Maritime Attorney - Ocean Accident Lawyer Hawaii
Maritime Claims, Admiralty - Accidents at Sea - Hawaii
Hawaii Shipping, Boating & Diving Accidents, Drownings, Unseaworthy Vessels
William H. Lawson- Attorney / Lawyer
1188 Bishop St.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
Phone: (808) 524-5300 New Client Hotline
Phone: (808) 528-2525 Main Business Line
- Deadlines: The deadline for filing a claim arising out of
water-related accident in court can be difficult to determine. Similar
situations may have very different deadlines for filing. Some claims
are state law claims and generally follow Hawaii's two (2) year statute
of limitations. Other claims for maritime personal injury or death fall
under federal maritime law which generally has a three (3) year statute
of limitations. 46 USC Appendix section 763a. Even under federal
law, however, the deadline may be different. Claims against the United
States, for example, have a two (2) year statute of limitations
46 U.S.C. section 741, 781. In short it is best to promptly investigate
and assert any claim which you think you may have- and to obtain legal
assistance in determining any filing deadlines which may apply.
Investigation of a water related accident claim can be difficult and costly. Nonetheless, a
timely investigation of all available evidence related to the case may be critical to a favorable outcome.
Photos and videos of relevant conditions (the inside and the outside of the vessels, the waves or ocean conditions, the reefs, sandbars, signs, buoys and channels, any other dangers giving rise to the accident, the activities being carried on in the area of the accident, etc.), the dive equipment, surfboard, bodyboard or other equipment involved, the area(s) where the injuries and damages were sustained and the injuries and damages themselves may prove invaluable in proving up an accident claim to a claims adjuster, a judge or a jury. Photographic or video documentation of the accident should be done as soon as possible.
Generally, cases involving water related accidents include a very complicated hodge-podge of traditional (and often inconsistent) maritime and other water related
doctrines and claims. (It is probably so complicated because it has been around so long that Congress has often revisited this area of law to simplify and clarify it.)
In spite of the Federal Courts' so-called "exclusive jurisdiction" over
admiralty claims, most water-related accidents have one or more causes
of action which can be brought under state law. Often state law is the
most promising avenue for recovery. Sometimes there is more than one
state where the action can be brought (and occasionally more than one
country). Selecting the correct forum in which to pursue this type of
claim is very important.
- Longshore and harbor workers are generally covered for work
related injuries by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation
Act. This act provides benefits similar to the federal worker's
compensation program, which benefits are also administered by the
federal Office of Worker's Compensation Programs (OWCP). Although
claims against the employer are barred (in most circumstances) because
of the availability of LSHWCA coverage, there may still be claims for
recovery against a third party who is independently responsible for
the injuries and loss.
Seamen (the crew of ocean going vessels) generally are covered by the
Jones Act. This provides medical and sustinence payments
called "maintenance and cure" to partially cover medical expenses
and wage loss after an injury. The Jones Act also provides a cause of
action for personal injuries caused by negligence or the unseaworthiness
of a vessel. Contributory negligence (even on a large scale) is not a
bar to such a claim, but only reduces the amount of any damage award on
a pro-rata basis.
Various Water Related Accidents involving Hawaii
Some of the recent water related cases here in the state
of Hawaii include the following:
The serious neck injuries with partial paralysis of a Canadian tourist at White Sands beach in Kona, Hawaii while bodyboarding with the inflexible leash of a Morey Gripper Pro boogieboard on April 25, 2000.
Serious ear injuries from a Snuba dive off of a specially equipped boat moored on Oahu on May 8, 1994. (Snuba differs from scuba in that the divers do not have tanks on their backs, but instead they share a common air supply floating on the surface through air hoses.)
McClenahan v. Paradise Cruises, Ltd., 888 F.Supp. 120, 1995 A.M.C. 1899 (D. Hawaii, May 19, 1995)
The death of a body surfer when hit by a cruise ship while bodysurfing at Point Panic, near Kewalo Basin in Honolulu on June 19, 1984. Stone v. Paradise Holdings, Inc. 619 F.Supp. 21, 1985 A.M.C. 1749 (D. Hawaii Dec 26, 1984), 795 F.2d 756, 55 USLW 2100, 1987 A.M.C. 104 (9th Cir. (Hawaii) Jul 25, 1986), cert denied, 479 U.S. 1008, 107 S.Ct. 649, 93 L.Ed.2d 704 (Dec 08, 1986).
The death of a professional hard-hat diver in
in 35 feet of water in Hilo Harbor on August 10, 1972.
Holland v. Healy Tibbitts Const. Co., 379 F.Supp. 192 (D. Hawaii, Jul 24, 1974)
- Our office charges on a CONTINGENCY FEE basis in accident
cases which we accept. There is NO CHARGE for an initial consultation
to evaluate your case. E-mail us or call us at (808) 524-5300 or
(808) 528-2525 if you have any more questions.
Ocean Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Admiralty - Maritime
- William H. Lawson, Personal Injury Lawyer Hawaii, is an experienced attorney who has provided superior legal counsel in the State of Hawaii for his clients involving injuries at sea, shipping, Jones Act claims, boats and boating, maritime, admiralty and ocean accidents for over 30 years. Although his main office is in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Lawson has provided trial representation in court for clients on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Similarly, Mr. Lawson has represented clients from many other states in the U.S. and from many other countries of the world and has handled their legal matters in the State of Hawaii. With an emphasis in personal injury law, Mr. Lawson primarily handles cases involving auto accidents, products liability, maritime and admiralty, construction accidents, recreational injuries, premises liability and falls, wrongful death, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and car, truck, motorcycle, moped, pedestrian and other motor vehicle accidents. Mr. Lawson handles claims against the state or federal government as well as claims against various types of insurance, including marine casualty insurance, liability insurance and other types of insurance. For excellent and highly qualified representation on a claim involving an accident arising from activities involving the ocean, water, fishing, scuba, diving, marine engines, steam boilers or involving a vessel running aground, flipping, sinking, colliding or being unseaworthy, please contact Hawaii personal injury attorney, William H. Lawson now on his New Client Hotline at 808-524-5300 or on the regular office line at 808-528-2525. Mr. Lawson handles most cases on a contingency fee - so there is NO FEE IF NO RECOVERY, in other words no charge for attorneys' fees in the event that the efforts to obtain a recovery are unsuccessful. Whether you are a local Kama'aina, a business visitor or a tourist, Mr. Lawson is the right attorney to help you. "Legal Help When You Need It Most"
- If you believe that you may have a claim of this type,
please take a few moments to visit with a paralegal to outline the
nature of your claim. Thank you!
LEGAL HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
Visiting Our Offices
Types of Cases
Car Accidents- Hawaii -
Defective Products Liability- Hawaii
Ocean, Boating, Shipping, Maritime Accidents- Hawaii
Falls- Trip & Fall, Slip & Fall- Hawaii -
Drunk Driver- Drunk Driving Accidents
Medical Malpractice & Professional Negligence- Hawaii
Dog Bites & Animal Attacks- Hawaii
Insurance Claims- Hawaii
Construction & Heavy Equipment Accidents- Hawaii