When individuals experience a boat or ship accident, it’s an incredibly difficult situation. Whether it occurs on a large ship, a small boat, or a ferry, these accidents can lead to serious injuries or, in the worst cases, fatalities. During such challenging times, it’s crucial for victims to know their rights. Special laws exist for these types of accidents, designed to determine the support and financial compensation victims might receive, based on the specifics of the incident and the nature of their injuries. This is where an Oregon maritime injury attorney comes in.

In the following article, we’ll go over common maritime accidents in Oregon, who is eligible for certain legal claims, the types of financial compensation available, and the role an experienced lawyer plays from beginning to end of the litigation process.

Oregon Maritime Accident Lawyer

The attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP (formerly Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski) have decades of experience representing clients throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska with their maritime claims. Our attorneys are knowledgeable about maritime and admiralty law and the Jones Act and how these regulations apply to offshore workers and their injuries.

If you or a loved one have been injured, contact the maritime offshore injury lawyers at BoatLaw, LLP for a free evaluation of your claim. Our attorneys may be able to get you compensation for your injuries and help you navigate through this process as smoothly as possible.

Call BoatLaw, LLP at 1-800-262-8529 today.

Information Center

Back to top

About the Maritime Industry in Oregon

The maritime industry in Oregon plays an important role in the state’s economy, including activities related to shipping, fishing, and recreational boating. This industry is essential for transporting goods and people, both within the state and internationally. Oregon’s location along the Pacific Coast allows access to maritime routes that connect to global markets, making it valuable in international trade.

The state’s ports, including the Port of Portland, are major hubs for cargo and container shipping, supporting businesses and jobs. Additionally, the fishing industry contributes significantly to the local economy, with Oregon being renowned for its salmon, crab, and oyster harvests. Recreational boating and tourism also form an essential part of the maritime sector, attracting visitors and contributing to the coastal communities’ livelihoods.

Prominent Oregon Ports

The busiest ports in Oregon include:

  • Port of Alsea
  • Port of Arlington
  • Port of Astoria
  • Port of Bandon
  • Port of Brookings Harbor
  • Port of Cascade Locks
  • Port of Coos Bay
  • Port of Coquille River
  • Port of Garibaldi
  • Port of Gold Beach
  • Port of Hood River
  • Port of Morrow
  • Port of Nehalem
  • Port of Newport
  • Port of Orford
  • Port of Portland
  • Port of Siuslaw
  • Port of St. Helens
  • Port of The Dalles
  • Port of Tillamook Bay
  • Port of Toledo
  • Port of Umatilla
  • Port of Umpqua

List of Important Oregon Bodies of Water

The most important bodies of water for maritime claims in the state of Oregon include:

  • Chetco Cove
  • Columbia River
  • Coquille River
  • Devils Cauldron
  • Haynes Inlet
  • Hungryman Cove
  • Hunters Cove
  • Kentuck Inlet
  • Mack Arch Cove
  • Macklyn Cove
  • Nehalem Bay
  • Smith River
  • Smuggler Cove
  • Umpqua River
  • Youngs River

Back to top

Which Are the Most Common Maritime Jobs in Oregon?

In Oregon, the maritime sector offers a range of job opportunities. Among the most common maritime jobs are those in commercial fishing, where individuals work on boats to catch fish and seafood that are a main part of Oregon’s economy. Ship and boat building positions also play a big role, with skilled workers designing, constructing, and repairing vessels.

Port operations offer another significant employment area, including roles in cargo handling, logistics, and management, ensuring the smooth transit of goods through the state’s ports. Furthermore, there are careers in maritime transportation, where mariners operate and navigate ships, and in the tourism sector, where individuals guide tours and recreational activities along Oregon’s scenic coastline. These jobs are crucial for supporting the state’s economy and the maritime industry’s growth.

Back to top

Who Are the Oregon Regulators in the Maritime Industry?

The Oregon State Marine Board is primarily responsible for regulating recreational boating activities, ensuring safety, and protecting waterways. The Port of Portland, along with other port authorities in the state, oversees operations at their respective ports, including cargo handling, environmental protection, and security measures.

Additionally, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) enforces regulations related to water quality and pollution control in maritime settings. At the federal level, agencies like the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission also have jurisdiction in Oregon, focusing on maritime safety, security, and trade regulation.

Back to top

What Is a Maritime Injury in Oregon?

Maritime injuries in Oregon’s maritime sector, encompassing shipping, fishing, and other related activities, come in various forms. Workers may suffer from broken bones and fractures, typically resulting from slips on wet decks, falls from heights, or accidents involving heavy machinery. Severe lacerations or amputations can occur when handling sharp tools or machinery.

Back and spinal injuries are common, often a result of lifting heavy loads or sudden trauma during a ship’s movement. Repetitive strain injuries develop over time, caused by the constant, repetitive motions required in maritime tasks. Head injuries, including concussions, can be caused by falling objects or hitting fixed structures during rough seas. Exposure to harmful substances can lead to respiratory issues or chemical burns. Hearing loss is another notable risk, stemming from prolonged exposure to high decibel levels onboard ships.

These injuries not only impact the physical health of maritime workers but also pose significant challenges to their professional lives and personal well-being.

Back to top

Where Do Most Maritime Accidents Happen in and Around Oregon?

Most maritime accidents in and around Oregon occur in areas with heavy shipping traffic or challenging environmental conditions.
Astoria a city with a strong maritime heritage, strongly influenced by commercial fishing, cruising, and recreational boating. The local economy significantly benefits from these water-related activities, employing many residents in maritime occupations.
Coos Bayrecognized for having one of Oregon’s best natural harbors, which contributes to its status as a busy port. The maritime industry plays a significant role in the local economy, with many residents employed in maritime roles.
Newporta coastal city known for its connection to Yaquina Bay and the Pacific Ocean, making it a hub for fishing, tourism, and marine research.
Portlandhas a significant maritime sector, with its location along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers facilitating a variety of maritime activities. The city’s maritime industry includes commercial fishing operations, cruise ship activities, and other marine-based employment.

Back to top

How Does the Jones Act Protect Oregon Maritime Workers Who Are Injured?

The Jones Act is a federal law that offers protection to maritime workers in Oregon and across the United States who are injured on the job. It allows these workers, often referred to as seamen, to seek compensation from their employers for injuries resulting from negligence or unsafe conditions on vessels. Unlike traditional workers’ compensation, the Jones Act allows injured workers to file lawsuits for damages, including medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. The law doesn’t just stop with injuries. It also covers situations where a maritime worker dies because of their employer’s negligence or because the work environment was unsafe. In these sad cases, the family of the worker can sue the employer for compensation.

Back to top

How Does the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Assist Injured Maritime Workers in Oregon?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides important support to maritime workers in Oregon who are injured on the job, but not at sea. This includes those working in shipyards, harbors, and shipping terminals. LHWCA offers compensation for lost wages, medical treatment, and rehabilitation costs.

It also provides benefits to families in cases of work-related death. This Act is essential for workers who are not covered by the Jones Act because they do not work on navigable vessels or are not considered seamen. It ensures that maritime employees have financial protection and access to necessary medical care after workplace injuries, helping them to recover and return to work or adjust to life after serious injuries.

Back to top

What Is Maintenance and Cure?

Maintenance and cure ensures injured seamen receive care and support during their recovery. Basically, seamen who are injured or fall ill while in service to a vessel are entitled to medical treatment (cure) and living expenses (maintenance) until they reach maximum medical improvement. This means that the shipowner must cover the costs of medical care, including hospital stays, medical procedures, and rehabilitation, as well as provide a daily living allowance to cover food and lodging until the seaman can return to work or is deemed to have recovered as fully as possible.

Back to top

Who Can File a Claim in Oregon Under Admiralty and Maritime Law?

Seamen injured while working on vessels can seek compensation for their injuries. Workers on docks, harbors, or shipyards who are involved in loading, unloading, repairing, or building ships can also file claims, often under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Additionally, passengers injured on cruise ships or other maritime vessels may pursue claims against operators for negligence. This ensures that anyone who suffers harm because of unsafe conditions or negligence in a maritime setting has the opportunity to seek justice and compensation, whether they are workers or passengers affected by maritime operations.

Back to top

Are There Time Limits for Filing a Maritime Injury Claim in Oregon?

Yes, there are specific time limits for filing an injury claim in Oregon under Admiralty and Maritime Law, known as statutes of limitations. For most maritime injury claims under the Jones Act, the victim must file within three years from the date of the injury. Claims under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) generally need to be filed within one year of the injury. For wrongful death claims, the time frame can also differ, but it is typically within three years. It’s important for individuals to be aware of these deadlines to ensure their legal rights to compensation are not lost.

Back to top

What Documentation Is Required to Support a Maritime Injury Claim in Oregon?

To support an injury claim, individuals need to gather documentation. This includes medical records describing the injuries and treatments received, evidence of lost wages or earning capacity because of the injury, and any reports or documentation of the accident itself, like accident reports, witness statements, and photographs of the scene. Additionally, documentation related to the individual’s employment and maritime activities at the time of the injury, like contracts, work schedules, and logs, can be helpful. This evidence helps show the extent of the injuries, the circumstances under which they occurred, and the financial impact on the victim, which are all factors in assessing the claim’s validity and the compensation owed.

Back to top

How Does an Oregon Maritime Injury Lawyer Help a Victim?

An Oregon maritime injury attorney provides important support to victims of maritime accidents, guiding them through the legal process of getting compensation. They start by evaluating the case to understand the circumstances of the accident and determine the applicable laws. This allows them to identify the best legal strategy to pursue, whether under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or general maritime law.

Lawyers gather evidence, including witness statements and medical records, to build a strong case. They negotiate with insurance companies and employers on the victim’s behalf, aiming to get a fair settlement. If necessary, they are prepared to take the case to court to fight for the victim’s rights. Throughout this process, maritime accident lawyers provide advice, keep victims informed, and offer emotional support.

Their goal is to alleviate the stress of the legal process, allowing victims to focus on recovery, while they work to obtain the highest possible compensation and justice for the injuries and losses suffered.

Back to top

Additional Resources

Oregon’s Maritime Workforce
Northwest Oregon Works provides an overview of Oregon’s maritime workforce, highlighting its significance and expected growth. In 2017, the maritime sector employed about 19,000 people across the state, with significant job opportunities and partnerships. The focus is on supporting industries with high employment rates and training for in-demand skills.
Marine Protection and Indemnity Coverage
The State of Oregon Department of Administrative Services provides guidelines for obtaining marine protection and indemnity coverage. This insurance is meant for contractors using vessels on navigable waters. It covers liabilities, including damage to property caused by a ship, injury to crew or passengers, and more. However, it does not cover damage to the vessel’s hull or other vessels.
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Assessment for Commercial Wind Leasing and Site Assessment Activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf Offshore Oregon
This document by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) outlines the intention to prepare an Environmental Assessment for wind energy projects off the Oregon coast. It’s a step towards assessing the environmental impacts of commercial wind leasing and site assessment activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The assessment aims to ensure that wind energy development is sustainable, supporting the transition to renewable energy sources.

Back to top

Hire an Oregon Maritime Injury Lawyer

If you are a maritime employee who has suffered an injury in any of the maritime centers of Oregon, the experienced lawyers at BoatLaw, LLP can work with you to determine negligence on the part of your employer, vessel owner, or other party.

To find out what BoatLaw, LLP can do for you, call 1-800-262-8529 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.

BoatLaw, LLP represents clients with offshore injury claims coast-to-coast in courts in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California.

Our offices are located in Bellingham and Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California.

Back to top