Skip to Content

Helping Victims of Maritime Accidents Get the Compensation They Deserve

If you have been seriously injured while working in the maritime industry, vacationing on a cruise ship, boating, scuba diving, or partaking in any other water-related activity, you need to seek advice from an experienced team of California maritime injury lawyers. These accident claims often fall under a complex body of statutes and rules known as admiralty and maritime law. The attorneys at Brais Law Firm are highly skilled in this complicated area of the law. When you work with our firm, you can trust that we will thoroughly investigate your claim and aggressively pursue legal action to recover the full compensation and benefits to which you are entitled.

The lawyers at Brais Law Firm have decades of experience helping injured seamen, cruise ship crew members, dock and harbor workers, and other individuals employed in California’s maritime industry recover compensation for lost earnings, medical expenses, and other damages. We also represent California residents and vacationers who have suffered personal injuries in all types of accidents on or near the water. We know that these types of injuries can be severe and life-altering. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a maritime accident, our objective is to make certain that you get the compensation you need to heal and rebuild your life.

Representing Maritime Injury Victims Across California

The California maritime injury lawyers at our firm pursue maritime personal injury and accident cases throughout the state, including accidents occurring in the following ports and areas:

San Diego

Located 95 nautical miles south of the Port of Los Angeles, the Port of San Diego is the southernmost port on the U.S. West Coast. The port manages San Diego Bay and its 24 miles of natural waterfront. Established in 1962, the port is comprised of five-member cities – San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, and National City. Maritime businesses at the port employ thousands of residents and contribute billions of dollars to the region’s economy. Nearly 800 businesses are located on the port’s waterfront, with jobs ranging from shipbuilding and cargo handling to hospitality and tourism. The Port of San Diego is also home to a complex of military bases and includes 20 marinas and yacht clubs, 2 cargo terminals, and 2 cruise terminals. The cargo terminals at the port are equipped to handle specialty cargo such as military equipment, vehicles, transformers, lumber, and other products and materials that are shipped without packaging or containers.

Cruise lines operating out of the Port of San Diego include:

  • Aida Cruises
  • Azmara Club Cruises
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Costa Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Holland America Line
  • Marella (formerly Thomson Cruises)
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines
  • P&O Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Pullmantur
  • Regen Seven Seas
  • Royal Caribbean
  • TUI Cruises

San Francisco

The Port of San Francisco develops, manages, and maintains 7 ½ miles of waterfront adjacent to the San Francisco Bay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the port is one of the top 30 containership ports in the U.S. Cargo terminals at the port is equipped to handle a variety of cargo, including servicing the large number of auto dealerships located in Northern California. In addition to cargo shipping, the port supports commercial fishing, ship repairs, and other maritime businesses.

The Port of San Francisco hosts over 80 cruise ship calls each year. Cruise lines departing from and arriving at the James R. Herman (Pier 27) and Pier (35) cruise terminals include:

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Crystal Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • P&O Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Silversea

Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container seaport in the U.S., handling trade valued at over $180 billion annually. The port supports 300,000 trade-related jobs in the Southern California region and over one million jobs nationally. Spanning 3,200 acres, the port offers 10 piers, 80 berths, and 22 shipping terminals. The port serves 175 shipping lines, with more than 82.3 million metric tons of cargo traffic through the port each year. Loaded containers at the port account for one-third of containers moving through all ports in California and nearly one in five containers moving through all ports in the U.S. Top imports at the Port of Long Beach include crude oil, electronics, clothing, and plastics, and exports include petroleum coke and bulk, chemicals, foods, and waste paper.

The Long Beach cruise terminal is owned and operated by Carnival Corporation. The cruise line’s Carnival Splendor, Carnival Inspiration, and Carnival Imagination set sail from Long Beach and the company recently announced that its new passenger ship, the Carnival Panorama, will begin offering cruises out of the terminal in 2019.

Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles, known as “America’s Port®,” ranks as the number one container port in the U.S. Located approximately 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles in San Pedro Bay, the port encompasses 7,500 acres of land and water along 43 miles of waterfront. The port offers both passenger and cargo terminals, with cargo valued at hundreds of billions of dollars making its way through the port each year.

The Port has one of the largest workforces of skilled longshore labor, and cargo conveyance at the port supports thousands of jobs in the region. The container business accounts for more than 80 percent of the port’s revenue, with top containerized imports including auto parts, clothing, electronics, footwear, and furniture and top exports including animal/pet feed, fabrics, scrap metal, soybeans, and waste paper/paper.

15 marinas are located within the Port of Los Angeles, offering over 3,700 recreational boat slips. Many cruise lines sail out of the Port of Los Angeles, including:

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Cunard
  • Holland America Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Viking Ocean Cruises

Maritime and Other Water-Related Accidents in California

With so many busy seaports, marinas, cruise terminals, and other water facilities operating along the California coast, maritime accidents are likely to happen. All types of dangerous mishaps and incidents can occur in the maritime industry ranging from commercial fishing and diving accidents to marine cargo and crane accidents. These events often lead to serious and painful injuries that cause workers to be off for long periods of time. In some situations, the injured maritime employee may never be able to return to his or her prior occupation, and in the worst of situations, a wrongful death may occur. Some of the most common accidents and injuries suffered by crewmembers, Jones Act seamen, longshoremen, cruise ship employees, and other maritime workers include:

  • Crane, forklift, and other equipment accidents
  • Inadequate training accidents
  • Commercial fishing accidents
  • Chemical exposures and burns
  • Fire and electrical accidents
  • Slip, trip, and falls
  • Falls overboard
  • Repetitive use injuries
  • Head, neck, and back injuries
  • Lost and crushed limbs
  • Vehicular accidents

In addition to maritime workplace accidents, California residents and visitors to the state can also suffer serious injuries while participating in recreational activities on or near the water. While boating, yachting, jet skiing, and other activities are a great way to get out and enjoy the water, every year, thousands of people in California and across the nation are injured in accidents involving recreational vessels. Unfortunately, many of these accidents involve catastrophic injuries and fatalities.

Vacationers who embark on cruise ships departing from California ports can also face many hazards and dangers both on and off the ship. Slip and falls, rapes and assaults, and ship shore excursion accidents are just a few of the types of cruise ship incidents that can result in serious injuries. While the cruise lines are likely to assert multiple defenses when a passenger is hurt, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your losses and damages. The California maritime injury lawyers at our firm are well aware of the various tactics that these companies will use to avoid paying claims and we will do everything in our power to help you get an optimal outcome in your case.

Holding Big Companies Responsible for Maritime Accidents

Being hurt in a serious accident is bad enough, let alone finding out that the accident did not have to happen. While some maritime and water-related injuries are unavoidable, many of these accidents are caused by negligence and could have easily been prevented. The sad truth is that far too many victims are left to suffer with permanent, life-changing injuries because of someone else’s carelessness and recklessness. When companies decide to put profits ahead of people and accidents occur, they need to be held fully accountable for the consequences.

Whether your accident occurred while loading or unloading cargo from a ship, repairing a vessel, traveling on a cruise ship or any other type of maritime activity, Brais Law Firm has the specialized knowledge and qualifications to handle the case. Attorney Keith Brais graduated from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a B.S. degree in marine engineering and spent many years sailing on ships and working on off-shore oil rigs. During the first 19 years of his legal career, he represented maritime employers and marine insurance companies before deciding to change sides and represent workers and other individuals who had been wrongfully injured in maritime accidents. Attorney Brais is also board certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in the field of admiralty and maritime law. He, along with the entire team at Brais Law Firm, are dedicated to helping people get the compensation they need to recover and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of a serious accident.

At Brais Law Firm, we understand that our clients have been dealt a very difficult and unfair hand. Our objective is to help right the wrong and make sure that the responsible parties are held legally accountable for their actions. In every maritime accident case that we handle, we work to obtain full and fair compensation for our clients. Depending upon the specific facts and circumstances surrounding the case and the type of claim filed (maritime or non-maritime), our clients may be entitled to recover the following types of damages:

  • Maintenance and cure benefits for “seamen”
  • Past and future medical expenses, including medical examinations, therapy, treatment, and transportation to and from appointments
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death
  • Punitive damages (in cases of extreme negligence or egregious conduct)

Hurt in an Accident at a California Port or While on the Water? Our California Maritime Injury Lawyers can Help

If you or someone you care about has been injured at a California port or while on or near the water, you need to speak with an attorney experienced in handling maritime personal injury cases. These types of cases can be very complicated, and the maritime employers, marine insurers, cruise lines, and other powerful companies responsible for these accidents are notorious for doing everything they can to limit what they must pay out to accident victims. When you work with a California maritime accident attorney at Brais Law Firm, you can trust that your rights and interests will be fully protected at every stage of the process.

Whether you were hurt while loading or unloading cargo, working on a cruise ship or vessel, or while enjoying a recreational water activity, our lawyers have the knowledge and experience to help you get the financial compensation to which you are entitled. We will undertake a complete investigation of your claim to uncover all parties who may be responsible for your accident. We will also carefully review the facts and circumstances of your case to determine the appropriate courses of legal action.

You can schedule a free case evaluation with our firm today by calling our California maritime injury lawyers at 800-499-0551 or completing our online contact form.

Best Lawyers badge
America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators badge
Peer Review Rated badge
Multi-million dollar advocates forum badge
board certified in admiralty and maritime law from the florida bar
Best Law Firms badge
70 years of collective trial experience badge
United States Merchant Marine badge
United States Coast Guard badge
Florida Legal Elite 2016 badge
crane vessel badge