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I Was Injured in a Texas Maritime Accident – What Are My Rights?

Many Houston employees understand their rights following a job-related injury, but what if you get injured in a Texas maritime accident? Several federal statutes protect maritime employees and provide compensation in certain accident cases. If you work at sea, you’ll want to know about laws like the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and others.

Will the Jones Act Cover Your Boating Injury?

In 1920, the Merchant Marine Act (commonly known as the Jones Act) became a federal statute to provide rules, regulations, and laws for U.S. maritime activities. Following a 2006 revision, the Jones Act protects employees working on ports or waterways much like other laws protect on-land employees.

If you suffer injuries on the high seas, you could be eligible for compensation. The Jones Act protects many U.S. seamen aboard a vessel or at port. However, maritime employers aren’t always liable for employee injuries—you only qualify for compensation under the Jones Act if you:

  • Work on navigable waters, such as an ocean, river, or inland lake bordering at least two states or connecting other bodies of water
  • Operate offshore or aboard a moored watercraft
  • Supply 30% or more of the work while on a seafaring vessel 

The Jones Act covers many maritime accidents, but not all of them. Your incident and circumstances could slip through the cracks of this federal statute and leave you unable to recover compensation. We recommend reaching out to the experienced boat accident lawyers at Haines Law, P.C., to discuss your case.

Will the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Cover Your Maritime Accident?

You’ll want to know your legal rights if you get injured in a Texas maritime accident. The Jones Act is one of several federal laws that protect offshore employees. While you may not qualify for compensation under the Jones Act, you could under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides on-the-job protection for maritime employees and offers work-related injury benefits, such as:

  • Compensation
  • Medical expense coverage
  • Rehab for disabilities

To file a claim under the LHWCA, you must meet specific criteria. Qualifications include:

  • Passing the status test to determine your job function and eligibility
  • Passing the situs test to demonstrate your work on or beside a navigable waterway

Will the Death on the High Seas Act Cover Your Accident?

In the 1920s, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was enacted for U.S. maritime employees and their family members. The DOHSA can protect your family and provide them with compensation if an on-the-job maritime accident leads to your death. Your parent, spouse, child, or dependent family member may file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault employer and recover appropriate compensation.

Not all deaths occurring on navigable waters fall under this federal statute. Your employer must hold at least partial responsibility for the wrongful death to make your family eligible for compensation.

Get Help From Experienced Maritime Accident Attorneys in Texas

Federal laws protect you and your loved ones on land and at sea. Thanks to the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act, you could recover compensation for damages resulting from maritime accidents. If you need legal help, don’t hesitate to contact maritime accident lawyers. 

Have you recently been injured in a Texas maritime accident? You or your family could be eligible for compensation. At Haines Law, P.C., our highly experienced accident attorneys can help you know your rights and recover appropriate compensation for damages—contact us today for a free consultation.

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