Portland Maritime Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be able to recover compensation for any incurred damages. Our Portland maritime and boating accident attorney can help you evaluate your legal options and fight to secure a fair recovery. Injured seamen and offshore workers are protected by federal laws such as:

Portland Maritime Accident Resources

To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, click the corresponding links below.

Protections for Maritime Workers
The Jones Act
The Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Death on the High Seas Act
What is the Role of a Maritime Attorney?
Potential Compensation in Your Case
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Portland Maritime Accident Attorney

Protections for Maritime Workers

These laws shield injured maritime workers who are hurt on the job, protecting their right to fair treatment and compensation. In addition, laws affect cases involving non-work-related injuries, such as those suffered by a ship’s passengers and recreational accidents, such as those involving jet skis or personal watercraft and boats.

While many attorneys are not equipped to provide aggressive counsel and representation in these types of cases, at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC we are thoroughly familiar with The Jones Act and other maritime injury laws. Our Portland injury attorneys have decades of collective experience in helping injured sailors and offshore workers. We know the policies designed to address boating and maritime injuries, and we are equipped to answer our clients’ questions and provide them with knowledgeable advocacy.

The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that gives certain maritime workers specific injury-related benefits along with the right to sue their employer for injuries they sustain on the job. This federal law is incredibly important because, unlike nearly every worker-based inland job, “seamen” under the Jones Act are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This federal statute is typically the only way for offshore workers to recover compensation for work-related injuries.

The Jones Act provides various protections for seamen when they are carrying out their job-related duties, and there are two main types of claims available to an injured seaman through this federal law:

  1. A “maintenance and cure” claim. This type of claim provides compensation for an injured seamen’s daily expenses (their maintenance) and any necessary medical costs related to the work injury (the cure). In general, an injured seaman will always be entitled to maintenance and cure, regardless of how the injury occurred and whether or not there was any negligence involved. These benefits are more akin to traditional workers’ compensation benefits, but they are not specifically guaranteed.
  2. A negligence claim. This portion of the federal legislation allows an injured seaman to seek a wider range of accident-related losses, but they will have to prove at least some level of negligence on the part of their employer. This is more akin to a traditional Portland personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party.

Only certain types of offshore workers are able to seek Jones Act compensation relief, and if you have any questions about your particular case, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled attorney immediately. 

The Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a piece of federal legislation designed to provide payment for medical care, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation to employees who are disabled on a job while working navigable waters of the US or adjoining areas typically used in the loading, unloading, building, or repairing of a vessel.

The LHWCA Also provides compensation for survivor benefits if the work injury on the navigable waterways causes or contributes to the employee’s death.

This law covers employees working in traditional maritime occupations, including ship repairers, shipbuilders, ship breakers, longshore workers, harbor construction workers, etc. Areas where injuries can occur and still have workers receive payment include all US navigable waters and adjoining areas, including docks, terminals, wharves, peers, and any loading or unloading area. Non-maritime employees could receive coverage if they performed work on a navigable waterway and their injuries occurred there.

The Death on the High Seas Act

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was a law created in 1920 to assist family members of seamen killed in international waters or as a result of a wrongful death situation. This act has also been extended to provide compensation for those affected by airline disasters that occur over high seas outside of the 12 nautical miles territorial US water limit.

This law was created to hold employers accountable for any safety requirements to maintain a safe working place for seamen and harbor workers. This act differs from the Jones Act previously discussed because it covers individuals affected in international waters.

What is the Role of a Portland Maritime Attorney?

Maritime injury claims are incredibly challenging to investigate due to the nature of where they occur. Anytime an injury occurs on or around waterways, the investigation occurs relatively swiftly after the incident happens. This is not necessarily a normal realm of investigation for most individuals, so we strongly encourage working with a skilled maritime attorney in Portland who has experience handling these particular situations.

An attorney will fully investigate every aspect of the claim using their own resources. They will speak to any eyewitnesses related to the claim, and they will handle all interactions with insurance carriers, regulatory agencies, at-fault parties, and more. Your lawyer will handle any negotiation with these other parties in order to help recover fair compensation on your behalf, and they will fully prepare the case for trial if one becomes necessary.

What Compensation May Be Available After a Maritime Injury?

The compensation available for maritime injuries can vary widely, depending on the situation at hand. In addition to looking at the injuries and the expenses associated with the injury, we must also take into account which law will be used to recover the compensation.

The Jones Act allows workers and sailors to file a lawsuit against their employer for negligence, but this means that they have to prove that their employer or another party acted in a way that breached their duty of care. Because of the nature of Jones Act claims, settlements are typically larger than typical workers’ compensation payments, but this compensation is not automatic like it is for a workers’ comp claim. 

Other maritime laws can dictate the types of compensation available for victims or family members. Typically, the goal of these cases is to recover both economic and non-economic damages on behalf of an injury victim. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

The total amount of compensation available for these claims will vary depending on factors related to each particular maritime injury situation. Some of the factors include the severity of the injury, whether or not there was any shared fault for the incident, how long it takes a victim to recover, whether or not there is any disability involved, and the documented level of pain and suffering a victim endures.

Should I Call a Portland Maritime & Boating Accident Attorney?

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident covered by The Jones Act, the importance of contacting an attorney cannot be overstated. It is important to have a capable legal team on your side in order to help you make informed decisions. Choosing the right maritime and boating accident lawyer in Portland could be the most important decision you make immediately following an accident.

Our attorneys have been recognized and highly rated by a number of legal ranking organizations, including a 10.0 from Avvo, selection for inclusion in the list of Super Lawyers®, and membership in The Inner Circle of Advocates. Our firm has also been named to the list of Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report.

For more information, or to schedule a complimentary case review, please contact our team of Jones Act and maritime injury attorneys at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC.