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North Carolina commercial fisherman dies in unexpected accident

In an unforeseeable twist of events, a 34-year-old commercial fisherman from North Carolina died on the job. According to preliminary news reports, the fisherman was on his boat when he was caught in some equipment and sustained a fatal injury.

Emergency officials responded to the scene after the workplace accident victim's uncle discovered that the man wasn't responding to calls. When they arrived, they found that the man had been pinned up against a live well and was wrapped in a net. Although the investigation is still in progress, officials believe the incident was accidental.

Depending on the nature of the fisherman's employment, his survivors may be entitled to some form of compensation. Commercial fishermen are subject to maritime law and the Jones Act, so the way in which the family files for benefits may be slightly different than a standard workers' compensation claim. As such, it may be helpful to see what their options are in the coming days and weeks.

Beyond compensation from the fisherman's employer, his loved ones may be able to pursue a claim against a third party. For example, if some of the fishing equipment was faulty and those flaws contributed to the accident, then the equipment manufacturer could be held liable for their negligence.

The period after a fatal workplace accident can be incredibly confusing. Although successful workers' compensation or third-party claims cannot undo the tragic results of the accident, the financial support can help the family recover and find a way forward. Above all, the hope is that the victim's family finds the answers and the comfort they deserve.

Source: ABC Local News, "NC fisherman gets tangled in net and killed," Jan. 6, 2013

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