Experienced Seattle Admiralty Lawyer
Almost all injury accidents aboard ships, fishing vessels, and tugs are governed by federal admiralty law. Seattle admiralty lawyers James Beard and his partner, Lanning Trueb, of Trueb & Beard, LLC, apply the complex federal maritime laws to help get fair compensation for the men and women who have been injured while working aboard ships, fishing vessels, tugs and barges. In the United States, maritime claims involve a complex system of admiralty judge-made common law and laws passed by Congress.
Mr. Beard is one of the Northwest’s most experienced admiralty personal injury lawyers. His practice for the past 30 years has emphasized claims involving crewmen injuries and deaths in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. His experience includes representing clients in the wrongful death claims involving the sinkings of the fishing vessels Aleutian Enterprise, Alaska Ranger, Arctic Rose, Katmai, Pacesetter, Nesika, Lady Cecelia and others. From his admiralty law offices in Seattle, Washington, he has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for his clients located throughout the United States. Attorney Beard’s experience includes the representation of crewmen and fishermen who have suffered catastrophic and career-ending injuries such as brain injuries, amputations, burns, spinal cord injuries, complex hand injuries, loss of sight, loss of hearing, balance disorders, seizures, psychological injuries and other injuries. Experience matters when it comes to applying the complex laws that govern admiralty and maritime injury claims.
We’ve Recovered Millions Of Dollars Representing Injured Crewmen, Fishermen And Fish Processors
Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over admiralty matters; however, the Savings to Suitors clause allows some admiralty claims to be brought in state court with the right to jury trial. The savings to suitor clause applies to injury claims by crewmen working aboard vessels of all kinds and allows the injured crewman the choice to file suit for compensation either in state or federal court. Experience matters when it comes to choosing where and which court to file your admiralty and maritime injury claim.
Based upon ancient concepts of admiralty law, an injured crewman is entitled to have his medical bills and daily living expenses paid under the maintenance and cure doctrine. The injured crewman does not need to prove negligence or unseaworthiness of his vessel to recover maintenance and cure benefits. However, to recover damages for past and future lost wages, future medical bills and past and future medical care, a seaman must prove unseaworthiness or Jones Act negligence.
What Is Admiralty Law?
Admiralty law developed the unseaworthiness doctrine, and these laws are based upon precedents established in the United States over the past 125 years of admiralty cases brought in state and federal courts. Under the unseaworthiness doctrine, a vessel owner must provide his crewmen with a safe place to work and a vessel reasonably fit for its intended purpose. Classic examples of unseaworthiness involve defective or faulty equipment and tools, negligent vessel design and construction, and undermanned and untrained crew.
Under federal statutes, injured crewmen also have claims for injury caused by the negligence of their employer, or the negligence of a fellow crewman. An injured crewman bringing a Jones Act negligence claim against his employer must prove only that his injury was caused in the slightest by the employer’s negligence. Admiralty law has abolished the concept of barring seaman injury claims because of the alleged fault of the injured crewman; instead, admiralty injury claims are governed by a system of comparative fault. The Admiralty comparative fault doctrine recognizes that there may be multiple causes of an accident.
Contact Our Premier Maritime Lawyers Today
Mr. Beard and his team at Trueb & Beard, LLC, understand how accidents happen to crewmen working at sea. From years of experience practicing admiralty law, they know how to prove the employer and vessel’s responsibility for injuries to a crewman. They know how to gather and present the evidence necessary to get you the fair damages you deserve for your injuries.
For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call 425-403-1900 to discuss your admiralty and maritime injury claim. With over 80 combined years of maritime law experience, our attorneys know the industry and how to help you recover.