Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski
Technology has done much to automate traditional worker roles throughout the decades, but it can never replace the hardworking men and women who work tirelessly on or around sea vessels. Maritime workers, including seamen and longshoremen, continue to bear the heavy and often hazardous burden of working in the maritime industry.
Safety training and proper equipment, when employed, can help minimize the occurrence of an accident, but human error, dangerous ship conditions, and the unpredictability of Mother Nature can quickly lead to a serious accident. What happens to the fish processor with constant pain from a repeated stress back injury? The deckhand who cannot handle lines anymore due to a ruptured disc? The grieving wife who lost her husband in a vessel sinking?
Our legal system, including in Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska, allows victims of maritime accidents and their loved ones to pursue compensation after an accident. The seaman can bring a legal action against the employer. Longshoremen may also seek a third-party claim against the shipowner for injuries sustained aboard vessels.
Third-party vendors or contractors may also be liable under the general maritime law for industrial accidents that cause injuries to maritime workers.
Pursuing the compensation you or your loved one need does not have to add to your already heavy burden. An experienced maritime lawyer in Seattle, San Francisco, Bellingham, or Portland can hold the employer and any other relevant parties accountable for the injuries you sustained. Our attorneys can help navigate you through these difficult times and find a resolution that provides reasonable compensation in both the short-term and long-term. You have suffered enough – it's time to let somebody else fight on your behalf.
Our attorneys can you help navigate you through these difficult times and find a resolution that provides reasonable compensation in both the short-term and long-term. You have suffered enough – it's time to let somebody else fight on your behalf.
Maritime Lawyers in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California
Throughout the years, the attorneys at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski have earned an outstanding reputation throughout Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. Our attorneys provide honest and hardworking representation for those affected by maritime accidents.
We focus exclusively on maritime cases and regularly represent merchant mariners, commercial fisherman, dockworkers, processors, and other maritime workers from a variety of backgrounds all along the coast. Our clients understand that when we take on their case, we mean business.
We understand your concerns during these uncertain times. Perhaps you're unsure if a full medical recovery is possible and how long it will take. You're concerned about how you will recover the wages you’ve lost while you are out of work letting your injuries heal. Perhaps you're worried that you will be blackballed from future employment if you exercise your right to legal action. When you're pressured to return to work, but you don’t feel you’re ready, this can quickly turn into a storm of stress. The law firm of Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski is here to help.
We pride ourselves on our proactive and thorough approach for every case we take coast-to-coast. We conduct a full investigation into the liability issues in the case as well as a complete examination of the medical consequences of the accident. Our dedicated admiralty lawyers are experienced trial veterans and strategic negotiators. Whether your situation benefits most from trial or settlement, we will vigorously pursue your goals and fight for maximum compensation.
With offices in Seattle and Bellingham in Washington, San Francisco in California and Portland in Oregon, this maritime law firm is ready to start fighting for you. Over the past quarter-century, our lawyers have handled hundreds of cases of shipboard injuries, portside accidents, and wrongful death from coast to coast.
Our attorneys are experienced in both trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, and even the Supreme Court of the United States resulting in court decisions establishing important maritime precedents.
Call 1 (800) 262-8529 (1-800-BOATLAW) to learn more about your legal options during a free and confidential consultation with an experienced maritime lawyer at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski. Our Washington, California, and Oregon based law firm operates on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you do not pay a dime unless we make a financial recovery on your behalf.
You are already going through a difficult time – let us pursue your rights while you focus on recovery and your family.
Dedicated Maritime Attorneys with Respect for the High Seas
Since 1977, our law firm has worked hard on behalf of clients injured aboard ships of all sizes and classes. The members of our legal team at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski share a lifelong love of the sea, including each of the attorneys.
- David B. Anderson, Partner, is a Seattle native who owned and operated a tug/barge company. Even before he obtained his driver's license as a young boy, he was operating at the helm of sail and powerboats up to 40 feet in length.
- Gordon T. Carey, Jr., Partner, has nearly 40 years of experience in civil litigation. He has several high profile victories to his name and has played a major role in achieving favorable settlements in several noteworthy federal maritime cases, which have helped shape modern maritime law.
- Douglas R. Williams, Partner, was raised in a military family and spent much of his youth aboard vessels with his father, a chief medical officer. His past legal experience also extends to litigation for insurance companies in maritime injury claims, giving him additional insights.
- Nicholas J. Neidzwski, Partner, has experience litigating a variety of Jones Act and maritime cases. He is committed to achieving the best possible result for each client no matter the circumstances.
If you were injured in an accident on a fishing vessel, tug, barge, oil rig, or another type of seagoing vessel, then you need an advocate on your side who has the experience to represent your rights against the largest of companies.
More importantly, you need a Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Bellingham admiralty lawyer who understands your way of life because they have a passion for the maritime industry. At Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski you will always be represented by a Washington, California, Alaska, or Oregon-licensed lawyer highly experienced in maritime law who has a strong track record of success.
Decades of Experience in Routine and Complex Maritime Accident Cases
Our Seattle, San Francisco, Bellingham, and Portland maritime attorneys have nearly a century of combined experience in civil litigation. We understand what it takes to prepare a strong case and spare no reasonable expense in fighting for your rights. From the moment you first contact our personal injury firm, you can see our commitment towards your cause.
We confidently pursue your maritime claims against the largest companies in the maritime industry and their insurance companies.
Maritime law can be complex – it is in your best interests to work with an attorney highly focused on this aspect of the law. At Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients in a wide variety of maritime cases across the North Pacific and Atlantic coasts, including the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea.
Our experience extends to accidents involving slip and falls, explosions, factory processing accidents, equipment defects, unsafe ladders/causeways, port collisions, crane accidents, inadequate safety training, decompression related injuries, and unsafe working conditions.
We have seen firsthand the impact that a serious accident can have both physically and mentally. Lost limbs, head injuries, back injuries, repetitive use injuries, shoulder injuries, spinal cord injuries, and chemical burns aren't uncommon in the fast-paced maritime world. However, there is no excuse when the accident was caused by the employer or another third party.
Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski is proud to continue fighting for justice on behalf of commercial fishermen, dock workers, deckhands, ferry workers, oil rig workers, commercial divers and merchant mariners.
Our maritime lawyers with offices in Bellingham and Seattle, WA, San Francisco, CA, and Portland, OR, have successfully represented many clients throughout the years, recovering millions of dollars. The attorneys understand that no two cases are the same. Even if the general circumstances that resulted in the injuries are similar, it is the smallest details that can make the difference in establishing liability and obtaining maximum compensation for your damages.
Your Rights After a Maritime or Longshore Accident
Injured maritime workers and the immediate family members of those who perish at sea can pursue legal recourse under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and general maritime law. These laws give injured seamen and dockworkers the right to pursue legal action and collect compensation under:
- Jones Act: The Jones Act, or Merchant Marine Law of 1920, helps seamen who are injured at work recover for their injuries. It includes claims for negligence, in which an employer or your coworker fails to act within their expected duty of care. The Jones Act imposes liability upon maritime employers for injuries to crewmembers whenever the proof justifies the conclusion that the employer's negligence played any part, even the slightest, in producing the injury for which damages are sought.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act: The LHWCA covers stevedores, dock workers, crane operators and other land-based maritime employees. It operates similarly to landside workers' compensation in that it automatically entitles employees injured on the job to benefits while they are undergoing medical care.
- Death on the High Seas Act: DOHSA allows family members and loved ones to recover if a seaman or passenger is killed outside the territorial waters of the United States. While DOHSA does not cover loss of consortium, it does allow loved ones to recover for funeral expenses, loss of support, and other monetary losses.
- General Maritime Law: If you or your loved one's injury is not covered under a specific statute, it is likely covered under the general maritime law. Under general maritime law, you are guaranteed a right to maintenance and cure and unearned wages. This means that, after an injury or an illness, you should receive payments for your medical care while you recover. Additionally, general maritime provide a cause of action for unseaworthiness when a ship or its equipment is not reasonably fit for its intended purpose.
Who to file your claim against and where depends greatly on the specific circumstances and the applicable law. For instance, a Jones Act negligence claim is filed against your employer, while an unseaworthiness claim is filed against the ship's owner.
Typically, we will file claims against both the employer and ship's owner and argue both causes of action to help you receive the full compensation you need.
Top 6 Things for Injured Seamen and Maritime Workers to Keep in Mind
After an accident, your world can quickly turn upside down. With the stress of worrying about your injuries and your ability to work, you may inadvertently do something that can hurt your future legal case. There are actions and inactions that can impact your chances of receiving reasonable compensation for the losses caused by your injuries.
Following an accident, keep the following in mind:
- Do report your accident to your supervisor. Even if you don’t notice the severity of your injury until the next day, it’s important to complete an accident report or make an entry in the vessel’s logbook. Ask for a copy of anything you sign. If your vessel has a medical officer, speak with him or her about what care is available onboard and discuss when you can seek professional help at the next port.
- Do see a doctor as soon as you're able after an accident. Obtaining the care you need is your primary concern. Make sure to explain to the doctor or nurse how your injury occurred. This will assist the physician in diagnosing your condition and also creates another level of documentation for your injury claim. You are entitled to be treated by a doctor of your choosing. Under the Maintenance and Cure doctrine, medical expenses will be covered by your employer.
- Do NOT give a statement, official or otherwise, to your employer or their insurance company. While you may have a positive relationship with other crew members, this does not mean they are on your side. Your words may be used to build a case against you by your employer and its insurance company.
- Do consult with an attorney before agreeing to a settlement. Maritime businesses and their insurance companies are concerned with their profits and bottom line. Paying you fair and honest compensation for your losses is not how insurance companies make money. They may shortchange you, leaving you high and dry down the road. An experienced attorney will make sure you're not being taken advantage of.
- Do NOT go back to work until you are physically and mentally recovered. You may feel pressure from an employer to hurry back. Do not return to work without clearance from your personal physician. You do not want to aggravate your injuries and potentially sustain permanent damage. If you are pursuing a legal claim, consult with your attorney about your options.
- Do file a maritime accident claim as soon after the accident as possible. Not only are you limited in the time you can act and file a claim after an accident, a lengthy delay can weaken your case in some situations. Keep in mind that certain evidence, statements, and documentation are time-sensitive and can affect your available legal options.
Speak with a maritime lawyer in Washington, California, or Oregon who you can trust to represent your interests. The lawyer can give you legal advice that will help you navigate your general maritime law and Jones Act claims.
Proudly Representing Mariners Across Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California
We maintain offices in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California as well as Portland, Oregon. Each member of the legal team at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski shares a love of the sea and has a stake in protecting the rights of members of the maritime community. Our clients come from all walks of life, backgrounds, and cultures.
Call 1 (800) 262-8529 (1-800-BOATLAW) to schedule your consultation, one-on-one with an attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski today. Your initial discussion with a qualified attorney (and never a paralegal or law clerk) is a prime opportunity to learn more about your legal options in a no-pressure setting.
We always encourage our clients and even prospective clients to make the most informed decision. Providing information is critical to making this happen.
Don't wait until tomorrow to take control of your future after an accident. We have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. Let us help you today.
This article was last updated on March 14, 2018.