23 Bellwether Way, Suite 101
Bellingham, WA 98225
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Maritime Law in Bellingham, Washington
If you were injured as a maritime worker in Bellingham, Seattle, Tacoma, or Everett, Washington, contact the experienced maritime lawyers at BoatLaw, LLP to discuss your case. We focus our practice on maritime law, which typically governs the accidents and injuries involving those employed in the maritime industry.
We represent merchant mariners, fish processors, commercial fisherman, tugboat crew, and other seaman injured on the job. We also represent passengers injured in recreational boating accidents aboard recreational vessels, ferries, and cruise ships.
Federal and state laws recognize the special circumstances under which maritime employees operate. A dedicated maritime attorney with intimate knowledge of the laws can make help you get the compensation you deserve in Bellingham, Washington.
Bellingham, WA Maritime & Admiralty Lawyer
The city of Bellingham, Washington has a long maritime history that includes shipbuilding and ship repair, cargo operations, and commercial fishing. Bellingham is also home to the southern terminal of the Alaska Marine Highway System and has an active waterfront port that supports fishing, charter cruises, leisure boating, sailing, shipping, and marina operations.
Many passenger vessels leave for cruises around Bellingham and Chuckanut Bay to the San Juan Islands for whale watching and sunset cruises.
Many families in Bellingham, Washington have subsisted on the sea for generations, but sometimes the legacy is jeopardized when an accident occurs. Injuries at sea can affect anyone, from captains to deckhands to passengers, and their families. Dock and harbor workers are also susceptible to injuries.
- Common Maritime Personal Injuries
- Eligible Claimants for Maritime & Admiralty Law Claims
- Areas We Serve in Bellingham, WA
- Maritime Law Resources in Bellingham, WA
Common Maritime Personal Injuries
The attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP have nearly 100 years of combined experience in civil litigation of maritime law disputes. We represent clients on any number of maritime issues, including:
- Recovering damages for merchant mariners under the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920
- Vessel sinking, groundings, or collisions
- Maintenance and Cure (recovery of living expenses and medical expenses for injury or illness suffered in the service of a ship)
- Recovering damages under the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, or general maritime law
- Maritime employment contract disputes
- Injuries, including:
- Back injuries – It is imperative to treat back injuries seriously. Whether you work onshore or offshore, back injuries are prevalent. It is possible for workers to have continuous back problems and not realize the pain and injury is severe. Contact BoatLaw, LLP, for a free consultation with our Bellingham back injury lawyer, to discuss the circumstances surrounding the accident and what your legal options are.
- Shoulder injuries – Whether you are working on the harbor, dock, or a fishing vessel, you and other crew members are at risk for shoulder injuries. It can result from repetitive strain or trauma. If you have a shoulder injury because of the negligence of your employer or because of an incompetent crew member, it’s vital to retain an attorney.
- Repetitive use injuries – The injury is caused because of repetitive stress and tasks. In the maritime industry, various contributions lead to repetitive use injuries. For example, crew members are exposed to loud and low-level noises from equipment or the engine, and failure to provide safety equipment for the ears can lead to hearing loss. At BoatLaw, LLP, we help clients who have suffered maritime repetitive use injuries, including shoreside maritime workers (e.g., longshoremen).
- Spinal cord injuries – Spinal cord injuries can have permanent and life-changing effects. If you are a seaman who has suffered a spinal cord injury in the course of your work, then you should retain a lawyer. The spine provides structural support, and an injury can have long-term consequences for all aspects of your life. For example, damage to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, which can require accommodations being made to your home, future medical expenses, and a loss of income. If you have suffered a spine or spinal cord injury at sea or in a maritime capacity, contact BoatLaw, LLP.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) – An individual who has a TBI may experience cognitive, behavioral, and physical changes. Also, the individual may face a difficult path ahead as he/she has to adjust to a new life and the financial consequences that come along with it—for example, future and current medical costs, rehabilitation programs, caregivers, etc. If you sustained a TBI as a result of a maritime accident, you might have a right to compensation.
- Neck injuries – A neck injury may lead to future complications. If you have suffered a neck injury due to the negligence of another or overuse injury in the maritime industry, consult with a legal professional about your options. At BoatLaw, LLP, our skilled maritime attorneys are prepared to assist you in seeking recovery for your damages.
- Knee injuries – Negligence or unsafe working conditions may have contributed to your knee injury. At BoatLaw, LLP, we work tirelessly to pursue just compensation for our clients.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – PTSD can happen to anyone, and the treatments can be expensive and ongoing. Maritime workers can develop PTSD as a result of a traumatic event, for example, a vessel sinking. The mental health disorder may prevent an individual from returning to work and impose on other tasks or activities that were not difficult to accomplish before the traumatic event. If you have developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because of an incident that occurred while working in the maritime industry, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages.
- Lost limbs or amputated fingers or toes – You do not have to suffer the repercussions of your maritime amputation injuries alone. If your employer was careless or your injury was caused because of defective equipment, then you deserve just compensation. Retain legal representation; an experienced maritime attorney can help you.
- Broken bones – If a crew member’s negligence or carelessness caused the accident that resulted in your broken bones injury, you may be able to recover for your damages.
- Assault – If you were a victim of an assault by another crew member, it is in your best interest to seek an experienced lawyer.
- Burns – Working on oil rigs and shipping vessels can expose seaman to hazardous conditions and fires. At BoatLaw, LLP, our experienced attorneys represent injured seaman.
- Accidents, including:
- Hypothermia / Drowning – If you have survived a fall overboard or a sinking vessel that was caused by the negligence of a maritime employer and suffer from hypothermia, it is in your best interest to seek legal assistance. At BoatLaw, LLP, our experienced attorneys have decades representing maritime workers, and their dedication is rooted in their passion for maritime pursuits.
- Unsafe working conditions – It is the employers’ responsibility to make sure that the vessel is seaworthy. Unsafe working conditions affect all members because it can include inadequate medical supplies, unkept deck, inadequately trained crew members, defective tools, and much more. If you sustained an injury because of unsafe working conditions caused by the carelessness of your maritime employer, let the Seattle maritime attorneys of BoatLaw, LLP fight for you.
- Inadequate training or safety measures – Per the Jones Act, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide a duty of care and make sure the vessel is seaworthy, and that includes adequate training for their employees and proper safety measures. If your injury was the result of inadequate training or because of the absence of safety measures, even if the accident was caused by you or another crew member, contact BoatLaw, LLP. Our qualified maritime attorney can review the circumstance of the accident that led to your injury and help you determine your legal options.
- Cargo operations – If you are a maritime cargo worker, then you understand that these operations are important but very dangerous and can lead to injuries (e.g., brain injury, broken bones, etc.). If you have been injured, do not feel alone and suffer in silence. At BoatLaw, LLP, we help and represent maritime workers, and we fight for the compensation our clients deserve as a result of the injury they sustained because of a cargo operation.
- Slip and fall/trip and fall – Slip, trip, or falls happen frequently. The damages from a slip, trip, or fall accident can be costly.
- Cruise ship injuries – If you are a passenger on a cruise ship and have sustained an injury consult with an experienced maritime personal injury attorney. Unfortunately, people view cruise tickets as a piece of paper that permits them to embark on their vacation, when in fact, it is much more. The ticket becomes a contract that governs the relationship between passenger and cruise line in the event of an injury during the voyage.
- Crane accidents – It is possible to reduce the risks of crane accidents in the maritime industry during crane operations; companies should properly follow safety procedures and equipment maintenance. If you have been injured in a crane accident or are experiencing the loss of a loved one because of a crane accident injury contact BoatLaw, LLP.
- Defective equipment – Maritime workers depend on the equipment that they need to get their job done, functions properly and correctly. However, when equipment has manufacturing defects, missing parts, or is improperly maintained, the risks of an accident increases. Per maritime law, there are three potential liable parties for an injury claim arising from defective maritime equipment. Obtaining the counsel of an experienced attorney can help you determine the liable party based on the facts of your case.
- Factory processing accidents – If you have been injured on a factory processing vessel, such as a mother ship or factory trawler, contact the experienced maritime attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP.
- Port collisions – The port can be a tight navigational space and requires careful maneuvering from the captain of the ship or whoever is responsible for navigation. Any mistake can cause the ship to collide with another vessel, into the land, or with structures in the port. If you were a harbor worker or a crash victim working onboard a ship consult with an experienced maritime lawyer.
- Explosions at Sea – A common reason for explosions at sea is because the cargo is combustible. Barges that carry chemicals and other explosives like TNT are vulnerable. Although the materials are supposed to be tightly contained, a malfunction of equipment, port collisions, and many other factors can cause an incident in which the materials can be exposed.
If you are a maritime worker and have sustained an injury while working on a vessel, consulting with an experienced maritime lawyer can help you determine how to file a claim to seek compensation for your damages. The maritime industry is extremely dangerous, and any injury and/or incident should not be taken lightly. Working with defective equipment or with inadequate training can put the lives of crew members in danger. If you were in a maritime accident (e.g., crane accident, trip, and fall on the deck, etc.), retain an attorney. At BoatLaw, LLP, our maritime attorneys are dedicated and knowledgeable about admiralty and maritime laws.
Eligible Claimants for Maritime and Admiralty Law Claims
We represent those injured working in the service of a ship as well as those passengers on leisure vessels, including:
- Dock and shipyard workers (longshoremen and stevedores)
- Commercial fishermen
- Tugboat crews
- Ferry workers
- Barge workers and tanker men
- Commercial Divers
- Boat or ship passengers, including cruise ship passengers
- Recreational boating accident victims
The qualified attorneys at BoatLaw, LLP understand admiralty and maritime laws as they apply to maritime operations in the port of Bellingham, WA. For nearly 40 years, they have established a solid track record of recovering damages from liable parties in maritime lawsuits filed in Bellingham, Washington.
The U.S. Constitution invests federal courts with original jurisdiction over maritime cases, although certain maritime cases may be heard in state courts pursuant to the Savings to Suitors Clause. In those instances, the federal maritime law provides the substantive law, while state laws of procedure govern.
Some Areas We Serve in Bellingham, Washington
Additional Maritime Law Resources for Bellingham, WA
Contact information for state and federal courthouses appears below.
Whatcom County District Court
311 Grand Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (360) 778-5400
United States District Court
Western District of Washington
Bellingham Municipal Court Building
2014 C Street, 2nd Floor Courtroom
Bellingham, WA 98225
Note: All federal filings must go through the Seattle, Washington U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, located at:
700 Stewart St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 370-8400
Find a Bellingham Washington Maritime Personal Injury Lawyer
Contact BoatLaw, LLP today at 1 (800) 262-8529 if you were injured in a boating incident in Bellingham, Washington, or elsewhere in Whatcom County to discuss your case with one of our knowledgeable maritime law attorneys. We have decades of experience in both routine and complex maritime cases in Bellingham, Washington. We can guide you through the claim process while working to recover compensation for your injuries.
This article was last updated on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.