Maritime Accident Lawyer Houston

Maritime work is inherently risky, and accidents can lead to serious injuries or fatalities. If you’re a maritime worker in Houston who has been injured on the job, hiring a specialized maritime accident lawyer is crucial to navigating the complex web of maritime laws and securing the compensation you deserve.

 

Key Maritime Laws for Injured Workers

  1. Jones Act: This federal statute allows injured seamen to sue their employers for personal injury damages. Unlike standard workers’ compensation laws, the Jones Act covers medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

 

To qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, an individual must spend at least 30% of their time on a vessel in navigation. The Act ensures that employers maintain a safe working environment and can be held accountable for negligence​ (Stevenson Murray)​​ (Simmons & Fletcher)​.

  1. Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): This Act covers maritime workers who are not classified as seamen under the Jones Act, such as dock workers, shipbuilders, and harbor construction workers.

 

LHWCA provides compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages due to injury. It also includes survivor benefits if the injury results in death. Unlike typical workers’ compensation, it offers slightly more generous benefits​ (Simmons & Fletcher)​​ (Patrick Daniel Law)​.

2.  Doctrine of Unseaworthiness: This legal principle requires that vessel owners ensure their ships are seaworthy. If an unseaworthy condition causes injury, the owner can be held liable. This doctrine covers everything from improper maintenance to inadequate safety measures on board​ (Abraham Watkins)​.

3. Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA): This Act provides compensation to families of maritime workers who die due to wrongful acts, negligence, or unseaworthy conditions occurring on the high seas, beyond 12 nautical miles from the shore​ (Abraham Watkins)​.

Common Maritime Injuries

Maritime work involves various risks, including but not limited to:

  • Burns: Often resulting from explosions, fires, or malfunctioning equipment on vessels or oil rigs.
  • Chemical Exposure: Exposure to toxic chemicals can lead to respiratory issues, neurological damage, and other serious health problems.

 

  • Back Injuries: Heavy lifting and strenuous activities frequently cause back injuries among maritime workers.
  • Equipment-Related Injuries: Poorly maintained equipment can result in severe injuries from falls or malfunctions​ (The Krist Law Firm, P.C.)​​ (Morrowsheppard)​.

Steps to Take After a Maritime Injury

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Immediate medical evaluation and treatment are crucial.
  2. Report the Injury: Notify your employer about the incident as soon as possible.
  3. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of the incident, your injuries, medical treatments, and any communication with your employer.
  4. Consult a Maritime Lawyer: An experienced maritime accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal process to seek compensation.

Choosing the Right Lawyer

When selecting a maritime accident lawyer in Houston, consider their experience and expertise in maritime law, including their success rate in handling similar cases. Firms like Stevenson & Murray, The Krist Law Firm, Simmons & Fletcher, P.C., Morrow & Sheppard LLP, and Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner are notable for their extensive experience in maritime injury cases​ (Stevenson Murray)​​ (The Krist Law Firm, P.C.)​​ (Simmons & Fletcher)​​ (Morrowsheppard)​​ (Abraham Watkins)​.

Compensation and Legal Proceedings

Under the Jones Act and other maritime laws, injured workers can seek various types of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage for past and future medical treatments related to the injury.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for income lost due to the inability to work.
  • Pain and Suffering: Financial compensation for physical and emotional distress.
  • Maintenance and Cure: Payments for living expenses and medical care until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement.

Maritime cases can be heard in both federal and state courts, but the intricacies of maritime law often make federal courts a more appropriate venue. However, certain claims, such as those under the Jones Act, can also be pursued in state courts​ (Stevenson Murray)​​ (Simmons & Fletcher)​​ (Abraham Watkins)​.

Navigating maritime law can be challenging, but with the right legal guidance, injured maritime workers can secure the compensation they need to recover and move forward. If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime accident, contacting a knowledgeable Houston maritime accident lawyer is a crucial step toward achieving justice and financial recovery.

Maritime Accident Lawyer Houston

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