Aberdeen, Washington

The muddy banks of the Wishkah

Tucked away on the eastern edge of the large bay called Grays Harbor, Aberdeen thrived in the 19th c. as a lumber and fishing town. Sitting at the head of the bay where the Chehalis and Wishkah rivers meet, this relatively isolated town relied on locally owned railroads and huge fleets to get its milled lumber and canned salmon to market. With timber stands looming all around the bay and salmon teeming in the rivers each fall, the earliest settlers lured entrepreneurs who risked their futures building canneries and sawmills. Today the frequently burned over port city of about 16,000 people owes its fame more as the birthplace of Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) than as a shipping capital of Washington state. In 2011, the city's seagoing crews sail on far fewer vessels than the 608 ships that left Aberdeen for example between July 1906 and July 1907. Their smaller number does not reduce the likelihood of injuries to the seamen and women who form the crews of the shipping vessels, crabbers, salmon trollers, seiners and tuna boats that set out today from Grays Harbor to navigate the dangerous waters of the Pacific Ocean and the fisheries of Alaska. Called the Jones Act, the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is an exceptional federal law protecting people injured at sea because their employers forced them to work in unseaworthy conditions. The law demands that employers compensate injured seamen for medical care and past and future loss of wages.

Postcard view of fishing boat near an Aberdeen cannery

The maritime injury attorneys of Herschensohn Law PLLC have helped seamen hurt at sea and assisted the families of those who have died. Injured fishermen throughout the country have been compensated because we know how to get you the money to which you are entitled to under federal maritime law. We focus on Jones Act injury claims.

In October 2012 a new law will go into effect providing more rigorous safety standards for the country's commercial fishing and shipping fleets. Building on the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988, the new law sets minimum standards which govern commercial fishing vessels such as those based in Aberdeen and make working at sea safer. The owners of vessels that don't meet the minimum requirements of the law are automatically negligent of operating an unseaworthy vessel.

Herschensohn Law PLLC is available to help injured seamen working out of Aberdeen and Grays Harbor County. Licensed to practice law in Washington, Zachary Herschensohn has successfully litigated fair compensation for injured Washington seamen. It won't cost you anything to meet with us before you choose someone to represent you in a maritime injury claim. We can meet with you at our Seattle offices or in Aberdeen, Hoquiam and any other Washington location. Contact a Jones Act attorney at Herschensohn Law today to set up your free initial consultation.