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Are Commercial Divers Seamen?

While commercial divers are generally considered maritime workers, they are not always seamen. Whether a commercial diver should be considered a seaman depends on the particular facts of the diver's occupation.

The outcome of that determination determines which maritime laws apply to an injured commercial diver or the survivors of a fatally injured commercial diver.

New Jersey, New York, and federal courts do not exclude all divers from being considered seamen, and thus some are entitled to the protections of the Jones Act. The courts have instead found that a diver should be considered a seaman for purposes of the Jones Act only if the diver was engaged in navigation and assigned to a vessel (or fleet of vessels) more or less permanently.

Commercial divers who are not found to be seamen, do not forgo all financial recoveries if they are hurt in an accident. Other federal laws may still apply.

If you have been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one, in a commercial diving accident, it is important to contact a New Jersey and New York maritime injury lawyer to discuss your rights. A New York and New Jersey maritime accident attorney from Hofmann & Schweitzer will evaluate your case and aggressively pursue damages on your behalf. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today for a free consultation. 

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