Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer
Has an offshore accident left you or a loved one seriously injured and unable to return to your regular activities? You may be entitled to compensation for your loss. If you want strong legal guidance, please call experienced Houston offshore injure lawyer Hector Longoria today for a free consultation. Let us fight for the compensation you deserve.
Maritime Accident Injuries in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas has a robust economy that is based heavily in the oil and shipping industry. As a result, there are thousands of workers on boats, oil rigs and in harbors, with much of this work being very dangerous. Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions and care, accidents happen and many maritime workers get injured on the job each year.
But due to the physical nature of many of these jobs, getting injured at work is extremely costly and results in losing out on a lot of potential income. A simple on-the-job injury can result in a worker being unable to pay the bills and provide for his or her family. Then on top of that, there is physical injury itself, which may result in permanent disability, disfigurement or prevent the individual from working in the maritime industry ever again.
There are various complex laws that address these situations, but to fully understand and make the most of them, the skills and experience of a Houston offshore injury lawyer are often required. That’s where the law firm of Hector Longoria PC can help.
The Legal Framework of the Maritime Industry
Unlike most workplace injuries, those that occur at sea or within the maritime setting are subject to special federal laws which outline a maritime worker’s rights. They include:
- Jones Act: Allows seamen to bring lawsuits against their employers for injuries sustained on the job.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): The LHWCA is the federal law that outlines the workers’ compensation legal framework for maritime workers injured on the job. The LHWCA is helpful because it applies in situations when the Jones Act does not.
- Death on the High Seas Act: Permits a surviving dependent family member to bring a wrongful death lawsuit when unseaworthiness or negligence causes a death in international waters.
But not all of these laws apply to all maritime workers.
Types of Maritime Workers
There are two primary types of maritime workers. The first is a seaman, which is basically any individual who works on a vessel as an officer or crewmember. The second is any other maritime worker who is not a seaman.
In most situations, where a maritime worker gets hurt on the job, the Jones Act applies to seamen while the LHWCA applies to the non-seamen maritime workers. This distinction is important because it determines what damages are available for injured maritime workers, as well as the legal process they must take to achieve a legal recovery.
What Happens if You’re Injured at Sea?
If you’re a seaman, one major avenue or recovery lies with the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, you can sue your employer for negligence. You can also sue the owner of the vessel where you were hurt on the basis of that it was unseaworthy. Finally, you can receive something called maintenance and cure.
Maintenance and cure are a little bit like no-fault car insurance in that it allows the injured individual to obtain a recovery regardless of who was at fault for causing the injury. Maintenance and cure will cover certain expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utilities and medical bills.
If you are not a seaman, then you’ll probably seek recovery through the LHWCA. The LHCWA doesn’t apply to seamen, but instead of applies to everyone else who works on around the water, such as longshoremen and dock workers.
The LHCWA is similar to most states’ workers’ compensation laws in that it should guarantee basic payments for medical bills and lost income. However, the LHCWA is usually better because it often provides greater benefits in the form of larger monetary payments for injuries and the ability to obtain compensation for permanent partial disability.
Should I Hire a Maritime Attorney?
Most likely, yes. There are special filing and claims procedures for injured maritime workers that can be confusing and complicated. Additionally, many employers (and their insurance companies) aren’t eager to provide fair and adequate compensation to their workers. All they want is for you to go away for as little money as possible. This often means lowballing you or flat out denying you benefits in the hopes you give up or accept a smaller amount than you’re legally entitled to. You need an experienced Houston offshore injury lawyer to look out for your interests, because it usually won’t be your employer, the owner of the vessel or facility where you were hurt, or an insurance company.
Would You Like to Speak with a Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer?
Call Hector Longoria today at 713-929-3996 (Houston) or 1-844-357-6337 (toll-free) for a free consultation. He will make sure you receive everything you’re entitled to under the applicable maritime laws and that your rights receive the protection they deserve.