Port Collisions

The growth of global trade activities has caused an increase in vessel traffic in ports. Not only do ports provide services such as cargo handling, mooring, and towage, but they are a means of integration into global economy. Ports serve as job suppliers and provide a crucial connection between sea and land transportation. For many companies and industries, seaway transportation is cheap and effective compared to other systems; however, the increase in port activity has made it complicated to manage vessel traffic.

With all the activity that transpires in a port, vessel navigators (typically the captain) must be attentive and vigilant. The port can be a tight space and requires careful maneuvering by the navigator. Any mistake could cause the ship to collide with another vessel (docked or in transit), land, or structures in the port.

A port collision can cause severe injuries to the people working or occupying a ship. Various federal laws allow those injured in a ship collision to seek compensation for their damages.

Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska Port Collision Injury Lawyers

If you were injured due to an accident in a port, a maritime injury attorney can help you recover. Whether you were on the ship or dockside, a maritime lawyer can help you review your legal options. At BoatLaw, LLP, we have years of experience with maritime accidents, and we are aware of the laws and regulations that surround the maritime industry.

Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 or send us an online message to schedule a free consultation with an experienced maritime attorney. We represent clients in federal and state courts throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Alaska, Oregon, and California. At BoatLaw, LLP, we will be with you every step of the way.

Info on Port Collisions

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Seamen Injured in a Collision

A seaman on board a ship performing their job is covered under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also called the “Jones Act.” The Jones Act allows seamen who are injured due to negligence to seek compensation from their employers for their injuries.

A port collision may occur because the captain or person in charge of navigation was not sufficiently careful. A responsible captain knows to be very careful when heading into a harbor, as there are many hazards. The failure to show reasonable caution may constitute negligence.

A collision victim may also seek compensation from the vessel owner if the crash was due to the unseaworthiness of the ship. Problems with the engine or rudder that cause the ship to go too fast or lack precision in turning may indicate that the ship was not fit to be in the water.

If you were on a ship that was in a collision, an attorney at BoatLaw, LLP can assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve from the responsible party.

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Harbor Workers Injured in a Collision

A ship can also run aground or smash into structures in the port. For the many people working in the harbor, this can cause serious and even deadly injuries. When such an accident happens, injured workers should seek legal counsel to assist them in obtaining the compensation they deserve from the responsible parties.

Unlike seamen, who can recover under the Jones Act, longshoremen, harbor workers, stevedores and others workers who don’t qualify as seamen can recover through the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA operates similarly to worker’s compensation. A qualifying worker can receive up to two-thirds of their weekly pay while they are on medical leave, as well as all reasonable medical expenses.

If the employer for any reason delays or denies payments, an attorney can help obtain the compensation the employee is entitled to.

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Additional Resources

Bureau of Transportation Statistics | Port Performance – The Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides annual reports for the “Nation’s largest container, tonnage, and dry bulk ports.” The link directs you to the Port Profiles, which is an interactive map of the port locations for container, tonnage, and dry bulk ports in the United States. The map also reveals information such as the description and location of the port. The individual profiles of the port consist of a link to the website of the specific port, graphical representation of top commodities for a specific year within that port, and much more.

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Attorneys for Port Collisions in The Pacific Northwest

If you were hurt in a collision while working on a ship or at a harbor, our lawyers can assist you in recovering for your injuries. At BoatLaw, LLP, we represent maritime workers who have been injured on the job in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. Call us today at 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a consultation.


  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.