Houston Offshore Injury Lawyer
The laws affecting injured maritime workers are more complex than the traditional workers compensation claim. A Houston offshore injury attorney can help you navigate the process of seeking compensation.
Maritime accidents are often very serious due to the dangerous nature of working on or around large vessels. The industry safety standards are critically high, and when you’ve been injured through the fault of others, they should be responsible for the expenses and losses associated with the accident.
At Denena Points, PC, we have a wealth of experience handling maritime claims and obtaining maximum compensation for injured seamen. The assistance of a Houston offshore injury lawyer is critical. Maritime cases are complex and you need to hire an attorney with experience in this area of law.
Who Qualifies as a Maritime Worker?
Maritime workers are classified into two categories: seamen and other offshore workers. To be considered a seaman, you must work as a crewperson on a boat or ship that is able to navigate open waters.
Seamen are not eligible to file workers compensation claims and instead must seek compensation that takes a few different forms: from your employer under the Jones Act, from the owner of the ship you work on (regardless of who your actual employer is), and damages known as “maintenance and cure.”
Other offshore workers include anyone who works on or around the water. This would include people who work in shipyards, on oil tankers, port staff, divers, harbor workers and anyone else with a sea-based career. People who work in this industry are not covered under the Jones Act, but are instead protected by the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
If you are considered a maritime worker and have been involved in an offshore accident, reach out to one of our offshore accident attorneys at Denena Points, PC to see how we can help you.
Causes of Offshore Accidents
Because there are so many different careers corresponding with the shore, there are numerous opportunities for maritime accidents to occur. Some of the more common accidents involve the following:
- Cargo tank explosions
- Fishing tragedies
- Oil rig machinery mishaps
- Substance abuse
Whether due to unsafe conditions on the carrier or issues with faulty machinery, your employer has a duty to ensure your safety. If you have been harmed because of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering.
Liability in Maritime Injuries
There are a number of people who can be named in your claim. For seamen under the Jones Act, you will be able to hold your employer responsible if they failed to provide and maintain a safe work environment. Any instance of dangerous working conditions will entitle you to recover damages.
National maritime law requires that the owner of the vessel be held liable for injuries that have occurred on their property. If a watercraft cannot provide safe conditions, be properly maintained, and operate correctly, then the ship will be deemed unseaworthy.
This doesn’t mean that the property owner was negligent regarding your injuries, but it does mean that the vessel’s owner is accountable because the owner has a duty to ensure your safety. The vessel’s seaworthiness will be accounted for when negotiating the value of an offshore injury claim.
Recovering Damages in Offshore Accidents
The compensation that maritime workers receive is also different depending on which profession you are in. Seamen are entitled to what is known as “maintenance and cure.”
This means that your employer will be required to pay for your rent or mortgage, food, and utilities (or maintenance), as well as your incurred medical expenses (or cure) without regard to who is liable for the accident. Maintenance and cure are guaranteed to be paid for the length of your recovery.
Other offshore workers are able to receive benefits through coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Similar to workers compensation benefits, the Longshore Act generally provides a higher threshold of allowable benefits than workers compensation does. Texas allows for approximately 50–60 percent of your income depending on the severity of your injury, while the Longshore Act provides almost 67 percent on average.
Severe injuries stemming from an offshore accident should always be taken care of by anyone found liable or negligent. A Houston offshore injury lawyer from our office will make sure that they are held accountable so that you can recover in peace and prevent similar instances from injuring someone else.
Work with an Offshore Injury Attorney in Houston
Maritime work is dangerous and often results in serious injuries. If the negligence of your employer caused you harm, they should be held accountable. Denena Points, PC is here to help you file a claim seeking fair compensation.
To schedule a free consultation with a Houston offshore injury lawyer, fill out the contact form located below or give us a call at 713-807-9500. Once you begin working with us, we are proud to be your lawyers for life.