Maritime service can be a dangerous line of work. Maritime workers become injured on the job all the time, but many are unsure about what to do after an accident. A Kingwood maritime injury lawyer can help you understand the laws protecting on- and offshore workers.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to more than just compensation for your medical bills and lost earnings. Work with an attorney who is familiar with maritime law to put yourself in the best position to negotiate a strong settlement.
Above Average Injury Rate
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), workers in the maritime industry face a greater risk of injury or death than workers in most fields. The work environment, inclement weather, heavy equipment and power tool usage, contact with hazardous and toxic chemicals, restrictive living, and working conditions all contribute to the heightened risk.
These conditions can lead to many injuries and illnesses, such as:
- Addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
- Back, neck, and head injuries
- Hearing or sight loss
- Decompression errors for divers
- Respiratory issues
- Cardiac complications
- Amputations and disfigurement
While many incidents leading to injuries could simply be an unfortunate accident, sometimes it can be attributed to someone’s negligence. Consult with an experienced lawyer at Haines Law for help with protecting your interests after suffering a maritime injury.
Workers’ Rights under U.S. Maritime Law
Several federal laws govern the rights of injured maritime workers. Each one applies to a different set of industry workers, imposes different time-frames for filing claims, and provides for specific types of recovery. Our Kingwood attorneys can help determine which law covers a particular worker’s injury at sea.
Texas Civil Practice & Remedy Code §408 defines the damages available to local employees injured on the job and limits their recovery to medical expenses and lost earnings. The negligence of an employer or coworkers is not taken into consideration, as these workers’ compensation laws prevent employees from suing for any additional compensation in most cases.
However, the federal maritime acts allow at-sea employees who suffer work-related injuries to collect damages beyond these restrictions and, in some instances, sue the responsible parties for their negligent actions. The federal maritime acts are comprised of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (better known as the Jones Act), the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Knowing if one of these federal maritime acts applies to your case is vital in determining what damages you may be able to pursue.
Before your case reaches trial, there are many opportunities for settlement. Our dedicated attorneys are familiar with maritime law and can negotiate the best possible injury settlement on your behalf.
Protecting an Injured Maritime Worker’s Rights
The first concern of an injured maritime employee is seeking medical care, but their employer may be focused on minimizing their own legal and monetary liability. Some employers may attempt to avoid the legal obligations of the federal maritime acts altogether.
Failing to provide a safe working environment or to adequately prepare employees for dangerous situations could create liability in the event of a maritime accident. Employers may offer settlements early in the process when injured employees are focused on healing in an attempt to minimize the damages they owe.
The settlement amounts offered by unscrupulous employers are often deficient and do not accurately reflect the harm done to the injured maritime worker. Negotiating a successful settlement takes time, skill, and knowledge. Consulting our local maritime injury attorneys early in the process will aid in your recovery efforts.
Rely on a Kingwood Maritime Injury Attorney to Negotiate for You
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while employed in the maritime industry, you may be protected under several federal laws. The federal maritime acts are complex and include many requirements. Our Kingwood maritime injury lawyers can help. Let our team negotiate the best settlement possible for your situation. Contact Haines Law today to begin reviewing your options.