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What we do


At Dennis P. Murphy Law Office we will protect your rights and optimize your recovery.


Wrongful death claims arise from a death due to someone’s negligence, or as a result of equipment failure. The death usually comes unexpectedly, and family and loved ones are rarely prepared for the loss. During this difficult time you should not have to worry about how to process a wrongful death claim with an unfriendly insurance company. We have over 25 years of experience handling these types of claims, and can relieve you of that burden. You can entrust your wrongful death claim to the Law Office of Dennis Murphy.


Before being injured, most people don’t think about how their life would change if they were seriously injured. Once injured, doing the simplest tasks such as eating, dressing, driving, sleeping, doing housework and yard work can be a problem. Enjoying recreational activities and performing your job can either not be done, be done in a limited capacity, or only be done in a great deal of pain. Your sense of self and purpose can be lost. Depression can set in. Months or years of treatment and therapy can become all consuming. Job retraining may become necessary. Lifetime limitations can become overwhelming. One’s post-accident life can be unalterably changed because of someone else’s negligence causing you to be injured, in accidents such as:

auto accidents
accidents at sea
motorcycle accidents
bicycle accidents
bus accidents
cruise ship accidents
dog bite incidents
pleasure boating accidents
airplane accidents
railroad accidents
victims of drunk driving accidents
injuries to pedestrians
injuries to passengers

If you are involved in an accident, you should do the following:

  1. Report the accident to the police.
  2. Get medical assistance as soon as possible.
  3. Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all involved in the accident.
  4. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and autos involved in the accident.
  5. Report the accident to your insurance company.
  6. DO NOT speak with the other party’s insurance carrier.
  7. Contact the Law Office of Dennis Murphy. The quicker you contact an attorney, the better it will be for your claim.

If you are injured, you need to concentrate on your physical, mental, and emotional recovery. You need someone else to deal with the individual or entity that is at fault for causing your injuries. The Law Office of Dennis Murphy can provide you with peace of mind, knowing that someone is handling your claim while you are putting your life back together.



When you are injured or a family member dies from an incident occurring at sea, a different body of law will govern your claim. You need an experienced maritime attorney to handle injuries occurring at sea. Dennis Murphy, a former mariner, has represented workers, passengers, and family members of those who are injured or who have perished at sea for over 25 years. Generally, federal maritime law and the Jones Act apply when a seaman is employed by or on board crabbers, factory trawlers, longliners, gillnetters, processors, seiners, pot vessels, ferries, and tugboats. Dennis Murphy is experienced in handling all types of maritime claims.


If you are a seaman working at sea and are injured, you are entitled to certain benefits irrespective of fault:

Maintenance: This is a daily living stipend to replace the room and board you received at sea. It includes the basic expenses such as rent, utilities and food. You are entitled to these benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement.

Cure: Cure is a maritime term of art, which simply means the medical expenses you incur as a result of any injury you received at sea. You are entitled to have your medical expenses paid if the treatment and/or testing are directed to diagnosing and improving your condition. Once you reach maximum medical improvement, you are no longer entitled to have medical expenses paid if they are only directed at palliative treatment.

Unearned Wages: An injured seaman is entitled to receive the wages he would have received if he had not been injured for the contemplated period of employment or until he is able to return to work at sea, whichever occurs first. He is entitled to wages only up until the end of his contemplated period of employment, which is often set by contract.

Additional Damages: In addition to the benefits outlined above, if a seaman was injured because of the negligence of someone else or as a result of an unseaworthy condition, the injured seaman is entitled to recover additional damages. Those damages include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of services, future medical expenses, lost past wages, lost future wages and vocational retraining. Each case is different and the amount any individual would be able to recover is case specific.

Wrongful Death Actions: If a loved one died while working at sea, the estate of the decedent may have a claim against the vessel, the boat owner, or a third party due to someone’s negligence or an unseaworthy condition. The damages that the estate is allowed to recover are covered by a separate body of law, known as maritime or admiralty law. It is essential to have an attorney who is experienced in this field of law to represent the estate. The Law Office of Dennis Murphy is a law firm that is familiar with maritime law and knows how to handle such claims.


If you are injured at sea, you should do the following:

  1. Report your injury to your supervisor and fill out any paperwork required – a contemporaneous report is very helpful in proving your claim in the future;
  2. Get medical assistance as soon as possible – only medical providers can diagnose and treat your injury. The sooner you obtain medical assistance, the earlier your condition can be diagnosed and treatment can be obtained;
  3. Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses to the incident – this information is often hard to obtain once you leave the vessel;
  4. Take photographs of the incident scene – photographs help others understand how you are injured and help determine if there was negligence or an unseaworthy condition that caused or contributed to your injuries. Not having photographs can make it more difficult for you to prove your claim;
  5. Contact the Law Office of Dennis Murphy – in order to protect your rights, time is of the essence, and the sooner you contact an attorney, the better it will be for your claim;
  6. Limit your contact with any insurance company before contacting our law office – the job of the insurance company is to maximize profit for the insurance company, not to protect your rights.

A maritime attorney knows the rights of a seaman. Generally the insurance company will take your claim more seriously if you have an attorney. The insurance company will typically not pay you the true value of your claim without an attorney. Employers often balk at paying basic entitlements to injured seamen, such as maintenance, cure, and unearned wages without the assistance of an attorney. The insurance companies typically do not pay you the true value of your claim without an attorney. A maritime attorney, like Dennis Murphy, knows the special rights of a seaman and can make sure you receive a full recovery.

We offer an initial consultation free of charge. Our toll free number is 1-888-671-7447. You owe us no fees unless we recover damages for you.


Mr. Murphy will review homeowner, health, auto, or other insurance policies for issues that may occur when processing insurance, or during the claims process.

Mr. Murphy will review any contract you are contemplating entering into, to ensure that your rights are protected.


Mr. Murphy acts as a mediator and arbitrator in maritime, personal injury, construction and other cases over the past 10 years. Mr. Murphy’s 25 years of experience in personal injury, maritime, constructions law, and general litigation enable him to help the parties reach a fair result. Mr. Murphy is on the List of Arbitrators for both Whatcom County Superior Court and the United States District Court in Seattle.


Mr. Murphy has acted as Settlement Guardian ad Litem for many minors and/or disabled persons in Whatcom County.