Fishing boat at sea
Fishing boat at sea

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Fishing accident claims

Whether you work on a vessel or at a fish farm, Digby Brown understands the dangerous nature of aquaculture and working in the fishing industry. The firm has many decades of experience helping injured fishermen access the specialist legal knowledge to make a rightful compensation claim when injured on board or in the related industries onshore.  Even where employees are defined as self-employed (share fishermen), there is still a duty of care by the Captain of the vessel.

How to get fair fishing accident compensation

It has many times been referred to as the most dangerous occupation you can have: working on a fishing trawler or in the related industries is by its nature hazardous.  But that does not mean that it is accepted that people will be injured as part of their job description. 

Proper procedures should be in place, the right safety equipment and protective clothing used and adequate training provided for doing the job without causing you or your colleagues harm. Obviously bad weather can play a part but this should also be considered when risk assessing whether a task is too dangerous.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident which happened during the course of your work and you believe that it could’ve been prevented, then we are here to help. A compensation claim is all about receiving financial remuneration to replace your loss: it wasn’t your fault but you are nevertheless paying the price in terms of the injury, pain and suffering.  

This matters to you and Digby Brown

Digby Brown’s job is to work on your side to investigate what happened and if someone has been negligent ensure that they (usually the insurance company associated with your employer) accept responsibility for the accident.  At the same time, we fully explore all the implications of your injury. This will include the losses and expenses you have incurred when the accident happened, the potential future loss of earnings as well as the pain and suffering you have had. This way we can properly value the claim, before intimating this to the insurer’s legal defence team.  

The case will have essentially two parts to agree with the defending party: agreement on who and what caused the accident and how much the claim is worth.  It is our job to robustly argue on your behalf that the employer was at fault and that the values we have attributed to the loss are fair.

If your workplace injury prevents you returning to the same role, or halts career progression, we will even work to recover the lost future wages you would likely earn if the accident never happened. 

We secured £37,500 for a fisherman who suffered a broken finger while working in the North Sea. He was injured after his hand was caught in the mechanisms used to retrieve nets. 

In another case we helped a client secure £55,000 after he was going down a ladder-hatch when the cover to the hatch suddenly swung down and crushed his hand.

Funding your case

As a specialist law firm, we deal only in personal injury and employment law for those who have had negligent things happen to them.

 We work on a “no win no fee” basis as we know people could not normally afford to access legal expertise if they were paying up front, especially if they find themselves unable to work.

Our Compensate funding package ensures that all the costs in running the case are paid, whether access to specialist expertise in medical or industry specific knowledge. We take a percentage (agreed at the outset and not more than 20% including VAT) only once the case has successfully concluded.  If the case is lost, you will pay nothing, we bear all the cost.

No win, no fee personal injury solicitors

The expression “No win, no fee” is often used in personal injury cases.  It is used as a way of funding a compensation claim where the accident victim does not have the means to pay for the costs involved as the case progresses. 

A number of solicitors are prepared to handle personal injury cases on a “No Win – No Fee” basis but very few are able to offer their clients complete protection if the case is unsuccessful. 

In that event, the client could end up being liable for many thousands of pounds in legal expenses or the case won't be fully investigated and therefore likely to under-settle.

Compensate 'no win, no fee' funding

Digby Brown has its own funding company, Compensate, which provides the funding to allow the case to be fully investigated, employ the best experts surrounding the circumstances of the accident and/or injuries sustained and where and if necessary go to court.

If for whatever reason the case is unsuccessful, Compensate pays all your legal expenses and those of your opponent – you pay nothing

On average our clients receive over 3 times the pre-litigation offer

Because of Compensate funding Digby Brown's success rate is extremely high and on average our clients receive three times the pre-litigation offer.

In the event the case is successful, a small percentage of your damages will be deducted with VAT to pay for this service. The percentage which Compensate will charge depends on the degree of risk involved. We believe that this is the fairest method of giving clients access to justice whilst ensuring their cases are fully investigated, prepared and funded.

Don’t take our word for it, just read many of the court decisions and case studies on our website.

Beware of compensation offers which may be too good

We know you will have seen many adverts offering 100% compensation or telling you that you will not lose any of your compensation, however we believe there are a number of problems with companies that do this.

  • How do they make their money if they don’t charge you anything?
  • If they aren’t taking any money from you, the client, what incentive do they have to ensure you receive the right level of compensation, appropriate to the injuries you have sustained?
  • Fully preparing a case, finding out exactly what happened and what the consequences of your injuries may mean in the long term, is expensive, how do they do this properly?
  • If they aren’t fully preparing these cases will they just accept the first offer they are given on your behalf by the Insurance company?
  • It makes simple business sense, the less work they do the higher their profit margin is - they simply have no incentive to work harder on your behalf.
  • These adverts in the main are from English firms on national television which operates in a different way and therefore wouldn’t apply to a Scottish person.

We know from the many client cases we mandate from other firms of solicitors (in the main at the request of the client who is extremely unsatisfied with the service received for the other firm) that many shortcuts are taken in preparation and that the first offer received is being recommended for acceptance, regardless of the value. 

Getting something for nothing is usually the first sign of poor service.

Correct level of compensation with Digby Brown

Our experience and statistics show time and time again we will achieve the correct level of compensation which will be substantially more than the insurer is initially prepared to offer.

Even after we have deducted our percentage as a success fee you will gain considerably more than you would have achieved using a 100% compensation model.

Contact Digby Brown's personal injury solicitors

We have offices across Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Kirkcaldy, Inverness, Aberdeen and Ayr.

For further information about no win, no fee, or anything else, call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our enquiry form below and someone will get back in touch with you.

Regulations and the fishing industry

The specialist nature of working in this sector led to the creation of several regulatory bodies and when accidents happen, multiple investigations can occur:

  • The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigate fatalities and serious accidents
  • The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) deals with issues aboard vessels at sea
  • The HSE regulates activities at fish cages and moored structures
  • The Scottish Aquaculture Industry Forum works with the HSE and MAIB to promote good practice

Officials clearly take fishing and aquaculture safety very seriously. But having so many people, regulations and agencies in one sector can lead to confusion when you need help after an accident.

Thankfully our specialist solicitors are trained for navigating this complex world to help you secure fair compensation for your accident at sea claim.

Onboard fishing boat at sea

Why should I use Digby Brown for my fishing accident claim? 

Digby Brown is Scotland’s leading law firm dedicated to personal injury. Every year we recover more than £100 million for injured clients and their families. 

Our expertise in the niche and complex world of personal injury has been consistently hailed by the two main industry watchdogs – Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500 – which have both put Digby Brown at the top of their ranking tables for legal expertise and service.

We have also been recognised as Scotland’s Law Firm of the Year for five out of the last seven years (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2022).

This proven track record is why thousands of people come to Digby Brown for legal support – whether through word of mouth or by being referred by trusted charities.

Remember - compensation is not an ‘award’. It is a payment made in recognition of your injuries to put you back in a financial position as if the accident never happened. It is your legal entitlement and can make the difference in protecting the future for you or your family. 

If you would like to talk to someone, simply call us we are open 8.00am to 8.30pm Monday to Friday and 12 – 4pm at the weekends or simply fill in an enquiry form and someone can call you back at your convenience.

Because it matters... 

0333 200 5926

Monday to Friday: 8am - 8pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm - 4pm

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