There is a chance that sailors and people who work abroad will get hurt badly every day. Offshore ships are very dangerous places to work because of the chance of fires and explosions, gas leaks, big objects dropping, and bad weather. Laws about the sea are meant to keep workers safe and make sure that if they get hurt, they get enough money to pay for their own care and repairs.
It can be hard to understand the rules of the sea. Some workers don’t know what kind of marine law they need to use to prove they were hurt on the job. After getting hurt on the job, many people took money from their companies that wasn’t enough to pay their medical bills, and they couldn’t change their thoughts later. Because of this, you should talk to a skilled marine lawyer right away if you get hurt outside.
ABRAM WATKINS, HOUSTON MARITIME LAWYERS WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Our company, Abraham Watkins, has helped people in Texas for more than 70 years. Our law firm is one of the oldest in the state because of this. We can get your case in touch with a Houston offshore accident lawyer right away. This lawyer has helped people hurt in a wide range of offshore accidents get money for their injuries.
At Abraham Watkins, we have a team of marine lawyers who can help you with every part of your case. When you get hurt at work and have to worry about how to pay for everything, it’s scary and hard. To help you get paid for your losses and protect your rights, we want to help you file a claim under the right marine law.
He is an admiralty and marine lawyer who works in Houston, Galveston, and along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
There are rules that people who work on ships, their bosses, and people who get hurt on the job must follow. This is called admiralty law or marine law. Most of the time, the rules cover all crashes and events at sea, like those on cargo ships, oil rigs, and dredges. “High seas” refers to the water outside of the borders of a country or state. National water that is less than 12 miles from the land is also subject to the law of the sea.
What does the sea’s law say?
There are rules that people who work at sea, companies that hire them, and other businesses and people who work at sea must follow. This is called maritime law. If there is an accident on an oil platform, a dredge, a cargo ship, or any other type of open water, even at sea, these rules say what should be done.
The “High Seas” are all the areas of water that are not part of a country or state’s normal national seas. It is also subject to marine law if private water is less than 12 miles from land.
Laws about the sea are some of the oldest in the United States. In fifty years, it’s changed a lot. Maritime rules used to only cover people hurt in accidents that happened on the “high sea.”
There are now “navigable” seas in the US covered by it. This helps more people who work on the water.
GET READY TO GO H2O
Laws about the sea are some of the oldest in the country, but they are always being changed. Maritime law used to only cover accidents and events that happened on the high seas. Now, it covers all “navigable waters” in the United States. The law can be unclear about what waters can be used for transportation. Most of the law we use today comes from cases that tried to make the term plain.
This means that any body of water that lets any state or foreign power deal with another state is called accessible water.
As it stands now, accessible water is water that can be used as a “continued highway over which commerce is or may be carried on with other states or foreign countries.” So, marine law applies to any area of water that lets people trade or do business with another state or foreign country. Even if they aren’t directly linked to another state or country, bodies of water that are part of bigger “navigable waters” will still be ruled by maritime law.
Because of this, state law, not federal maritime law, will control a body of water that is cut off by a bigger piece of land. This is called being “land-locked.”
WHERE IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, DO YOU HEAR ABOUT MARITIME CASES?
Article III, Section 2, of the United States Constitution says that all Texas state marine law comes from federal law. Because of this, the federal courts have control over all cases involving harm to people or property on water that can be managed. When it comes to how victims get paid, state courts are the only ones who can use their own judgment.
Even though all accidents at sea are governed by federal law, workers and sailors who are hurt may be able to file maritime claims in both state and federal courts in Houston. Maritime workers who get hurt can file a personal injury claim in a Texas state court under the Jones Act. Offshore oil rig workers can also file a federal law case in a state court.
It can be hard to tell the difference between federal and state marine law, and workers often don’t know if they can file a claim in a Texas state court. If you were hurt on the job, one of the marine lawyers at our law firm can help you take your case to a state or federal court.
A Look at Some Important Texas Maritime Law Acts
A set of acts and general maritime law concepts that have been built up over many years handle cases of injury and property damage at sea. These acts lay out the rules for who can file a claim, how much medical bills are covered, and who has the right to compensation for injuries sustained abroad.
COMPENSATION FOR LONGSHORE AND HARBOR WORKERS ACT
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) helps pay a lot of different kinds of marine workers. The following types of workers can make claims under this law:
Harbor building workers
Longshoremen and women
People who work in docks
Workers in cargo
Repairers of ships
For a worker to get compensation under this act for a maritime injury, they must show that they are a maritime worker and that the injury happened on navigable seas or near them, like on docks, piers, etc.
ACT ON OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS
It adds to the LHWCA and is called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Under this act, workers who get hurt on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States can file a claim for their injuries. They need to prove that their work has something to do with finding and using natural materials.
The Act lets people who work on oil rigs in the Outer Continental Shelf file claims for injuries they get on the job. A personal harm claim cannot be made, however, if you work for the US government, a foreign government, or a state government. This is because of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
THE DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT
The Death on the High Seas Act covers all deaths that happen on the high seas, which are areas outside of the territorial waters of a state. People whose loved ones died in an accident on land that was caused by “wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas” can file a lawsuit under this law.
Family members can only get money back for losses like lost support. They won’t be able to get back the costs of medical care or the funeral. You have three years from the date of the incident to file a claim under this act.
THE JONES ACT
The Jones Act, which is also called the Merchant Marine Act, was created in 1920 and protects sailors’ rights to sue their bosses if they get hurt on the job. As a result of the Jones Act, workers can sue their boss for reimbursement if the boss was totally or partly to blame for their injuries. In this way, your boss only has to be partly to blame for the injury you got in order to get paid. The following are examples of careless behavior that this law covers:
Not keeping tools in good shape and making sure they are safe for sailors.
Being aware of dangerous weather situations but not doing anything to avoid them.
Knowingly giving negligent orders and directions to workers.
Not taking care of wounded workers’ medical needs.
In a state or federal court, sailors who get hurt can sue their bosses for personal injury for full or partial negligence. Workers still have the right to a hearing by a jury. To file a claim under the Merchant Marine Act, you should talk to a marine lawyer with a lot of experience. They can help you with your claim. Claims under this act are often complicated. A Texas lawyer can help you gather proof, build a strong case, and make sure you get the money you deserve for your injuries.
ACT ON LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Owners of boats can limit their responsibility for claims made about injuries and damage to their boats caused by the Limitation of Responsibility Act. This means that if you get hurt on any kind of ship, like a personal watercraft or a cargo ship, and suffer major injuries, the ship’s owner may be able to lower their liability and the amount of money you can get in compensation.
People who own boats must show that they didn’t know about any problems or damage to their boats before they can use this Act. If the Limitation of Liability Act is brought up, only a judge can make a decision because it is based on admiralty law, which is not the same as marine law.
The amount of money you can get from a vessel owner who tries to use the Limitation of Liability Act will be much less if they succeed. So, you should get help from skilled marine lawyers who can show that the boat’s owner knew the risks of using it and should be held responsible for your injuries.
Seaman’s right to repair and heal
The right of seamen to upkeep and cure is like a worker’s compensation. If an offshore injury happens to a captain or staff member, their boss has to pay for their care and treatment. If you get hurt at work or at sea and have to pay for medical care, these are called “cure costs.” Maintenance benefits help pay for the things you need to live.
Maintenance and cure benefits are given to the worker until they hit the highest level of medical improvement, which is decided by a doctor or physician. These benefits are based on “no fault,” which means that employees don’t have to show that their boss hurt them.
COMMON CASES OF MARINE INJURY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
A lot of people who work abroad put their lives at risk every day. Because of the nature of many maritime jobs, there are risks that workers could get badly hurt, such as heavy objects falling on them, gas explosions and fires, broken machinery, and more. Maritime law and admiralty law both have ways for hurt workers to get paid for their injuries and make sure their medical bills are paid.
Anyone who has been in any kind of offshore accident, like the ones below, should talk to an experienced offshore accident lawyer right away.
ACCIDENTS WITH JACK-UP RIGS
Explosions and falls are the most common reasons why jack-up rigs fail. It’s naturally dangerous to work on oil rigs, and every year, a lot of accidents happen. But taking the right safety precautions and making sure that jack-up rigs are set up properly can often help keep rig accidents from happening.
A popular type of oil rig is the jack-up, which is also used as a turbine installation vessel and a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). These rigs can move around a bit, so they need to be set up safely with legs that are anchored to the sea floor. It is important for managers who are in charge of jack-up rigs to make sure that they are set up correctly and are completely stable.
If you or a family member were hurt in a jack-up rig accident at sea, you should talk to one of our maritime lawyers. They can help you make a claim.
ACCIDENTS ON OIL PLATES
Oil rigs are especially hard and dangerous places to work. A lot of marine workers get hurt every year in accidents, fires, explosions, collisions, slip-and-falls, bad equipment, and other things. For example, from 2001 to 2009, over 1,500 marine workers were hurt and 60 died on offshore rigs off the coast of Mexico’s Gulf Coast. These accidents were mostly preventable fires and explosions.
If you are a maritime worker who gets hurt on an oil platform, you may be able to file a claim under the Jones Act and general maritime law to have your company pay for all of your medical bills and other costs. If you were hurt offshore or a loved one died because of an employer’s carelessness, you should talk to an expert maritime offshore accident lawyer. They can help you file a claim for compensation.
HAIL AT THE DREDGE
Workers who dredge are in charge of getting rid of water weeds, trash, mud, and anything else that could block a waterway from rivers, harbors, and other places. It is normal for dredge workers to get hurt when machinery fails and crushes them, when materials and objects fall on them, or when they slip and fall.
Even though most dredges work in shallow water or even on land, workers still have the same legal rights and benefits as workers in other offshore jobs. This means that if you get hurt at work as a dredge worker or can prove that your boss caused your injury in whole or in part, you can file a claim for compensation under the Jones Act.
ACCIDENTS ON DECKS
Deck accidents happen a lot because there are so many risks on ships, in ports, and on oil rigs. Unfortunately, slip-and-fall accidents happen a lot on boat decks because they get wet and hot. We have, however, helped customers with a wide range of deck accident types, including those caused by:
Things that are flying or hanging low.
Weather that is dangerous or extreme.
Errors are made by people.
Equipment that is broken or dying.
Accidents on the deck can often cause broken bones, brain injuries, heart damage, and even death. A marine lawyer might be able to help you get compensation and damages if these injuries happened because the vessel owner was careless or because your boss was careless.
ACCIDENTS ON CARGO SHIPS
More than 80% of all goods in the world are moved by the cargo maritime industry, which is one of the biggest trade businesses in the country. Because this business is always growing and there is always a need for more trade, more people are starting to work on cargo ships.
Freight ships that carry heavy things like machinery, chemicals, and big shipping packages often run a very high risk of an accident. Here are some common cargo ship accidents:
Crushing accidents are caused by falling things.
Huge fires and blasts.
Spills of chemicals.
Accidents with machinery
Pirates are more likely to attack cargo ships because they carry valuable goods. This can lead to assaults on deck against foreign workers. If you were hurt in an accident on a cargo ship, you should talk to an experienced Houston marine injury lawyer about your case. To get money for your injuries, they can help you make a claim against the person who caused them.
ACCIDENTS ON CRUISE SHIPS
Accident claims on cruise ships can be hard to understand. Most of the time, cruise ship owners have terms in their contracts that limit how much they are responsible for and how long you have to file a claim against them. But accidents do happen on cruise ships all the time, and some of our clients have been hurt when they slipped and fell, were beaten up, got hurt at a salon, or were hurt on an outing.
If you or a family member have been hurt at sea while on a cruise ship, you should talk to an experienced marine lawyer right away. It can be hard to prove fault in these situations because the cruise ship might be working with different tour companies or might try to avoid being responsible. Having a marine lawyer who has dealt with cruise ship accidents before can help you get the money you’re owed.
COMMON INJURIES THAT MARITIME WORKERS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, SUFFER
A marine worker could get seriously hurt or even die in an offshore accident, depending on the type of accident. Maritime law says that workers who get hurt on the job should get paid for it. However, many times, vessel owners and companies don’t want to pay out large amounts of compensation. You have a much better chance of getting fair compensation if you file a case or get help from a Houston offshore accident lawyer.
Some of the most common accidents our Houston maritime lawyers see are
At Abraham Watkins, our personal injury lawyers have helped a lot of marine workers get paid for injuries they got from being crushed. Offshore workers are more likely to lose limbs or become paralyzed in a crushing accident because of the heavy machinery and falling items they work with. A worker’s legs or arms can get crushed when heavy cargo or material falls from a high object, like a dredge, or when unstable cargo slides across a vessel.
To avoid paralysis or having to have limbs cut off, many remote workers have to have their bodies crushed. On top of the physical effects of being crushed, workers often also have serious mental health problems and emotional problems after the accident.
Burns are another common injury that sailors and offshore workers get on the job. Many times, burns are one of the worst injuries that can happen to a person. They hurt the person physically and mentally because they are so bad.
At sea, burns can happen in fires and gas explosions, electrical explosions caused by bad wires, contact with poisonous or dangerous chemicals, and ship engine room fires. A lot of people who work in the maritime business are afraid of these kinds of accidents. They put themselves at risk every day by going to work.
Burns range from minor first-degree burns to serious third-degree burns that need skin grafts and medical help right away. It is possible to get an infection, sepsis, chills, and many other problems after getting a third-degree burn. It doesn’t matter how bad your burn injury is; maritime law still says that your hospital bills should be paid for. Get in touch with one of our Houston marine lawyers if you get burned at sea.
HURT IN THE BRAIN
People who work at sea can get two different kinds of brain injuries: open-head injuries and closed-head injuries. When someone has an open-head injury, their brain has been broken or pierced. This is different from a closed-head injury, which doesn’t pierce or break the brain. However, these kinds of injuries often have long-term effects that are hard for doctors to notice at first.
A brain injury at sea can be caused by something falling on you, bad safety gear, a slip-and-fall accident, or an accident with goods. Brain injuries often cause people to lose their memories, have seizures, become paralyzed, become depressed, and have mental problems.
WHAT RIGHTS DO HARMED MARINE WORKERS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS, HAVE?
If you work on the water, you should always know what your legal rights are. If you get hurt in a marine accident, you should make sure that you can get medical care, that your legal rights are respected, and that you have money to cover your expenses. All marine workers who get hurt have the right to the following:
Medical care:Under the Jones Act, any maritime worker who gets hurt on the job is eligible for medical care that is paid for by the company. Workers who get hurt on the job don’t have to worry about getting insurance or paying for their medical bills because they are eligible for all medical benefits and financial support. In the event that the maritime accident made an injury you already had worse, your company is required to pay for your medical care. If one doctor says you need medical care and another doctor says you don’t, the Jones Act says you should get the care either way.
Choice of doctor:All foreign workers who get hurt have the right to pick the doctor who treats their injuries. You may have to see the doctor that your insurance company or job suggests for your first visit, but it’s up to you to choose who you get treatment from.
Non-recorded accident statement: If you get hurt in a naval accident, you need to tell your boss or the right person at the scene of the injury right away. You do not have to give a recorded account of the accident, though. People often mix up facts or get confused at first because they are shocked or hurt. That’s why you shouldn’t record a statement that you might need to change later.
WHAT KIND OF DAMAGES CAN A HOUSTON OFFSHORE ACCIDENT LAWYER HELP ME GET BACK?
According to what we’ve already talked about, marine law has certain acts that let workers get paid for injuries they get at work. General maritime law also says that employers have to pay their workers for the costs of repairs and upkeep.
But our maritime injury lawyers have seen a lot of cases where companies tried to get workers to agree to an initial payment that wasn’t enough, and the workers then couldn’t make a claim for compensation. Because we know how stressful it is to have a major maritime injury and want you to get the fair amount of compensation you deserve, we always suggest that you talk to a Houston maritime injury lawyer before you sign anything.
A marine accident lawyer in Houston can help you file for the following:
Jones Act claims for the medical bills you incurred because of your accidents.
Repair and maintenance prices for daily living costs
Unseaworthiness: claim if your injuries happened because of equipment or the state of the vessel that wasn’t safe.
claim of negligence.
There are times when you may be able to file more than one maritime accident claim at the same time. By doing this, you can get more money in court settlements. Talk to a Houston marine lawyer to find out how much money you should get for your injuries.
A claim of negligence was made for a maritime injury in Houston, Texas.
If you can’t get money from the marine acts or general laws, or if you just want to file more than one maritime injury claim, our lawyers can help you file a negligence case against the person or people who caused your injuries. In some cases, our clients have sued their employers under the Jones Act for medical bills while also suing the non-employer vessel owner for carelessness.
Maritime negligence claims work the same way as other types of personal injury cases. In order to prove a claim of negligence, your maritime accident lawyer must show that the person:
owed you a duty to care.
broke this duty of care by being careless or neglectful.
Your harm or hurt at sea was directly caused by the breach of your duty of care.
Because of this, you got hurt, maybe with missed wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or even wrongful death.
It can be hard to win a negligence claim because the owner or boss of the vessel usually has a lot of resources and lawyers working to keep you from getting more money. Getting help from a marine injury lawyer is important if you want your negligence claim to be proven.
DAMAGES IN A CLAIM FOR MARITIME NEGLIGENCE
A worker may be able to get a lot more money in damages in a negligence claim than what they are allowed to under maritime law acts and laws. How much money you can get in compensation depends on what kind of damages you are owed. The more harm you can show, the more money you will get in settlement. A marine lawyer in Houston can help you ask for the following awards:
Medical costs: If your injuries put you in the hospital or required you to see a doctor or therapist, you can file a claim for all of your medical bills, care, and therapy.
Lost wages: If you were hurt on the job and can’t work, you can file a claim for past and future lost earnings. You can make a claim to get back the money you lost from work if you can’t do the same job again because of the illness.
funeral costs: If a terrible accident on the water killed a loved one, a maritime injury lawyer can help make sure that the funeral costs are paid, as well as, in some cases, the family’s loss of income.
Damages other than money: If the accident caused you physical or mental pain, you may be able to get pain and suffering damages in a negligence case.
Maritime law acts often give workers the right to get money for medical bills and repairs, but you might be able to get much more by making a negligence claim. You can talk to one of our overseas injury lawyers about how to file a negligence claim and make sure you get the money you deserve for your injuries. A skilled overseas accident lawyer can help you start your claim.
Do I need my accident to happen at sea?
No. If you were hurt on the job, even if your vessel is on land, you may be able to file a claim.
How do I make a claim? Do I need a Houston maritime lawyer?
You don’t have to, but if you do, you will be up against a strong and skilled law team by yourself, which will put you at a huge disadvantage. You have the best chance of getting a fair deal if you go after it hard and with a lawyer who knows the law inside and out.
How much could I get if I filed a maritime law claim?
How much your claim is worth will always depend on how clear it is who is at fault, how badly you were hurt, how much you lost, and how good your lawyer is.
To settle a marine case, how long does it take?
Each case we take on is different. Laws about maritime workers and employers are very complicated. What will happen in your case will depend on how hard the company at fault fights.
ABRAHAM WATKINS HAS EXPERIENCED ADMIRALTY AND MARITIME LAWYERS YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH TODAY!
Maritime law and admiralty law were made to make sure that workers at sea are treated equally by the law when accidents happen at work. After getting hurt or being in a major accident at sea, it can be very stressful and traumatic. Offshore workers often don’t know about the legal rights they are entitled to, so they may settle for less pay from their boss.
If you were hurt in an accident at sea, you should talk to an experienced marine injury lawyer right away. We have a team of marine lawyers at Abraham Watkins who can help you get the money you deserve for the harm you’ve been through. Many of our clients who were hurt at sea have won personal injury payouts from our Houston law firm, and we want to do everything we can to help you too.
As soon as you call our firm, we’ll put a maritime lawyer on your case to start looking into what happened, giving you advice on your legal options, and building a strong case to make sure you get your money. Through the years we’ve been in business, we’ve built a strong bond with our clients. You can count on us to fight hard for your rights.