You Have Questions. We Have Answers.
At Trueb Berne & Beard, LLP, clients and potential clients have many questions — excellent questions that deserve a thoughtful, in-depth response. Many of these questions, such as the ones listed below, are brought up during their initial consultations and subsequent communications. A large part of our law practice consists of personalizing answers to questions according to each client’s needs and concerns.
Bring us your questions such as those below and we will provide thoughtful responses and recommendations. With over eight decades of combined maritime injury law experience, our seasoned attorneys can answer your questions and help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Do state or federal maritime laws apply in Alaska?
The Jones Act and other federal maritime laws apply throughout the United States, including in Alaska. Injured maritime workers may bring Jones Act claims in state or federal courts. Other federal laws that may apply in Alaska and elsewhere include the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA).
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal law that Congress passed in 1920. In the words of a bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators and representatives, the Act “requires that all vessels carrying goods between two U.S. points be American-built, -owned, -crewed and -flagged.” (Source: defensenews.com, June 5, 2020). Among numerous provisions of the Jones Act, maritime employers are liable if there is any degree of causation between the employers’ acts or omissions and the workers’ injuries. The Jones Act is often considered “The Holy Grail” by commercial fishermen who are injured at sea.
Alaska wasn’t even a state in 1920. Why are Alaskan employers responsible in Jones Act claims?
Before Alaska was a state, it was explicitly excluded from the Jones Act, but with Alaska’s statehood in 1959, lawmakers reworded the law to include Alaska.
What kinds of benefits can injured maritime workers expect if the Jones Act applies in their cases?
Benefits available through a Jones Act claim against a negligent fishing company or another maritime employer include maintenance and cure. Maintenance refers to day-to-day expenses such as rent and food. Cure refers to medical care. Other benefits include compensation for lost wages, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Who is responsible for compensating injured seamen, deckhands and other maritime workers?
When the Jones Act applies, employers such as fishing companies should compensate injured workers by covering their medical bills, lost wage replacement and more. Whether or not the Jones Act applies, owners of sea vessels may also be held accountable when their ships, tugs or barges were unsafe or unseaworthy, or when machines such as cranes were defective.
Is your law firm is the right one for me, based on where my accident happened?
Our attorneys most often receive inquiries from injured seamen, deckhands and other maritime workers and their family members who live in, or have been injured in, Alaska, Washington and Oregon. Contact us regardless of where in the Pacific Northwest region your injuries occurred, where you usually live, where you are receiving medical care or where your employer’s headquarters is.
How To Get Answers To Your Unique Questions
Every maritime injury or fatality case brings its own set of facts that require analysis. We very likely have answers to your questions or we will get the answers you are looking for. Call 907-802-4559 or email us to schedule a free consultation.