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June 2016



It is not unusual for our office to receive calls or emails from maritime workers who are represented by other attorneys asking if we can take over their case. While there may be a variety of reasons for this, a not uncommon one is that they have settled their case and are disappointed with the result. Unfortunately at that point it is most often too late for us to be able to help them. Below are some things to keep in mind if you are considering hiring an attorney:

  1. Make sure you pick one that has extensive maritime law experience.
  2. Ask what they charge. Most attorneys charge a contingency fee, which means that they get paid a percentage of what you recover from the shipowner. However, these percentages can vary from 33%45% and even higher in some cases. Some attorneys increase their percentage if the case proceeds to trial or mediation.
  3. Ask how the costs of the lawsuit advanced by the attorneys are repaid. Most attorneys will pay the costs of your lawsuit while it is ongoing and then recover their money when your case is resolved by settlement or trial. A difference between attorneys is that some will deduct these costs from your settlement first, and then take their percentage from this lower amount. Others will take their percentage first, and then deduct their costs. When an attorney takes their percentage first, it results in less money in your pocket because they are taking a percentage of a larger number.
  4. Find out if they are in good standing with the State Bar Association. In California, the State Bar puts this information on their website. Go to calbar.org and enter the attorney's name in the search bar. The attorney's State Bar profile will appear. At the bottom of the page is their disciplinary record. Be wary of hiring an attorney who is in trouble with the State Bar.


Mr. Cavin,
I suffered a shipboard injury and need to hire a lawyer. What do you charge and do you advance costs? I don't have any money for costs or fees.
Thanks, Jim S. Richmond, CA

Thank you for contacting me. We charge a contingency fee of 33 1/3%, sometimes less if the case is resolved quickly without suit being filed. We advance costs so you do not have to pay these costs until the case is resolved. We deduct the costs from your recovery first, and then take our percentage from that lower number. This is one of the lowest fee arrangements in the maritime industry. We do not charge 40% if the case goes to mediation or trial, as so few cases proceed to trial. We are able to do this because we keep our overhead costs low and because we are confident that we will get you the top dollar for your case.


We have relocated to San Francisco while our new Oakland space undergoes renovation from fire damage. We have offices on both sides of the Bay to serve you! Look for our Oakland opening sometime in late spring. In the meantime, please contact us at

The Law Offices of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr.
535 Pacific Avenue, Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94133

Our phone and fax remain the same
Ph: 510-444-2501 Fax: 510-444-4209

About Our Law Firm

For more than four decades, merchant mariners, longshoremen, fishermen and harbor workers plying their trades at sea, on the docks, on our U.S. coastal waters and inland waterways have turned to the maritime law firm of Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates in Oakland. Today, we are proud to be recognized as one of the preeminent maritime law firms serving injured marine workers nationwide, as well as one of the most successful personal injury litigation firms serving victims of negligence in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the West Coast.

Team Approach to Every Personal Injury and Jones Act Claim

When you retain Lyle C. Cavin, Jr. & Associates for a Jones Act injury claim; or personal injury claim, you don't get just one attorney, you get our entire team of dedicated professionals. Our attorneys offer more than 150 combined years of courtroom and negotiated claims settlement experience. We will represent your interests with unwavering dedication, speed and expertise.

Click here for a Free Case Evaluation

Admiralty/Maritime Law Practice
  • Firm Overview Admiralty/Maritime Law
Recent Verdicts & Settlements
  • Maritime Personal Injury - Livestock tender back injury
    Result - Settled for $250,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Back/Hip Injury.
    Result – Settled for $2,000,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Knee injury.
    Result – Settled for $2,000,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Respiratory injury.
    Result – Settled for $825,000.
  • Wrongful Death - Bicycle accident.
    Pedestrian hit and killed by speeding bicyclist.
    Result - Settled for $2,105,000.
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury - Seaman fell from ladder on tug boat.
    Result - Judge awarded plaintiff $832,236
  • Personal Injury - Sexual assault of a developmentally disabled minor by school bus driver.
    Result – Settled for $645,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $4,250,000
  • Fishing boat accident – Fisherman suffered traumatic head injury after being hit by a metal float.
    Result – Settled for $5,000,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Fall from ladder aboard ship.
    Result – Settled for $1,400,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Crewmember committed suicide.
    Result – Settled for $820,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Seaman injured while moving between tug boats.
    Result – Settled for $800,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $3,500,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Repetitive stress injury.
    Result – Settled for $1,525,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury.
    Result – Settled for $1,075,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Slip and fall on the deck of a tanker.
    Result – Settled for $2,300,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Seaman fell from top of crane cab.
    Result – Jury awarded $3,170,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $1,925,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Benzene exposure.
    Result – Settled for $670,000
  • Jones Act/Maritime Personal Injury – Catastrophic container ship accident.
    Result – Settled for $1,500,000
Click here to view our Articles
Personal Injury Law practice
  • Firm Overview Personal Injury
Companies We've Successfully Litigated Against
  • Alaska Steamship Co.
  • American Export Lines
  • American Hawaii Cruises
  • American Hawaiian Steamship Co.
  • American Mail Lines
  • American Navigation
  • American President Lines
  • American Seafoods Co.,
  • American Ship Management, LLC
  • American Steamship Co.
  • Apex Maine Corp.
  • Atlantic Richfield Co.
  • Atlas Steam
  • BAE Systems
  • Bangor Trading Company
  • Bann Ocean Towing
  • Blue & Gold Fleet
  • Boston Ocean Carriers
  • Brinkerhoff Marine
  • Brown & Root
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Celebrity Cruises, Inc.,
  • Central Gulf Lines
  • Chevron Oil Co.
  • Chevron Shipping, Chevron U.S.A.,
  • China Ocean Shipping Co. Dba COSCO
  • Commodore Cruises
  • CONOCO Phillips
  • Cove Companies Cove Shipping, Inc.
  • Crest Tankers, Inc.
  • Crowley Maritime Corporation
  • CS Marine
  • Cunard Steamship Co., Ltd.
  • Diamond M, Diamond M. Offshore, Inc.
  • Dutra Construction Co
  • Esso Shipping Co.
  • Evergreen
  • EXXON Shipping Co.
  • Farrell Lines, Inc
  • Faust
  • Fishing Company Of Alaska
  • Foss Maritime Co.
  • Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District
  • Golden Gate Ferry
  • Grace Lines
  • Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co ILL
  • Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. CA
  • Harbor Bay Ferry
  • Harbor Marine
  • Harbor Tug & Barge
  • Hellenic Lines
  • Holland America Line Holland America N.V,
  • Horizon Lines
  • Horizon Tug & Barge
  • Interocean Management
  • International Marine Carriers NY
  • Isthmian Lines, Isthmian S.S. Co.
  • Keystone Shipping Co.
  • Kloster Cruise Ltd
  • Liberty Maritime
  • Luckenbach S. S. Co.
  • Luckenbach Overseas Corp., 400 U.S. 494, 1971 AMC 277 (1971).
  • Lykes Bros. Steamship Co Lykes Bros. S.S. Co.
  • Maersk Lines
  • Marine Transport Lines
  • Maritime Overseas Corporation R. G. Naggiar MOC,
  • Matson Navigation Co.
  • Moore-Mccormack Lines, Inc.,
  • Murphy Pacific Tug
  • Nicholas Bachko Co. Inc.
  • Norquest Seafoods
  • North American Trailing Co
  • Norwegian American Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line NCL
  • Ocean Shipholdings, Inc
  • Ocean Ships, Inc.
  • Omi Bulk Management Co.
  • Oscar Neimath Towing
  • Pacific Far East Lines Inc.
  • Pacific Gulf Marine
  • Pacific Long Lines
  • Patriot Contract Services
  • PM&O Lines
  • Polar Tankers
  • Royal Cruise Line
  • Princess Cruises, Inc., Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd.
  • Prudential Lines
  • Puglia
  • Red & White
  • Red & White Fleet
  • Reynolds Metals Marine Division
  • SF Bar Pilots Ass'n
  • Sargent Marine
  • Sause Bros
  • Sea-Land Service, Inc.
  • Seariver Maritime, Inc.
  • Signature Seafoods, Inc.
  • Standard Oil Of California
  • Star Cruises
  • Star Shipping (USWC), Inc.
  • States Line
  • States Marine Corp.
  • Texaco, Inc.,
  • Tidewater, Inc.,
  • Tide Water Sand & Gravel
  • Transport Mutual Services, Inc.
  • Trinidad Corporation
  • Triple Star, Inc
  • Tudor -Saliba
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • U.S. Dept. Of Justice, Torts Branch
  • United States Lines U.S. Lines, Inc.
  • Union Oil Co.
  • Victory Carriers
  • Vulcan Carriers
  • Waterman Steamship Corp.
  • Watters Marine Inc.
  • Westar Marine Services
  • World Explorer Cruises
  • Zim Container Line