Consultations, Legal Assistance, Insurance, Compensation

(Payment ONLY in case of winning the case)

When a seafarer sustains an injury or illness on board the vessel all his thoughts and efforts, as well as the efforts of his family members, are primarily aimed at organizing the proper medical treatment and repatriation to his homeland.

We, in our turn, offer seafarers and their families the assistance in recovering from shipowners the maximum monetary compensation in connection with accidents in the shortest possible time. We have an extensive practice of recovery compensations for harm caused to the health ofseafarers during their work on a ship.

Also, due to the fact that our agency has a network of partners - law firms around the world, including the USA, Greece, Netherlands, Turkey, Panama, Cyprus and others, in some cases in order to secure seafarers’ claims we successfully arrest ships allaround the world.

Our assistance and services are as follows:

  • consulting seafarers and their families,
  • representation of seafarers’ interests in negotiations with the shipowner and insurance company (P&I club),
  • protection of the seafarers’ rights in courts or arbitrations by maritime lawyers on issues related to the recovery of compensation from shipowners to a seafarer

An individual approach to each case allows us to achieve for seafarers and members of their families the maximum possible amount of compensation, often exceeding the amount stipulated by the contract.

What are the types of compensation and what are they paid for?

reimbursement of seafarer's medical expenses;

sick wages;

compensation for permanent disability due to an injury received on board;

seafarer's death compensation;

compensation in connection with the loss of a seafarer

Compensation of the seafarer’s medical expenses

A seafarer who is signed off from a ship and is admitted to a hospital due to illness or injury must receive an appropriate medical treatment at the expense of the shipowner for as long as such assistance is required or until the seafarer is repatriated.

A seafarer who has been repatriated home and provided medical documents confirming that he is temporarily unfit to work on ships due to illness or injuryis also entitled to the payment for his treatment by the shipowner (including hospitalization). As a rule, the seafarer's employment contract and the collective agreement establishes the maximum period during which medical expenses can be paid by the shipowner.

Sick wages

A seafarer who is signed off from a ship due to the illness or injury is guaranteed with the payment of basic wages and sometimes (depending on the terms of the employment contract) with guaranteed or fixed overtime until the repatriation. A seafarer who has been repatriated home and has provided medical documentation proving that he is temporarily unfit to work on board ships due to the illness or injury is entitled to the sick pay equal to basic wages. As in the case of medical expenses the seafarer's Employment Contract and the Collective Agreement set a maximum period during which the payment of sick wages must be effected by the shipowner.

Disability compensation

According to the International Maritime Labor Convention 2006a seafarer is entitled to receive a compensation in case of the disability due to an accident on board. Also the right of a seafarer to receive the compensation is provided by theemployment contracts and collective agreements. The fact and the level of a seafarer's disability is established by special medical experts.

As for the amounts of compensations they depend on the terms of the seafarer's contract and on the percentage of the seafarer’s disability which was determines by the experts. For example, the maximum amount under the proforma of the ITF UNIFORM TCC collective agreement for disability depending on the seaman’s position for 2022, is about 108 000 – 180 000 US dollars.

Death Compensations

If a seafarer dies on board the vessel as a result of an injury his next of kin is entitled to the monetory compensation. Death Compensation is intended to maintain the standard of living of a seafarer's family members which they had before his death. In exceptional cases (if it is expressly provided by the employment contract or collective agreement)such funds are paid to the seafarer's family also for the death from natural causes (heart attack, stroke, etc.) Despite the fact that the "death compensation" as a rule isset in seafarers’ labor contracts or collective agreements the shipowner does not always pay them voluntarily. In this casewe provide legal assistance to the seafarer's relatives. In addition, if the actions of the shipowner are found to be at fault in an accident that resultedthe death of a seafarer then we help the relatives of the deceased seafarer, whom he supported during his lifetime (usually wife, children, parents), to recover the seafarer's earningswhich had to for their maintenancein addition to contractual compensation,as well as moral damage.

A seafarer's death benefit is to be paid to the "Next of kin" - the person named by the seafarer in the employment contract.

Compensation for missing at sea

The profession of a sailor is associated with a great risk, therefore, in our practice we often encounter sailors missing. Not all seafarers' contracts provide for the payment of compensation directly in connection with the fact of seafarers’ missing, most of them provide these paymentsonly in connection with the death. In such cases the relatives of the missing sailors have to obtaine a court decision declaring the missing person dead and then claim the compensation due to the relatives from the shipowner.

Working in the field of providing legal services to seafarerswe regularly encounter situations when a seafarer signing on the vessel does not know his rights. As a rule he encounters the consequences of his inattention when his rights have already been violated and it takes considerable time, effort and finances to protect them. Examples of such situations are non-payment of wages and the refusal of the shipowner to organize the repatriation to their home country, injury, illness or death on board, missing, etc.

We offer seafarers to take care of their rights and the rights of their family members in advance by consulting with lawyers specializing in the field of maritime law. Such consultation will give the seafarer a clear idea of ​​the real conditions of his employment, namely, the rights of the seafarer and his family members to compensation in connection with the harm to health caused during the voyage, insurance conditions, the rights of the seafarer in connection with the early termination of his employment contract, etc.

Our maritime lawyers are ready to provide you with an advice on the above issues, as well as legal assistance and support in collecting monetary compensation and insurance.

Recovery of compensations for the seafarers

As a rule the actions of a maritime lawyer to claim compensation begin with writing a claim letter to the shipowner and subsequent negotiations with lawyers appointed by him. Quite often during such negotiations the lawyers of the seafarer and the shipowner reach a compromise and conclude an amicable agreement on full or partial compensation payment.

If during the negotiations a settlement is not reached by the parties as a rule the sailor's lawyers go to court with a claim for compensation as well as with a petition for the arrest of the vessel to secure the claim. Of course the legal process can take a long time but the amounts received by the seafarer as a result of such a process can significantly exceed those that are usually reachedduring negotiations.

Weas specialists in the field of recovery of compensation for seafarers and their families provide our recommendations to seafarers on how best to proceed: conclude a settlement agreement and thereby save time or to go to the court in the hope of receiving higher amounts of compensation than the one offered by the shipowner in an amicable way.

The most common questions from our clients:

What amounts of compensation can the family of the deceased sailor receive?

The amount of compensation in each individual case can vary significantly. In average the amounts are US$100,000 per beneficiary and approximately US$20,000 for each minor child. But not all vessels are covered by the ITF Collective Agreement and over many years of practice we often came across contracts that specify much smaller amounts (20,000 - 40,000 US dollars).

What are the conditions for receiving compensation for medical expenses in connection with an injury?

The terms of the contract and the collective agreement may provide a specific period during which the shipowner must paythe seafarer sick wages and compensate medical expenses, some contracts may establish the obligation of the shipowner to pay these payments until the seafarer has fully recovered or was recognized as disabled.

In what cases does the shipowner most often refuse to pay compensation to seafarers?

The grounds for refusing to pay are quite broad and very important are the circumstances of the case. Most often, the shipowner refuses to pay due to the following reasons:

  • If death came naturally;
  • If alcohol or drugs were found in the blood of the deceased;
  • When a seafarer commits suicide;
  • If the sailor hid from the company a serious illness, which caused death.

Is it possible to receive the higher amount of compensation than the company offers?

To do thisit is necessary to establish and prove the degree of fault of the shipowner, clearly define the nature of the injury and what were the consequences for the seaman’s health. The amount of payment will depend on the totality of this data. Employees of our company always strive to exceed the limits of compensation provided by the contract in order to receive a higher amount from the shipowner for our client.

It is important to understand that the insurance company will involve its own medical experts, who in turnwill tryon the contrary to lower down the degree of permanent disability in order to reduce the amount of compensation.