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The legal aid to the Crimean seafarer

Starting from 2014 it grew much harder to provide assistance to the Crimean seafarers because of indefinite status of the Crimea in the world community. The Russians consider the Crimea to be a part of Russian Federation, Ukraine as well as practically the whole world – a part of Ukraine. Besides, all the documents issued on the territory of the Crimea are considered to be illegitimate for Ukraine as well as for many ship owners employing the seafarers.

I’ll repeat, it grew much harder to provide assistance to the Crimean seafarers.

But there is nothing impossible.

The seafarer has got a very hard spine, legs and arm injury working aboard the vessel “TRANSBALTIC” (IMO 9248552).

The vessel is managed by the Baltic company and is not covered by the collective agreement.

The difficulty of this case is the following: the seafarer himself even didn’t have employment contract on him and the only evidence of his presence aboard was the stamp in his seafarer passport, nothing more.

But as the practice shows, even with minimum amount of documents on person, it’s possible to achieve payment of fare compensation.

So, what have we done to get compensation for the seafarer?

  1. The first step was to state the fact itself of injury aboard and recognition of this fact by the ship owner. This fact is usually stated by the court in the case if the ship owner refuses to recognize it. But in this case we were lucky. The fact had been recorded and we didn’t face the denial of thereof.  Although, it was surprising, taking into account that the seafarer had no documents on him.
  2. The second stage was the notification of the insurance company (P&I) of the accident. As we supposed, about this fact it wasn’t claimed into the P&I and accordingly the seafarer was risking to get no payment from the ship owner.
  3. We achieved the payment of the sick leave for the whole period of treatment and covering of all the expenses in this connection. It’s about several thousand dollars.
  4. The examination of the seafarer to state the permanent loss of workability and possibility of further work as a seafarer. The examination took place on the territory of Ukraine in the specialized (licensed) clinics under supervision of the best specialists in the field of traumatology.
  5. The calculation of the compensation sum. It’s the hardest moment. There is neither contract nor the collective agreement. The flag was the only thing we had. The vessel subjects the laws of the flag country; therefore we took its legislation as the basic one. In other words, sitting at office at the computer, we studied the legislation of the other country in order to provide competent help to the seafarer.
  6. The documents and the opinions exchange. As for me, it’s the most interesting stage. The stage, when each part has its own vision of the case and the sum to settle the dispute. In other words, the battle of brains and minds breaks out. It’s like poker.  Who will fold the first or who will go to “all in”


On the New Year Eve we signed the document on withdrawing all the claims on the part of the seafarer in exchange to consent to accept the compensation in amount of 91 000 $ US plus covering of all the seek leaves and treatment expenses.

P.S. our client, before applying for legal aid, accounted to get at least 35 000 USD. It turned out three times more. All the sides of the process are satisfied.

Another case is closed.

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