Amount of seafarers disability and death compensations according to the Ukrainian law

The reimbursement of damages for the seamens injuries and deaths is a rather topical problem both for shipowners and for seamen. This brings us to the necessity to analyze the existing situation from the legal viewpoint.

              As the practice goes in case of the seamans injury or death a one-time compensation is payable     where the amounts of compensations are usually set in the employment contracts or collective agreements. But how to estimate the amount of the disability or the death compensation if there is no reference to these payments in the employment contract or a collective agreement? In order to do so we have to look into the active Ukrainian legislation.

            According to the Civil Code of Ukraine compensation for damages are effected by monthly payments in the amount of lost seafarer’s wages which were lost by him due to the professional or general disability. The amount of seafarer’s lost wages to be compensated is determined as a percentage of average monthly wages that the victim had before the injury or another damage to health, taking into account the degree of seafarer’s disability. The average wages are calculated at the request of the victim for twelve or the last three calendar months of work. The lost earnings include all types of remuneration under the employment contract, excluding compensation for unused vacation and severance pay.

 Thus, calculating the amount of damage, caused to the health of the seafarer, it is necessary to consider not only the basic wages, but also a fixed or guaranteed overtime.

According to the Civil Code of Ukraine in addition to the lost wages the injured seafarer is entitled to the additional costs caused by the need of high-calorie diet, sanatorium and health resorts, purchase of medicines, prosthetics, nursing care, etc. 

Also, the Civil Code of Ukraine provides the victim (seafarer) to claim moral damages.

In case of the seafarer’s death persons who are entitled to the compensation for damage receive average monthly wages of the victim with the deduction of share which was due to the victim and able-bodied persons, which were maintained by him. The family can also claim moral damages.

 In addition, the shipowner must reimburse the funeral expenses and the costs of the memorial construction to the person who has incurred these expenses.

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