Hiring a Maritime Lawyer for Cargo and Tug Boat Accidents in Long Beach

Long Beach has one of the most active ports not only in the state of California but in the entire United States. Also called the Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach, it functions as the primary gateway for trade between the US and Asia. It generates more than $100 billion annually in import and export value combined. The seaport also provides regular employment to over 300,000 residents of Southern California.

maritime lawyer

Water-Based Activities Are Very Popular in Long Beach

Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the city of Long Beach every year in order to participate in the diverse happenings on the beach and in the water. Some of the most popular activities happen on the many sandy beaches where families spend the day sunbathing and building sand castles with the kids. Water activities are also quite the rage, such as guided tours of the harbor onboard a cruise ship, whale-watching, island hopping, or just relaxing on a yacht.

Risk of Maritime Injuries at Long Beach Is Quite High

With the large population of both tourists and locals frequenting the waters of Long Beach, it is not a surprise that accidents happen quite frequently. The very nature of the activities does come with an intrinsic amount of risk.

But it’s not just the tourists that can get involved in water accidents. There are also many cargo vessels and tug boats operating from the port of Long Beach. Workers onboard these boats are also at a considerable risk of getting injured in different ways.

If you or someone you know has gotten injured in a water-related accident, it would be a good idea to get in touch with a maritime injury lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you can get a lawyer, the higher your chances will be of getting just compensation from the parties who are to be held liable for the event that caused your injury.

Why You Should Hire a Maritime Attorney for a Cargo or Tugboat Accident

First of all, you should understand that as a maritime worker, you have certain rights in case you get injured while on the job. These are a bit different than just the regular rights that an ordinary physical injury lawyer might fight for. In the event that your injury was sustained while on the open sea, there are also a specific set of laws that govern these cases.

Only a fully trained maritime injury lawyer will be well-versed in all these special laws, which is why they are the only kind of lawyer you should hire for such injuries. They know all the ins and outs of the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) and even maritime laws specific to the Long Beach area.

What Kind of Compensation Can You Get for a Cargo and Tugboat Injury?

According to the LHWCA and the Jones Act, all maritime workers have the right to compensation in case they suffer from injuries during the work period. It doesn’t matter if the vessel they are working on is at sea or docked on the ground. As long as the injuries are sustained during the course of their work, they are qualified for claims. So even if you load a vessel or do repairs on it while it is on land, you can definitely get compensation.

A maritime lawyer will be able to help you claim the maximum compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. This usually covers hospital and medical expenses, salaries lost due to the injury, rehabilitation costs, and even emotional and mental suffering. Computing the non-financial aspect of your claims can be tricky but a good maritime injury lawyer knows how to make the law work in your favor so that you can get the maximum compensation that you truly deserve.

What Are the Different Possible Causes of Tugboat Injuries Common in Long Beach?

Tugboats are quite small vessels but they are among the most important and also the busiest boats in many parts of the world. Since the Port of Long Beach is one of the busiest in the entire country, it only follows that the tugboats in this part are very busy as well. A single tugboat can be used to move more than a hundred large ships like cargo vessels per month. You can just imagine the fatigue and stress that the workers on these tugboats go through.

With such a hectic schedule, injuries are quite frequent. There are several possible causes of tugboat injuries, some of which can be very dangerous and even fatal.

Snapped Hawsers

Tugboat cables or hawsers can break when they are used to pull loads beyond their capacity. Any tugboat worker who is in the path of the recoil can suffer deadly injuries. Unfortunately, there are some tugboat owners that purposely use cheap hawsers for financial savings. But then, cheap often means substandard. Thus they will end up saving more when their tightfistedness leads to expensive claims from injured workers.


Any vessel comes with the risk of capsizing but with tugboats and the nature of their work, the risk is even higher. Operational issues are the most common cause of capsizing in tugboats. This usually happens quickly and often leads to the death of those onboard.


When navigating the narrow parts of busy rivers, collisions can occur due to heavy traffic. Also, since tugboats are quite small, larger vessels might not always be able to see them, especially if the navigational systems used are faulty. In such collisions, the tugboat crew will almost certainly suffer fatal injuries.

Onboard Hazards

Slips and falls are common in tugboats because of the slippery surfaces. However, there are also many onboard mishaps on tugboats that could have been avoided with proper attention. Lack of training and unseaworthy equipment are also common causes of onboard injuries.

What to Do After Being in a Cargo and Tug Boat Accident in Long Beach?

Aside from getting your injuries taken care of, one of the first things that you have to do after being in a cargo and tug boat accident is to find a good maritime injury lawyer to represent you and help you make a claim. Do not be afraid to seek compensation because the law is on your side. You deserve to get paid for all the injuries that you have suffered, physical or otherwise.

What to Look for in a Reputable Maritime Injury Lawyer

All maritime injury lawyers in Long Beach should be knowledgeable in the Jones Act and in many other maritime laws particular to the area. You don’t want to settle for just any maritime attorney though. You want someone who has experience and expertise in tugboat injuries. Most importantly, you want to hire a lawyer who will fight for your rights and not settle for just anything that the liable party offers.

Here at O’Bryan Law, our team of maritime injury attorneys will pull all stops to make sure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve. No matter what kind of cargo or tugboat injury you have suffered, we will do the work to get you your remuneration. If you are interested, just let us know and we will immediately build a case to help you recover damages from your unpleasant experience.