Unseaworthiness


Unseaworthiness is a claim under general maritime law based on the vessel owner’s duty to provide a seaworthy vessel, including appurtenances, gear and equipment, reasonably fit for its intended purpose of performing offshore operations.

  • The vessel does not have to be perfect or accident free.
  • This duty to provide a seaworthy vessel is absolute and completely independent of the duty under the Jones Act to exercise reasonable care.’” Thus both the Jones Act and unseaworthiness remedies are additional to maintenance and cure.
  • A vessel owner is strictly liable for personal injuries caused by the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
  • A vessel owner is strictly liable for personal injuries caused by the vessel’s unseaworthiness.
  • The injured seaman has the burden to establish that “the unseaworthy condition played a substantial part in bringing about or actually causing the injury and that the injury was either a direct or probable consequence of the unseaworthiness,” but he does not have to show the ship owner was negligent.

Thus in contrast to a Jones Act claim, unseaworthiness is “predicated without regard to fault or the use of due care,” and the “standard of causation for unseaworthiness is a more demanding one and requires proof of proximate cause.” – Excerpted from the Jones Act, Maritime, Seaman & Mims case

For more on the following, please follow these links:  Jones Act, Maintenance & Cure, Seaman and Unseaworthiness


Contact Us

At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you have suffered an offshore injury, been involved in an offshore accident and need help with a Jones Act, maritime or admiralty injury lawsuit, contact our office at 1.800.672.4916.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP YOU PROTECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS