Maritime and offshore workers have been a vital part of the American economy since colonial times. Despite advancements in safety technologies and government regulation, maritime and offshore workers have an extremely high risk of suffering an on-the-job injury.
When these workers endure an offshore injury, they often face physical, mental and financial stress.
At the Amaro Law Firm, our Houston maritime and offshore injury lawyers understand the difficulties these workers can endure in the wake of a maritime accident or offshore injury. We also know how challenging the recovery process can be. This is particularly true considering that employers and their insurance providers tend to be focused on underpaying or denying workers’ injury claims (to preserve their own bottom lines).
That is one of the main reasons why our Houston maritime attorneys are dedicated to:
Protecting injured maritime workers’ rights
Helping them pursue all available legal remedies
Maximizing their financial recoveries so they can restore their lives.
When maritime and offshore workers are hurt on the job, they may have the right to recovery. Here are the different maritime injury claims and who’s eligible to pursue them.
On a daily basis, maritime and offshore workers encounter an array of hazards, including (but not limited to):
Heavy, unsafe loads
Heavy, complex machinery
Exposure to dangerous, toxic and volatile chemicals.
When employers or others fail to provide essential training, fail to maintain equipment or otherwise act negligently, these (and other) hazards can result in maritime accidents like (but not exclusive to):
Explosions and fires
Vehicle, vessel and tug collisions
Falling accidents, including slip and falls, falling from elevated areas, equipment falling on workers, etc.
Line handling accidents.
Maritime and offshore accidents can cause a range of injuries, the worst of which can have lasting or potentially deadly impacts. Some common maritime and offshore injuries include:
When maritime workers sustain these or other job-related injuries, the circumstances surrounding the injury will impact the options for financial recovery. The following are some questions that can help uncover the available legal remedies in the aftermath of a maritime or offshore accident:
When and where did the injury occur?
When and where did the worker receive treatment for the injury?
Did the worker receive proper safety training for the job?
Did the employer provide adequate safety equipment?
Did the employer comply with all federal and state worker safety regulations?
Eligibility for Maritime & Offshore Injury Claims: Who Can File a Maritime Injury Claim?
The booming maritime industry in the U.S. employs at least 1.2 million Americans.1 Among those are workers like the following, who may qualify to file a maritime injury claim (according to U.S. maritime laws):
Offshore oil rig workers.
Maritime Laws: Types of Maritime & Offshore Injury Claims
The type of maritime or offshore injury claim these and other injured maritime workers can pursue will depend on:
The nature of the injured maritime worker’s job
The exact cause(s) of the accident or injury.
The following presents a brief overview of the different types of maritime injury claims. Click the heading for more information about a particular type of claim or contact the Amaro Law Firm for information specific to you and your potential claim.
Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act offers full coverage to American seamen who have suffered a maritime or offshore injury. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act allows an injured seaman or maritime worker to file an injury claim against an employer when:
The injury was sustained aboard a ship.
The ship was unseaworthy.
The employer engaged in negligent behavior.
Although the Jones Act entitles a seaman to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages, employers and their insurance companies often try to limit or eliminate these protections.
The LHWCA covers workers who are not protected by the Jones Act. This includes longshoremen, dock workers, and other employees who are injured while constructing, repairing or demolishing ships in docks and shipyards.
LHWCA claims have strict filing deadlines, and they go through a federal agency (rather than a state agency). Similar to workers’ compensation claims, LHWCA claims can be pursued regardless of fault. Understanding the facets and requirements for filing these claims is critical to getting them approved.
Death on the High Seas Act Claims
When a ship owner’s negligence causes a seaman to lose his life aboard a ship, the Death on the High Seas Act allows the worker’s family to recover damages from the vessel’s owner. For a Death on the High Seas Act claim to be eligible for compensation, it must:
Be filed within three years of the incident that caused the worker’s death
Involve a fatality that occurred more than three nautical miles off of a U.S. shore (i.e., This Act does not cover deaths on Great Lakes, rivers or other U.S. territorial waters.)
Demonstrate that the worker’s death would not have occurred if the vessel’s owners had taken the proper precautions to ensure the worker’s safety
Be filed by a “personal representative” of the worker, such as the worker’s spouse, parent, child, or anyone dependent on the worker’s income.
Oil Rig Explosions
At any given time, an oil rig can be rife with potential dangers, including a risk of fires and explosions. When oil rig explosions occur, the devastation can impact oil and gas workers, those on adjacent properties and the well operation itself.
The liability issues can be just as complex, with various parties potentially being liable. Equipment manufacturers, subcontractors and oil companies are just a few of the parties who may be liable for oil rig explosions.
Cargo Damage & Claims Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA)
The COGSA protects cargo shippers in the event that their goods traveling to or from a U.S. are damaged in transit. As the U.S. enactment of the Hague Rules, the COGSA provides that shipowners pay cargo owners a specific amount (usually $500) per packaged damaged.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
The lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm can help you protect and advocate your rights while positioning your maritime injury claim for success. Resourceful and compassionate, our attorneys have extensive experience helping injured workers:
Successfully navigate the recovery process – Whether an injured maritime worker is pursuing a Jones Act claim, an LHWCA claim, a claim under the Death on the High Seas Act, a COGSA claim or another claim, our lawyers can help.
Pursue all available legal remedies – We have the knowledge, skills and resources to help injured workers maximize their financial recoveries.
Secure the recoveries and justice they deserve – We are tireless advocates for injured workers. We won’t back down until our clients obtain the compensation and justice to which they are entitled.
Though money will never reverse a permanent injury or bring back a loved one, compensation from these claims can relieve significant financial stress as injured workers and their families try to pick up the pieces.
The representation of a lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can make all of the difference in the outcome and recoveries for these claims.
Outcomes & Recoveries: Compensation for Maritime Injury Claims
Successful maritime injury claims can result in various damages, depending on the nature of the claim and injuries. In general, these awards can include compensation for (but not necessarily limited to):
Medical expenses, including hospital bills, surgery costs, doctors’ office visits and physical therapy
Lost wages, including past and future lost income
Pain, suffering and emotional distress.
The Amaro Law Firm has helped numerous maritime and offshore injury victims secure the financial recoveries they need to restore their lives. Our record of success and exceptional representation in maritime injury claims has earned us 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.
Contact a Houston Maritime & Offshore Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston maritime & offshore injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to explain your rights and help you get justice.
To schedule a free consultation with us, call (877) 892-2797 or email our firm. We can answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to build a strong claim and bring it to the best possible resolution.