Houston Maritime Accident Lawyer
Working on the seas and in the Gulf is dangerous business, but it’s a job that’s absolutely essential to Houston, Texas and the U.S. economy. Despite the inherent danger, risks can be minimized. Workers must take caution, and employers must take precautions. When maritime employers fail to take reasonable and adequate steps to protect their employees, they can be held liable for injuries caused under any number of applicable laws. Knowing which law applies to a particular accident and how to proceed to obtain maximum compensation for the injured worker is a complicated matter. The Houston maritime accident attorneys at Livingston & Flowers combine decades of experience with knowledge and skill in personal injury to help fisherman, seamen, offshore oil workers and others recover valuable compensation to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other applicable legal damages.
Below are some of the main laws that provide a path to compensation for maritime workers who are injured or killed on the job. The Houston maritime accident lawyers at Livingston & Flowers know how to research the facts of the accident, determine which law or laws apply, and formulate an effective strategy to obtain compensation for the injured worker and/or his or her family. Give us a call at 713-489-4400 for a no-cost, confidential consultation on your potential claims.
The Jones Act
Also known as the Merchant Seaman Protection and Relief Act, the Jones Act covers health care expenses and wage replacement to seamen and longshoremen who are injured while they are working on a maritime vessel. Additional compensation, including pain and suffering damages, is available if the worker can prove that the employer’s negligence caused the accident or injury.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Through the LHWCA, dockworkers who are not covered as seamen under the Jones Act may still be compensated for injuries incurred while working on docks, piers and other facilities on U.S. navigable waters. These workers may not be eligible for benefits under Texas workers’ compensation, so the LHWCA may be vital to covering medical costs and wage loss.
The Seaworthiness Doctrine
Federal law requires that all ships operating in the U.S. must be seaworthy and safe for their intended purpose. Vessel owners are strictly liable for injuries caused on an unseaworthy vessel. Under strict liability, the injured worker only has to prove that the injury occurred on an unsafe vessel and does not have to prove that the boat owner was negligent. Following are a few examples of conditions that could possibly render a vessel unseaworthy:
- Vessel was defectively designed
- Vessel is undermanned
- Crew members are inadequately trained or supervised
- Safety equipment is missing or defective
- Other tools or equipment are missing or defective
- Decks are unreasonably slippery
- Obstructions on the decks
Death on the High Seas Act
When a maritime worker is killed in international waters, this federal admiralty law allows a surviving spouse, child or any other dependent family member to recover compensation for a wrongful death which was caused either by negligence or unseaworthiness.
Our Compassionate and Experienced Injury Lawyers are Here to Help after a Houston Maritime Accident
Getting the compensation you need after a serious accident is essential to recovering your health and taking care of your family, but trying to obtain that compensation on your own can be a difficult and daunting task. Let our experienced and dedicated Houston maritime accident lawyers help you get the care and compensation you need and deserve after a maritime accident has left you disabled or hurting. Call Livingston & Flowers at 713-489-4400 for a free evaluation of your claims.