Tacoma Maritime Injury Lawyer

Maritime Injury Lawyer in Tacoma, WA

Tacoma is a port city in Washington state and the county seat of Pierce County, and is located 32 miles southwest of Seattle, WA. Tacoma has an area of 62.34 square miles, of which 49.72 sq. mi. is land and 12.62 sq. mi. is water.

The maritime industry of WA covers a wide variety of job roles, including – but not limited to – fishermen, longshoremen, deckhands, cruise ship workers, harbor workers, engineers, pilots and cooks. Regardless of the job, there are unique occupational hazards that come with roles in the maritime industry. Serious injury sustained at sea, or on other bodies of water, is not only possible, but common. Unfortunately, maritime deaths also happen too frequently.

Because of the nature of the industry, maritime workers require special legal protections. And it’s important to note that maritime law is unique, with parts of it even seen as archaic. As such, if you have been injured on the job, you will need the services of an experienced maritime injury lawyer in Tacoma. Accidents happen and will sometimes be covered by employers’ insurance, but it is often the case that there is negligence involved. If you are trying to get compensation for an injury as a seafarer, then contacting an offshore injury lawyer in Tacoma can help you understand your rights to that compensation.

Maritime Personal Injury Law Firms in Tacoma, WA

The best maritime injury law firms in Tacoma will employ expert attorneys, those who have an understanding of your compensation rights and have specialist insight into maritime law. Working at sea does not afford the same rights for compensatory benefits from employers after injury (or illness) as land-based jobs. However, under the Jones Act, maritime workers have the right to sue their employers for compensation when injuries have occurred on the job.

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Maritime Injury Lawyers in Tacoma, WA
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Maritime Injury Payouts

Notable maritime payout settlements include:

Port of Bellingham Settlement (2016)

$16 Million
An Alaskan ferries worker received $16 million in compensation after being injured while operating a faulty passenger-loading ramp in 2012.

Washington Ferry Settlement (2008)

$1.1 Million
Three workers on the Tacoma ferry received $1.1 million in compensation after being exposed to chlorine gas while cleaning the vessel in 2004.

SS Jacob Settlement (2013)

$2 Million
A 58-year-old worker was injured while securing mooring posts on the SS Jacob in Korea. The injured worker received $2 million in compensation after suffering brain injuries.

Common Maritime Injuries & Accidents in Tacoma, WA

  • Crush Maritime Personal Injury
  • Fire and Explosion Accidents
  • Dredger Accidents
  • Head Injuries
  • Shoulder Injuries
  • Trawl Winch Accidents
  • Tanker Accidents
  • Lost Limbs and Amputation
  • Drowning
  • Lifeboat Drill Injuries
  • Maritime Wrongful Death
  • Ferry Accidents & Ferry Worker Injuries
  • Lifeboat Accidents
  • Ladder and Step Accidents
  • Maritime Electrical Injuries
  • Seiner Accidents
  • Plate Freezer Accidents
  • Conveyor Belt Injuries
  • Cargo and Crane Injuries
  • Worker Injuries During Storms
  • Slip and Fall Injuries
  • Maritime Employer Negligence
  • Hypothermia
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Under the Jones Act
  • Defective Maritime Products
  • Cruise Ship Injuries
  • Maritime Equipment Injuries
  • Diving Injuries
  • Toxic Chemical Exposure
  • Crab Boat Injuries
  • Vessel Injuries
  • Inadequate Training Injuries
  • Dock and Pier Accidents
  • Maritime Physical and Sexual Assault
  • Fish Processing Equipment Accidents
  • Port & Pier Injuries
  • Maritime Shore Based Accidents
  • Charter Boat Accidents

The Jones Act

The Jones Act was first enacted in 1920, but it was later updated for the modern maritime industry in 2006. It is part of federal law, and it usually acts as the main reference point for seafarers’ legal rights when pursuing compensation. However, there are other federal laws that both supplement and are separate from the Jones Act. For instance, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is designed to protect those workers who may not be classified as seamen. And, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) allows a spouse, child or parent to recover compensation should a loved one die at sea. Again, if you are unsure of which areas of the law cover your particular maritime injury case, contact a maritime lawyer for expert advice.

The Jones Act sets out that maritime workers have three years from the date of the incident, the discovery of the injury, or the diagnosis of an illness to file a maritime personal injury lawsuit against their employers. But we should stress this is just a general guide, and it is thus worth getting specialist maritime legal representation to see if you can pursue a claim. Indeed, even if three years have elapsed since being injured at sea, it is still worth contacting maritime injury legal experts as they may still be able to move forward with your claim.

Maritime Injury Statute of Limitations

What is the Maritime Injury statute of limitations in my state?

The majority of maritime law is made at the federal, rather than state, level in the United States, with some judge-made laws adding to the legal framework. The Jones Act, as well as the LHWCA and DOHSA, are enacted in federal law. However, it is much too simplistic to say that federal law will supersede state law regarding maritime injury statute of limitations. States with large maritime sectors like California, New York, Texas, Alaska, Louisiana, and Florida all reflect the Jones Act by having a three-year statute of limitations for maritime personal injury lawsuits. However, states may differ in certain areas of maritime law, including interpretations of when the statute of limitations begins. Conversely, there is a two-year statute of limitations for maritime legal actions brought against the United States Government. We can connect you to maritime injury lawyers in Washington for specific advice on the statute of limitations on your claim.

Tacoma Maritime Injury Settlement Lawyer

The amount of compensation you receive for an offshore injury claim will depend on the extent of injuries, the amount of negligence on the part of your employer, as well as a myriad of other factors. There have been many high-profile maritime injury payouts in recent years that have seen claimants receive millions of dollars in compensation.

Compensation for Maritime Injuries

One of the most important areas of liability of maritime employers is a concept called “maintenance and cure.” In short, your employer is legally obligated to provide maintenance – financial aid for rent/mortgage, utilities, food and general living expenses – and care – reasonable medical expenses. Maintenance and care is provided regardless of whose fault the accident was. Because of the nature of offshore work, employers will have specialist insurance. But it should not be taken as a given that insurance companies will provide the financial compensation you are legally entitled to after an injury at sea.

Maritime Injury Compensation Claims 

However, if the injury is caused due to negligence on the part of your employer, you may be entitled to further compensation through a maritime injury compensation claim. It’s worth remembering that negligence is a very broad legal term, and it might not always become clear that your employer was at fault until the case is examined by an expert in maritime injury law in Washington state.

Working offshore can be dangerous, but there is an invisible social contract between America’s maritime workers, their employers, and the federal government. That means every precaution should be taken to protect workers working on or near the water. While the Jones Act points out that maritime work is hazardous by its very nature, it also unequivocally states that maritime workers have the right to work in the safest environment possible. If the employer has not done their utmost to fulfil their side of the bargain, then you could – and should – pursue a personal injury claim with a maritime attorney in Tacoma.

Reasons for Maritime Employer Negligence 

There can be many reasons to pursue a maritime injury claim due to negligence on behalf of the employer. This can include vessels being unseaworthy, i.e., having broken or faulty parts or missing equipment – anything that the vessel should have in place to ensure your safety. The same rules should apply to equipment used onshore, such as cranes. Employers can also be negligent in terms of the training given to you or other crew members. Fatigue, being forced to work when unwell, and a significant number of other factors can constitute employer negligence if you get injured on the job.

Maritime Injury Lawsuits

As mentioned earlier, maritime law is a specialist field. To fully understand what your rights are and how much compensation you can get from a maritime injury lawsuit, you should speak to an expert in offshore injury claims.

Do I Qualify For a Maritime Injury Lawsuit?

The maritime industry in the United States spans many different sectors and job roles, some of which are markedly different; a role as a cook on a luxury cruise ship is very different to the duties of a longshoreman on a busy port, for example. Gray areas can exist in terms of the application of the law, your jurisdiction, what constitutes a maritime injury, and even the definition of a maritime worker. Getting the correct legal advice from a maritime lawyer will untangle those complications.

Where Can I Find Maritime Injury Lawyers in Tacoma, WA?

We can help connect you with a qualified maritime personal injury lawyer in your state. Simply fill out the free evaluation form, and you will be able to get the advice you need to start pursuing your claim.

Free Case Evaluation
 

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