WE ARE INJURY AT SEA. A maritime only law firm founded over 45 years ago dedicated solely to helping anyone suffering the often hellish consequences of becoming sick, ill, or injured while at sea (on fresh or salt water).
Injury At Sea was founded by Seattle maritime injury lawyer Tom Evans, a former longshoreman and ILWU member, who witnessed many tragic and avoidable accidents and injuries aboard vessels. This included a life-changing event where a fellow seaman was witnessed as he was crushed to death by an unsecured, rolling, 10 ton roll of newsprint paper. From that moment on, Evans was committed to do something about it. Becoming a maritime lawyer became a dream. Longshoreman earnings helped pay for college and law school. The dream was realized when a fledgling law practice focused on marine injury opened in 1976. It was later named Injury At Sea .
We represent clients residing in every State of the U.S. as well as from all over the world – vessels with as many as 550 crew, down to one (1) sole owner. Many of our clients are foreign Nationals including Somalian, Gambian, Nigerian, Mexican, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Dutch, South African, Croatian, Russian to name but a few. Many large factory trawler fishing vessels as well as Cruise Line vessels are staffed with foreign nationals.
As we are fond of saying "If it floats (or sinks) we can help." Sample boat, ship, cruise/recreational, and industry vessels from which our Seattle maritime injury attorneys have clients and cases include:
Jones Act/General Maritime requirements, you are likely entitled to be medically treated where you reside and part of what we do is help arrange for medical and associated care where you live. This includes Dr. selection, clinic, or hospitalization, psychological treatment, PTSD etc. You are entitled to all medical, psychological, rehab and related care ("cure" under maritime law) no matter how much it costs or how long it takes. Cure applies to the point of maximum medical improvement. We have handled cases where medical costs alone have been as much as six million ($6,000,000) . A simple back surgery can cost anywhere from $60,000 (Seattle) to as much as $250,000 at a private hospital in Los Angeles. Without an experienced maritime lawyer helping you the company can harass you without mercy, play games with your medical treatment – sending you to their Drs. or outright refusal to pay. And of course, they will never, ever, tell you about your right to sue them for all of your personal injury, pain, suffering, and lost future wages.
Fishing – factory trawlers, catcher-processors, processor only, crabbing, purse-seiners, long liners, tendering, skiffs, dory, scallop, herring, cod, salmon, anchovy, squid, sea cucumbers, urchin, tuna;
Industrial – Barge, electric boat, processor, garbage scow, jet boat, NOAA Boat, police boat, river boat, RoRo (Roll On/Roll Off) Tanker, Tow Boat, Tug and Barge, oil & gas, crash-rescue, ferry, Great Lakes and river boats, barge-crane, pontoon, raft, rigid hulled inflatable, casino boat, Schooner, container;
Recreational - Cruise Ship (passengers and employees) recreational fishing and touring vessels, cabin cruiser, jet boat, yacht – from tiny to outlandishly large, life boat, PWC – personal watercraft, power boat, river boat, sail boat, schooner, ski boat, wakeboard boat, water taxi, research vessel (government, NOAA)ocean liner, yacht support vessel.
Harassment also frequently occurs when you are trying to get your maintenance – the daily living expenses the company owes you while you are treating, starting the day you left the vessel. Depending on where you live maintenance owed can vary from $45/day to $150/day or more. Some maritime firms actually charge their client a contingency fee for getting maintenance paid currently. Our Seattle maritime injury lawyers do not. There is no charge for our getting your current maintenance payment paid and there is no charge for any/all work done to see to it you get proper medical care. We are paid strictly on a contingency fee basis on the amount of damages we collect for you – no recovery –no fee.
Our three main offices are in Seattle, Tacoma, and Anchorage. However, if appropriate, we will meet with you personally at your location, and have done so on many occasions.
Injury At Sea's first big battle was in Federal Court. Suit was filed to bring Federal/Jones Act and general maritime rights to seaman who were being denied those rights by large fish companies. Once the huge factory trawler fishery started in early 1980 in the Bering Sea, the fish companies took the position factory workers were not maritime seaman. We proved them wrong. Now, fish companies and the many thousands of factory trawler workers take it as a settled law factory workers – from filet, headers, gutters, deck hands to you name it - are accepted as Jones Act/General Maritime law seaman. The additional benefits to these workers are enormous.
The maritime injury lawyers at our Seattle firm were also the first in the U.S. to claim a maritime injury law domain and presence on the Internet. We were granted the domains of injuryatsea.com and maritimeinjury.com in 1986. Our name says it all - who we are, what we do and only do. Unlike most other firms, we never, ever, take cases not founded on the principles of maritime injury law. We have taken our clients' cases through every level of legal representation – Superior Court (s), Federal District Courts, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. We are here for YOU whenever/if ever we can help. We answer our dedicated new inquiry line live, 24/7, by an experienced, knowledgeable, maritime legal expert. There is no operator and there is no charge. With each new case the dream lives on. Call us anytime – no question is ever too small or unimportant- at toll free: 1-800-SEASALT (732 – 7258).
Don’t set yourself up for being injured twice – once at sea – and again as the company/insurance/adjuster takes from you what they owe you. Low-ball settlements – company Drs. – totally wrong misinformation – these are all tricks of their trade. The one thing they will never, ever, do, is properly and fully explain to you what your rights are, including the right to sue for damages. That is what they fear most. That is why we are here. What started as a dream many years ago – to do something about it – the reckless, uncaring, and in some cases, actual cruelty, in the treatment of the many put at extreme disadvantage by being injured at sea. After thirty thousand (30,000) cases and clients later (includes class actions) many millions of dollars collected, and, most importantly, Federal and General maritime rights now extended to many thousands of workers who did not previously have them, we are still here. And we love nothing more than the excitement which comes from talking to someone new about something new. Every case – each individual - is different. We know and respect that. And every time we can help, the dream lives on.
Call us. Talk to Us. Listen to how the maritime injury attorneys at our Seattle firm may be able to help you.
INJURY AT SEA Its our name. Its our business. Its all we do.
1-800-SEASALT (732-7258) Dedicated new inquiry line, answered live 24/7 by an experienced maritime legal expert.
Also: injuryatsea.com maritimeinjury.com Web sites owned and produced by us.
"Your client doesn’t have a case. You don’t know what you're doing!" So said the stuffed shirt in a suit sitting across from me from his green leather padded swiveling chair-throne. This man was the mouthpiece lawyer for most of the Seattle based factory fishing in the Bering Sea. His clients were making fortunes by putting 300 plus job desperate worker-bees into hellhole factories below decks then working them 16-18hours days, 7 days a week. He looked every bit the small town Irish Policeman he had been before going to law school and making it big in maritime defense work by bullying his way to the top. I called him "The Policeman."
Something was making The Policeman very nervous. The CEO of The Factory Trawlers Group was also in the room. A man made mostly of happy face painted card-board he struck me as incapable of movement for fear of falling flat on his face. I called him CardBoard man.
The Policeman and CardBoard man had phone called me: "Lets settle the Daniel Well's case." Daniel was a 22-year-old pre-med student paying her way through college. She took a processor job on F/V TITAN. Her dream was to become a Doctor and she had heard about "big money" in Alaska. Daniel's job was cleaning the surimi extruder. Cleaning meant laying face down inside a 20 foot long Steel V shaped machine with 30 continuously turning plate size sharpened blades. This machine is considered so dangerous two factory workers are required at a time, one to stand by the on/off button to make sure no one accidently turns the extruder on while the cleaner works inside, the other is the cleaner. It was midnight and shift change time. Figuring the factory was empty, the switch-guard left the area just before her replacement was to arrive. There was no lock out - tag out. The processor coming on duty believed the factory was empty. She pushed the green "on" button. The extruder began to strip Daniel of flesh down to bone just as if she were a fish. Blood was coming from everywhere. It soon became apparent the only way to get Daniel out of the extruder was to take the machine apart. This took five hours. The only thing keeping Daniel alive were blood and fluid infusions while she lay in this machine of death.
But none of this meant anything to The Policeman or CardBoard man. "She gets $ 177,000 Alaska workers comp. That's it." CardBoard man actually said something. Amazingly he talked/he smiled at the same time. This is what most people would call sneering. He would also be the check-writer when it came time to settle.
Whether Daniel qualified as a U.S. Seaman was what it was all about. They knew if we succeeded in convincing a Court processors were not legal low-life, but were in fact Seaman protected under Federal Law, Daniel's compensation would be more like $17,750,000 instead of just $177,000. If Daniel did it, there were 9,000 more just like her who had been and were being stiffed out of many millions. And The Policeman and CardBoard man were all about and only about legal intimidation. They did not want me to file a suit claiming Daniel was a U.S. Seaman. They knew won this case, thousands would follow in her footsteps. We were the very first in claiming factory workers were legal U.S. seaman.
So, what to say? There was no way I would stooge and agree to their low-ball offer. Words were not enough to show my anger and disgust. I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. All of a sudden it hit me. There was one line to say at this very moment that would tell them to fu%k off, this meeting was over. That insult of insults that would let them know I didn't give a rats ass about them or what they had to say. And that I was outta here. There was only one thing to say at this very moment, which was...
"Do you validate parking?" Without saying it, The Policeman and CardBoard man knew exactly what this meant, “See Ya In Court Buddy”. For The Policeman, this potentially meant a windfall. If we obtained seaman status for Daniel, there were 9,000 more mistreated factory workers just like her. And everyone a potential new Defense case for The Policeman. For CardBoard man – it was disaster in the making. Suddenly those same 9,000 factory workers would have to be paid and treated like seaman – medical covering any and all medical expenses for any injury or illness arising from working on their factory boat – with no limit on the costs and the right to chose your own Dr. – unearned wages meaning wages to the end of your contract even if you were unable to complete the contract – and, most importantly, the right to sue the boat, directly, and the employer for pain, suffering, all general damages.
It took all of two seconds for this dynamic duo to know what could hit them. The Policeman laughed, "Out front, they will stamp your ticket." CardBoard man went flaccid. If flaccid was a color, then he was it. Seaman ship status for factory workers meant millions and millions of dollars, all gone to give the factory workers what they deserved. CardBoard man could soon be out of a job.
But none of this could happen without going to Court. We couldn't get there fast enough.
Daniel's case was filed in the United States District Court For The Western District of Washington. We immediately moved for summary judgment on one simple issue: do factory workers at sea contribute to the mission and function of a vessel in navigation and therefore qualify as Jones Act/General law seaman? The Answer? An emphatic YES! The Court's decision, issued on October 16, 1990 may be found at Wells v. Arctic Alaska Fisheries Corporation, The Artic Enterprise 1991 AMC 448 (1990) HONORABLE BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN, U.S.D.C. No. C89-1490R.
Daniel, of course, was thrilled. It meant money enough to never have to work ever again, which was not her plan. She was a fighter through and through, and although not going to medical school, she became a physical therapist and a living example to her patients no matter how beat up your body, you can come back if you try. The Policeman? We saw him again and again and again. He had so many new cases to defend their law offices expanded to take over the entire floor of a major downtown high-rise. And CardBoard man. We rarely ever saw him again. The Trade Association in ruins, he later became an adjuster. I still wonder what it must have felt like for CardBoard man to write that check for $7,750,000 instead of $177,000. For us, it took a fledgling maritime law practice to the Heavens and beyond. Tom Evans Seattle Injury At Sea.
George Knowles, designated Best Lawyer by practice area, Admiralty and Maritime Law, Seattle Met Magazine, 2010
*Special Disclaimer: This “Guesstimate” should not be used or considered as valid for any purpose as there is no way anyone can ever accurately evaluate your case by formulas, such as used above. The CaseCalculator™ may result in a completely erroneous assessment as to the value of your case. Only a lawyer retained by you is qualified to evaluate the value of your case.
Seattle Maritime Injury Lawyer | Tacoma Admiralty Accident Attorney | Injury at Sea
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