Wrongful Death

Tragically, working as a seaman remains one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Few firms in the country have the experience and resources necessary to handle complicated maritime wrongful death lawsuits and Jones Act death claims. The maritime law attorneys of Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC have handled over 50 death claims for seamen who have lost their lives while working at sea. Our firm's experience includes maritime death cases involving:

  • Fishing vessels sinking in the Bering Sea
  • Tug boats sinking and capsizing
  • Parting tow lines
  • Crab boats sinking in Oregon, Washington and Alaska
  • Fires and explosions aboard processing ships
  • Cargo handling accidents
  • Crane and winch accidents
  • Failure to provide prompt emergency medical attention.

A combination of severe weather, unsafe or defective equipment and gear, exhaustion from working too many hours, lack of training, and negligence of the vessel owner or the ship's captain and crew, can quickly cause catastrophic injuries that result in the death of a crewman. Call our office at 866-974-9633 if you need assistance.

Whom We Help

Wives, children, parents, and brothers and sisters of crewmen who die at sea through the negligence of others, may be entitled to damages under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and/or General Maritime law. At Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC, we have a long and successful history of battling insurance companies to get the compensation that families deserve in maritime wrongful death lawsuits. We may be able to help you receive damages for loss of care, nurturing, and guidance for children; the deceased's pre-death pain and suffering; lost of economic support to the deceased crewmember's family, and destruction of the wage earning capacity of the fatal accident victim.

Establishing Negligence

Attempting to prove negligence in cases where a ship, tug, or fishing vessel has sunk with all hands lost presents complex legal evidentiary problems. Our wrongful death attorneys, in a typical case, may find it necessary to employ naval architects, stability experts, engineers, ships masters, meteorologists, oceanographers, psychologists, and economists, to establish negligence and damages. Proving what caused a boat to sink requires experience and skill. Thorough understanding of maritime law, safety statutes, insurance law, International Maritime laws and recommendations, and industry standards, are critical to successfully handling your claim.

At Stacey & Jacobsen, our lawyers have established liability by:

  • Proving improper construction or maintenance of the vessel
  • Failure to have proper safety equipment, such as life rafts
  • Failure to regularly drill in man overboard or abandon ship drills
  • Overloading of ships and fishing vessels
  • Lack of current stability letters and safety instructions
  • Improper manning, or improper licensing of ships crew
  • Failure to have check valves in circulating seawater systems
  • Defective tanks
  • Lack of watertight integrity
  • Improper storage of cargo
  • Failure to take safety precautions in the face of predictable storms and heavy weather

We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for maritime wrongful death claims. Some of maritime wrongful death lawsuits we have been involved in include:

  • Arctic Rose - fish processor sinking
  • Galaxy - fish processor fire and sinking
  • Aleutian Enterprise - fish processor sinking
  • Lin J - crab boat sinking
  • Pacific Apollo - crab boat sinking
  • Vestfjord - crab boat sinking
  • PaceSetter - crab boat sinking
  • Oceanic - longliner sinking
  • Nesikia - crab boat sinking
  • Estate Dowd - tug boat accident
  • Lee III - oil supply boat collision
  • Ocean Challenger - crab boat sinking
  • River Pilot - pilot ladder accident

Representative maritime wrongful death cases handled by Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC include:

  • Barge deckhand $2.9 million
  • Crab boat sinking $3.0 million
  • Crab boat deckhand $1.0 million
  • Fish processing boat sinking $2.5 million

When tragedy strikes and a crewman has died aboard a ship, the lawyers of Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC know how important it is for the crewman's family to immediately have good legal advice. The firm is able to help you understand the nature of your claim, determine who the beneficiaries are of the wrongful death lawsuit, explain damages available, and give advice about needed investigation.

You Deserve The Best

Coping with the death of a loved one is an emotional and financial hardship in many cases. Insurance companies often prey on families without legal representation, settling their cases for far less than their reasonable value. The Arctic Rose was a good example of this. Of the 15 death claims, the family that received the least fair compensation was the family that settled without being represented by legal counsel. Insurance companies make money by paying less than fair value on every claim that they can.

The moment a vessel sinks or a death occurs aboard ship, the ship owners and their insurance companies begin work to limit the damages they will have to pay. You should have a maritime lawyer experienced in handling death claims working on your side to find out the true cause of the accident, and to ensure you that you get fair compensation. From our offices in Seattle and Anchorage, our attorneys are available to consult, associate, and handle maritime wrongful death cases throughout the country. Please contact us today for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.