What Damages Can Seamen Recover for an Injury?


Seamen receive special protection and treatment as they are considered ‘wards of admiralty’. As part of the ‘trinity of remedies’, you are entitled to certain recoverable damages following an injury if proven at trial. You can get more compensation than what you may think for your case. See the full list.

Types of Recoverable Damages Available to Seamen

Тhere are different types of damages one can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. All those kinds of compensations are also available to seamen. If proven at trial, they would include some of the following:

  1. Past lost wages - these are the wages you lost because you were unable to work from the time of your injury through trial. Consider those as all the wages you were supposed to receive while recuperating.
  2. Future wage loss - these result from you not being able to return to work in your prior position. Future wage loss damages arise due to an impairment that prevents you from doing the same job as you used to, provided there is a decrease in your wages as a result.
  3. Past and future medical expenses  - this component of damages includes medical expenses incurred in the past as a result of your injury as well as medical expenses to be incurred in the future. 
  4. Past and future pain and suffering - while your pain and suffering are not that easily measurable, the Court would look for a fair way to compensate you for going through the physical and emotional anguish the accident has caused you.
  5. Loss of enjoyment of life - this type of damage serves to compensate for the impact of an injury on a seaman’s quality of life. For instance, if you are no longer able to enjoy your hobbies, recreational activities, and other things you were able to do beforehand, you might be entitled to recover ‘loss of enjoyment of life’.  
  6. Prejudgment interest on certain components of damages - for the specific damages, it applies to, this interest is calculated for the period between the accident and receiving the judgement by the Court. 

Which of those damages can you recover? Consult a maritime attorney to get specific answers for your case.