries. This includes initial assessments, treatments received, and any ongoing medical care. These records can also help establish the severity of your injuries, which can be vital in helping to decide how much compensation you might receive.
  • Witness statements: if any crew members who witnessed the accident, their accounts can be invaluable. Witness statements can support your version of events and provide additional perspectives that you might not have considered.
  • Photos and videos: visual evidence like photos and videos can be compelling. If possible, capture the scene of the accident, any visible injuries, and any equipment or conditions you believe contributed to the accident. These can offer a real-time account of the incident and its aftermath.
  • Expert testimonies: in some cases, you might need the input of experts to strengthen your claim. This could be a medical expert to testify on the long-term impact of your injuries, or an industry expert to comment on safety standards and practices in commercial fishing.
  • Financial documents: if you've experienced any costs due to the accident, such as medical bills or travel expenses for treatment, keep all the receipts. These will help in claiming back these expenses. Also, if you've lost income due to being unable to work, documentation like pay slips or share record cards can help to prove this.
  • Communication records: keep a record of all communications related to the accident and your injuries. This includes emails, text messages, and even notes from phone conversations. These can help paint a full picture of how the incident was handled.

Gathering evidence might seem overwhelming, especially when you're dealing with the aftermath of an accident. We're here to guide you through each step, making sure you have all the evidence you need.

What is the process for making a commercial fishing boat accident claim?

If you've been involved in a commercial fishing boat accident, you might be feeling overwhelmed about what to do next. Making a claim can seem like a daunting process, but we're here to simplify it for you.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to go about it:

Step 1: Initial consultation

The first step is to get in touch with us for an initial consultation. This is a no-obligation chat where we'll discuss the details of your case, assess its viability, and explain how we can assist you.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

Once you decide to proceed, we'll start gathering all the necessary evidence to establish your claim. This includes accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation. We'll also identify the liable parties and assess the extent of what went wrong.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant

After we've gathered all the evidence, the next step is to notify the defendant - this could be your employer, the boat owner or another party. We'll send them a formal letter of claim, outlining the details of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the compensation being sought.

Step 4: Negotiation

Once the defendant has been notified, the negotiation process begins. We'll handle all communications and negotiations on your behalf, aiming to secure the best possible settlement for you. If the defendant accepts liability, the case may be resolved without going to court.

Step 5: Court proceedings (where necessary)

If a settlement can't be reached or if the defendant denies liability, we may need to take the case to court. While this is rare, we're fully prepared to represent you and fight for your rights in a court of law.

Step 6: Settlement and compensation

Once a settlement is reached or a court decision is made, you'll receive your compensation. This will cover your medical expenses, loss of income, and any other damages you've experienced.

Making a claim might seem complicated, but we're here to make it as straightforward as possible. With our expertise and your cooperation, we can work together to secure the compensation you deserve.

Is there a time limit for making a commercial fishing accident claim?

Time is of the essence when it comes to making a commercial fishing accident claim. Generally, you’ll have three years from the date of the accident to make a claim. This is known as the limitation period. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to claim compensation, no matter how strong your case is.

If you're claiming on behalf of a loved one who has passed away due to a fishing accident, the limitation period is generally three years from the date of death, or the date when the death was linked to the accident.

While three years might seem like a long time, gathering evidence and building a strong case can take months. The sooner you start the process, the easier it is to collect vital evidence like accident reports, witness statements and medical records.

Understanding time limits and their exceptions can be confusing. That's why we're here to guide you through every step, so that you don't miss any important deadlines.

How much could my trawler fisherman accident claim be worth?

It's difficult to give a precise estimate of how much compensation you can claim without knowing the specifics of your case. However, there are several factors that can influence the amount of compensation you might receive, so it’s worth considering these:

  • Severity of injuries: the more severe your injuries, the higher the compensation is likely to be. This covers not just immediate medical costs, but also ongoing treatments and therapies you may need. If your injuries have led to a long-term disability or have affected your quality of life, this will also be taken into account.
  • Loss of earnings: if you've had to take time off work or can't return to your previous job due to your injuries, you may be compensated for lost earnings. This can include both past and future losses, especially if your earning capacity has been permanently affected.
  • Emotional and psychological impact: accidents don't just leave physical scars; they can also have a significant emotional and psychological impact. Compensation for emotional distress, anxiety or depression related to the accident can also be included in your claim.
  • Additional costs: you may have experienced other costs directly related to the accident, such as travel expenses for medical appointments or modifications to your home to accommodate a disability. Keep all receipts and records, as these can be included in your claim.
  • Legal caps and guidelines: there are legal guidelines and caps for certain types of damages, and these can also influence the amount you might receive. We'll guide you through what these are and how they could affect your claim.
  • Legal precedents: previous cases similar to yours can also give an indication of how much compensation you might expect. While no two cases are identical, they can provide a useful benchmark.

Get in touch with Switalskis and we can provide you with further information on the various factors that will affect your compensation settlement, based on the specifics of your case.

How are commercial fishing accident compensation claims funded?

Worried about the costs of making a claim? You're not alone. Many people hesitate to pursue legal action because they're concerned about the financial aspect. But at Switalskis, we aim to make the process as stress-free as possible for you.

A number of options are available:

  • A no win, no fee arrangement is the most common way to fund a claim, also known as a conditional fee agreement. With this arrangement, you won't have to pay any legal fees upfront. Instead, we'll take a percentage of your compensation if you win the case. If you don't win, you won't owe us anything.
  • If you're a member of a trade union, they might offer financial support for commercial fishing accident claims. Contact your union representative to see if this applies to you.
  • You might already have legal expenses insurance as part of your home or car insurance policy. This can sometimes be used to cover the costs of making a claim. It's worth checking your existing policies to see if this option is available to you.

Regardless of how your claim is funded, we believe in complete transparency. We'll discuss all the options with you during our initial consultation, so you can make an informed decision that suits your financial situation.

How long does the commercial fishing compensation claims process take?

The duration of the claims process can vary widely depending on various factors. While we aim to resolve cases as swiftly as possible, it's important to understand what can influence the timeline.

Here's a rundown of the different factors that can affect how long your claim might take:

  • The complexity of the case: straightforward cases where liability is clear-cut can often be resolved in a matter of months. However, if your case involves multiple parties, complex legal issues or severe injuries, it could take longer to gather all the necessary evidence and negotiate a settlement.
  • Negotiation: the negotiation phase can be quick or lengthy, depending on the parties involved. If the defendant is willing to admit liability and agree to a fair settlement, the process can be relatively quick. On the other hand, if they contest the claim, it might lead to court proceedings, which can extend the timeline.
  • Gathering evidence: collecting all of the evidence can be time-consuming. This includes medical records, accident reports and witness statements. The quicker these can be gathered, the sooner your claim can proceed.
  • Medical assessments: in some cases, you may need to wait for a full medical assessment to understand the extent of your injuries and future care needs. This can also add time to the process.
  • Legal procedures and court proceedings: certain legal formalities and procedures must be followed, and these can take time. If your case goes to court, the timeline can extend significantly. Court cases can take several months or even years to resolve, especially if there are appeals.

No matter how long your case takes, we'll keep you informed at every stage, so you always know what's happening with your case.

Can I still make a claim if I was partly responsible for my accident?

If you think you were partly at fault for an accident on a trawler boat, you can still claim compensation. This situation is known as contributory negligence, and it doesn't necessarily prevent you from making a claim.

Contributory negligence is when both parties share some level of fault for the accident. For example, if you were injured while working on a trawler but weren't wearing the proper safety gear, you might be considered partly responsible. However, if the main cause of the accident was a lack of safety measures on the boat, then the boat owner could also be held liable.

If you're found to be partly responsible, it could affect the amount of compensation you receive. The compensation might be reduced by a percentage that reflects your share of the blame. So, if you were found to be 30% responsible for the accident, you might be awarded 70% of the total compensation amount.

In cases involving contributory negligence, having experienced legal support is especially important. We'll help you navigate the complexities and make sure that all factors are considered. Our aim is to secure the best possible outcome for you, even if you were partly at fault.

Ready to take the first step? Call us on 0800 138 0458 to get your commercial fishing accident claim started, or contact us through the website.

Our commercial fishing accident claims specialists

Photo of Diane Parker
Diane ParkerDirector and Solicitor
Katrina ElseySenior Associate Litigation Executive
Photo of Stephanie Veysey
Stephanie VeyseySenior Associate Solicitor
Photo of Kelly Homar
Kelly HomarSenior Associate Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

Partnering with the right law firm when making a commercial fishing accident claim is a very important decision. At Switalskis, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond to make sure that you receive the best legal support available, backed by expertise and genuine compassion.

Clarity in complexity

Legal matters can be complicated, especially when it comes to commercial fishing accident claims. At Switalskis, we pride ourselves on making complex issues easy to understand. We'll guide you through every step of the process, breaking down legal jargon into straightforward terms. Our aim is to make your journey as smooth as possible, providing clear and concise advice that empowers you to make informed decisions.

Empathy at every step

We get that pursuing a claim can be emotionally taxing. That's why we approach every case with genuine empathy and understanding. We're not just here to offer legal advice; we're here to support you through what can be a challenging time. We listen, we understand and we act in your best interests, always.

Expertise you can trust

When you're dealing with something as serious as a commercial fishing accident claim, you want to know you're in safe hands. Our team of legal experts has years of experience in handling cases just like yours. We're committed to achieving the best possible outcome for you, using our expertise to build a strong and compelling case.

Championing your rights

At Switalskis, we'll fight tirelessly to make sure your rights are upheld, whether that's securing the compensation you deserve, or holding negligent parties accountable for their actions. We want to make sure that lessons are learned from what happened to you.

FAQs about commercial fishing accident claims

What safety responsibilities do commercial fishing companies have to their workers?

Working in the commercial fishing industry is known to be one of the most hazardous occupations. As such, employers have a heightened responsibility to protect the safety and wellbeing of their workers.

Here's how commercial fishing companies are obligated to protect their employees:

  • Risk assessment: before any fishing trip, companies must conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential hazards. These assessments should be regularly updated and communicated to all crew members.
  • Safety training: employers must provide adequate safety training to all workers, including how to operate machinery, handle fishing equipment, and what to do in emergency situations like man-overboard or severe weather conditions.
  • Proper equipment: companies are obligated to provide the necessary safety equipment such as life jackets, safety harnesses and emergency beacons. This equipment should be regularly inspected and maintained to make sure it's in good working condition.
  • Providing a safe work environment: the fishing vessel itself must be maintained to a safe standard. This includes keeping all machinery in good working order, making sure the vessel is seaworthy, and implementing safety measures like guardrails and non-slip surfaces where needed.
  • Emergency procedures: clear emergency procedures must be in place and regularly drilled so that in the event of an emergency, all crew members know exactly what to do. This includes procedures for abandoning ship, dealing with fires and administering first aid.
  • Regular monitoring: employers should regularly monitor the work environment for safety compliance and make any necessary adjustments. This could include regular safety audits and inspections.
  • Reporting and documentation: companies must keep accurate records of any safety incidents and report serious accidents to the relevant authorities. This documentation can be essential for understanding how accidents happen and for preventing future incidents.
  • Legal compliance: commercial fishing companies must comply with all local, national and international laws and regulations concerning worker safety and occupational health.

Failure to meet these responsibilities can result in severe legal consequences for the company, and may give injured workers or their families grounds for a compensation claim. At Switalskis, we're well-versed in the legal obligations of commercial fishing companies and can help you navigate the complexities if you've been injured on the job.

What are the types of personal injury claims?

Personal injury claims come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own set of rules, challenges and considerations. At Switalskis, we've got the expertise to handle a wide range of personal injury claims. Here's a quick rundown of the various types of personal injury claims we can help you with:

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If you've been involved in a commercial fishing accident due to someone else's negligence, you may have the right to claim compensation. Switalskis has extensive experience in handling fishing accident claims, and we'll take the time to fully understand your situation and how it's impacted your life.

To find out how much compensation you could be entitled to and to start the process, call Switalskis today on 0800 1380 458 . Alternatively, contact us through the website to learn more.

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