Maritime & Offshore Injuries
Maritime accidents can have a number of damaging repercussions, particularly for the workers and the environment (as in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill). When such accidents lead to injury, illness, or disability, the victims are entitled to certain types of compensation under U.S. maritime law. An experienced Houston maritime lawyer like those at Johnson Garcia LLP can help such victims seek the compensation they deserve.
Common Cases and Causes of Injury
While most companies certainly do their best to protect their employees and assets, accidents still happen. In the field of maritime law, there are some kinds of incidents and maritime injuries that are seen quite often. Damage to improperly secured cargo, blow outs caused by mechanical failure or improper crew training are just a few examples of common maritime accident cases. In these cases, workers may or may not be injured.
Common causes of personal injury to maritime workers include things like slips and falls, fires, explosions, being struck or crushed by heavy equipment, capsizing/sinking, etc. Whether an accident occurs as a result of improper ship maintenance, poor employee training, or other workplace hazards, any injuries or fatalities that result likely fall under the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act, respectively.
Benefits of Working with Johnson Garcia LLP
When you choose Johnson Garcia LLP to represent you as an offshore accident victim, you get the advantage of 25+ years of combined legal and maritime experience. With our attorneys, you’ll get great benefits like the following:
- Strong experience and expertise in maritime law and offshore injury cases: Throughout our many years in law, we’ve handled hundreds of Jones Act cases and have helped numerous victims obtain the damages they need to cover medical treatment and more.
- Insider knowledge of how your employer’s defense team will work: Our lawyers have previous experience defending major energy, drilling rig contractors, and oil field service companies in similar cases, which means we can anticipate the other side’s arguments in advance.
- A long history of success in court: We’ve successfully recovered more than $100,000,000 for our offshore clients.
- Trusted legal counsel and genuine care: Our lawyers are dedicated to helping injured clients during some of the most difficult times in their lives.
Why You Need a Maritime Injury Lawyer
If you’re an offshore worker who’s been injured while working aboard an employer’s vessel, it’s important that you seek the help of a seasoned maritime attorney to get the damages you deserve. While you may be tempted to simply settle for whatever you are offered and get things over with quickly, you have a right as a victim to be made whole both physically and financially. Only a lawyer with experience working in maritime law has the expertise necessary to fight for your rights as a seaman and recover the greatest amount of damages.
Without the help of a good Houston offshore injury attorney, you could find yourself dealing with medical bills, loss of income, and other challenges that put a strain on your family and your recovery. Fighting back against employer negligence isn’t just a way of getting your bills paid—it’s also your way of holding your employer accountable and fighting for the rights of other maritime employees. When you team up with Johnson Garcia LLP, you send a message to your employer that you expect them to respect your rights as well as their obligations.
In What Situations Do Maritime Laws Apply?
Maritime law, otherwise known as admiralty law, comprises a specialized set of laws that govern activities and legal disputes that occur on navigable waters. Navigable waters can be defined as any area of open water commonly traveled for commerce. When a maritime employee is injured on the job in navigable waters, the legal issues related to their accident will be addressed under maritime law rather than under standard state or federal law.
Examples of relevant legal doctrine include the following:
- Jones Act: This governs the rights of workers in the case of maritime injuries caused by employer negligence. The burden of proof is extremely low in Jones Act cases; negligence only needs to be proven to be a small part of the cause.
- Maintenance and Cure: This governs the payment of money to injured maritime workers to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses during recovery.
Compensation for Offshore Accident Victims
Under the Jones Act, victims of offshore injuries can sue their employers for negligence and claim damages for a variety of related expenses and issues. Regardless of fault, seamen are also entitled to something called “maintenance and cure,” which seeks to support victims throughout recovery. The amount of damages recovered for maritime accident victims varies on a case-by-case basis.
Examples of damages that can be claimed include initial hospital bills, ongoing medical treatment and/or physical therapy, counseling, lost wages (due to being out of work), rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, insurance, and food. Victims can also claim less tangible damages, such as pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, and an overall loss of life enjoyment.
Filing a Maritime Injury Claim
When you’re injured on the job, it’s important for you to get an accident report to your employer as soon as possible. Have your medical providers document everything about your condition and keep detailed records of treatment. When filling out your accident report or any other paperwork, be 100% honest and include as much detail as you can.
If your employer fails or refuses to pay maintenance and cure benefits as obligated, you’ll need to file a Jones Act lawsuit to get the damages you deserve. You’ll need to gather any relevant injury reports, ships’ logs, medical records, and other documents to flesh out your claim. The expert lawyers at Johnson Garcia LLP will guide you through the process of assembling this claim and filing it with the appropriate authorities.
Contact a Houston Offshore Injury Attorney at Johnson Garcia, LLP
If you or a loved one have been injured or killed in a maritime accident caused in any way by employer negligence, call us today at (832) 241-5465 to schedule your free initial consultation.