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Commercial Fishing and Shipping Injuries in Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma, Washington is a port city on the Puget Sound, 32 miles southwest of Seattle. Commercial shipping is a significant part of Tacoma’s economy. The Port of Tacoma is among the largest container ports in North America. It is a major center for the transportation of automobiles, bulk, and heavy-lift cargo.

In 2015, the Port of Tacoma’s marine cargo operations was merged with the Port of Seattle to form the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). The NWSA terminals handle more than 80 percent of containerized ocean shipments between Alaska and the rest of the United States. There are 18 international carriers and four domestic carriers that operate at NWSA terminals. These include Alianca, ANL-US Lines, Pacific International Lines, Alaska Marine Lines, Matson, and TOTE Maritime Alaska.

If you work as a seaman on a commercial shipping or fishing vessel, you know that it is a dangerous job. If you are injured while working, you should reach out to an experienced maritime attorney as soon as possible. There are unique laws that offer remedies to injured seamen. The three main avenues of recovery foe injured seamen are maintenance and cure, the doctrine of unseaworthiness, and the Jones Act.

Maintenance and cure is a remedy that is available to seamen that are injured while working in the service of the vessel. Maintenance is a daily living stipend to cover expenses like room and board while the seaman recovers from illness or injury. Cure is compensation for reasonable and necessary medical expenses. The seaman is entitled to receive maintenance and cure benefits until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is achieved when no further treatment will improve the underlying condition. Seamen are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits whether or not the employer caused the injury.

Under the doctrine of unseaworthiness, the vessel owner owes its seamen a vessel and its appurtenances that are suitable for their intended use. Basically, this means that the ship, its equipment, and the crew must be in proper and working order. The vessel owner is liable for any injuries caused by unseaworthy conditions. The duty to provide a seaworthy vessel is absolute, meaning that the seaman does not need to prove that the vessel owner was aware of the condition.

The Jones Act allows injured seamen to recover directly from their employers if they were injured as a result of their employer’s negligence or the negligence of the crew. The employer has a duty to provide a reasonably safe place to work. The seaman only needs to prove that the employer’s negligence played a part, no matter how small, in the injury. Your attorneys must conduct a thorough investigation and look at all the circumstances of the incident to determine if you have a claim under the Jones Act.

Kraft Davies, PLLC is a nationally recognized leader in maritime personal industry law. Kraft Davies has significant experience representing injured Tacoma seamen against vessel owners, maritime employers, and maritime insurance companies. Contact the attorneys at Kraft Davies today at 206-624-8844 or through this website.