Injured in a Maritime Accident in California? Talk to an Experienced Attorney
Covering more than half of the West Coast of the United States and with numerous bays, ports and other inland waterways, California is a prime location for companies involved in container shipping, as well as the overseas cargo industry, crude oil transportation and other offshore maritime operations. This means that maritime workers along the coast and inland have many opportunities to find work. Unfortunately, these opportunities are often extremely risky, leading to serious – and sometimes fatal – injuries.
At the Willis Law Firm, we represent seamen and other maritime workers in California who have suffered illnesses and injuries on the job. These often include things like: broken bones, burns, electrocution injuries, head injuries, injuries from slips and falls, neck and back injuries, and illnesses resulting from exposure to hazardous chemicals.
Regardless of your illness or injury, the Jones Act and other maritime laws may entitle you to compensation. To find out if you have a claim, contact the Willis Law Firm today.
What to Do After a Maritime Accident
If you are a seaman or maritime worker who has been injured on a ship, barge, drilling rig, tug boat, or any other type of vessel or offshore structure, you need to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Every accident and injury case is different so it is very important to discuss your situation with a lawyer who has extensive experience helping maritime workers recover all of the compensation they are legally entitled to.
If you are worker who has been injured, Willis Law Firm recommends that you take the following steps:
Complete an Accident Report.
When you are injured it is very important to report your injury to the appropriate person immediately. You should complete and file an incident or accident report with your employer as soon as possible after your accident.
Get Contact Information from Witnesses.
Testimony from co-workers and other individuals who witnessed your accident may be needed later to support your claim. Be certain to collect names, email addresses, home addresses and phone numbers as soon as possible and definitely before you get off of the vessel. You can also ask these individuals to write a statement describing the incident and what the conditions were like at the time of your accident.
Do Not Give Any Statements.
Your employer may try to pressure you to give a recorded, written or sworn statement about your accident. You should never give any statements to your employer or an investigator until you have spoken with your attorney. It is important to know that these statements can be used against you later on.
Get Medical Attention.
If you have been injured or become ill in the course of your employment, you should seek medical treatment from a doctor of your own choosing. While your employer may try to force you or even drive you to see a company doctor, you have the legal right to be seen by your own physician. Company doctors will generally only perform the most basic exam, rather than ordering important and needed diagnostic tests and evaluations. Some employers want you to see the company doctor, rather than a medical specialist, because they – want- you to get back to work regardless of how serious your injuries may be. Your lawyer can help you find a qualified medical specialist who will give you an honest evaluation and assessment of your injuries.
Always Talk with Your California Maritime Injury Attorney First.
If you are an injured maritime worker, you should never try to handle the legal system on your own. The rules and procedures governing Jones Act injuries and general maritime claims can be very complex to navigate. If you fail to take the correct steps at the right time, you may lose important legal rights. When you are injured it is very important to choose an attorney who knows the ins and outs of maritime injury law. Your attorney should work one-on-one with you every step of the way, helping you get the medical care, compensation and other benefits you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
A Jones Act Lawyer at the Willis Law Firm Will Protect Your Legal Rights
It is important to understand all injury claims must be filed within a certain period of time. While most claims must be filed within three years, there are certain situations where your claim may need to be filed within one year from the date of your accident. If the statute of limitations has passed, it may be impossible to restore your legal rights.
California Ports, Bays & Terminals
The following are some of California’s busiest coastal and inland locations for tug boats, barges, cargo ships, container ships, fishing boats, oil and chemical tankers, dredges, supply boats, crew boats and other commercial vessels:
- Port of Humboldt Bay
- Port of Hueneme
- Port of Long Beach
- Port of Los Angeles
- Port of Oakland
- Port of Redwood City
- Port of Richmond
- Port of San Diego
- Port of San Francisco
- Port of Stockton
- Port of West Sacramento
California Rivers and Bays
- Sacramento River
- San Francisco Bay
- San Joaquin River
Many companies in the shipping and maritime industries have locations in Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, the San Francisco Bay Area and other locations throughout Central and Southern California.
California Cargo & Container Ship Accidents
Container ship owners and operators owe a legal duty to provide for the safety of their maritime employees. This includes not only ensuring that their container ships are properly maintained, but providing adequate safety training and equipment, staffing appropriately and taking other necessary steps as well.
If you have been injured in a California container ship accident, you may have a claim under the Jones Act. The Jones Act automatically provides for “maintenance and cure” benefits, and if your employer or a third party was negligent, you may be entitled to additional financial compensation.
California Offshore Oil Drilling Rig Accidents
The same generally holds true for other types of maritime accidents that occur while conducting limited oil and gas drilling operations along the California coast on an offshore rig, crew boat, jack-up rig or supply boat. In addition, if you were injured or became ill while working at a port, shipyard, dock or terminal, although you may not have a claim under the Jones Act, there are different maritime laws that protect you as well.
Schedule Your Free Case Review With Top California Maritime Accident Attorneys
The Willis Law Firm provides experienced legal representation for individuals injured in maritime accidents in California and throughout the country. Maritime accident lawyer David Willis fhas more than 40 years of experience representing clients in Jones Act and other maritime injury claims nationwide. To schedule your free case review with the Willis Law Firm, call 1-800-GOT HURT or contact us online now.