Over 80 Combined Years Of Maritime Law Experience

Guidance For The Complexities Of Maritime Law

After surviving a workplace accident at sea or losing someone you love to such an accident, Trueb Berne & Beard, LLP, can represent you in your claim. With more than 80 years of combined experience serving seamen in Washington State, Oregon and Alaska, our maritime injury attorneys understand the many complex laws affecting your right to recover compensation. We have dedicated our practice to helping injured seamen and their family members protect their rights and hold negligent vessel owners and other parties accountable for their actions.

On this page, you will find answers to several of our clients’ frequently asked questions. We hope that this gives you some insight into your own concerns about maritime personal injury law.

What should I do if I suffer an injury while working at sea?

After a workplace accident that occurs on a vessel, try to follow these steps:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately, if possible.
  2. Report the incident to your supervisor.
  3. Fill out a detailed accident report.
  4. Document your injuries and the scene of the accident by taking pictures, if you can.
  5. Write down everything that you can remember as soon as possible after the incident.
  6. Do not speak with any insurance representatives.
  7. Consult an experienced maritime injury law attorney.

Adhering to these steps will greatly increase your likelihood of recovering fair compensation.

What should I know about the Jones Act?

The Jones Act – also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 – regulates the U.S. Merchant Marine. One of the most important provisions of the Jones Act is that workers injured at sea have the right to seek compensation for their damages. Because terrestrial law does not necessarily apply to seamen, the Jones Act is critical in protecting maritime injury survivors’ rights.

What makes Jones Act claims different from standard personal injury claims?

Fortunately, claims filed under the Jones Act have a lower burden of proof than personal injury lawsuits that you would file in court. Under the Jones Act, you must prove that an employer or coworker’s negligence contributed to your injury, even if only partially. Personal injury claims require plaintiffs to show that the other party’s negligence was a substantial contributing factor to the injury.

Am I eligible for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)?

The LHWCA is a federal law that allows certain maritime workers to recover partial or full compensation for lost wages, medical care and rehab after an injury. Some of the professions covered by this law include:

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor workers
  • Dock workers
  • Shipping terminal workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Shipbuilders

Most traditional maritime workers qualify for compensation under the LHWCA, but you should consult an attorney to learn for certain.

Why should I hire a lawyer?

You have the right to handle your claim on your own, but this does not mean that you should. Although your employer and their insurance company will claim that they have your best interests at heart, their goal is almost always to minimize their own liability. Insurance providers have a reputation for offering much lower settlement amounts than the victim deserves. When you have a maritime law attorney on your side, you have someone who will always uphold your rights.

Get More Answers In A Free Consultation

We do not charge any fees up front; you do not pay us unless we recover compensation for you. We also provide free, confidential, no-obligation consultations. To schedule yours, please call our Woodinville office at 425-403-1900 or send us a message online.