Houston Maritime Law Attorney
Maritime law is often used when referring to the Jones Act, which was enacted by Congress to protect seamen not covered by state workers compensation laws. Often when merchant seamen and offshore workers speak of the “maritime law” they are referring to the Jones Act that provides medical and financial benefits to injured seamen and requires ship owners and operators to operate a seaworthy vessel at all times.
Workers Comp vs. Maritime Law
Employees covered under workers compensation policy are able to collect benefits regardless of fault. If they are injured the employer is strictly liable. Workers compensation policies are also closely regulated by a state agency. The Jones Act is not regulated by any state or federal administrative body. Claims must be filed in state or federal court. If an injured worker isn’t receiving a fair daily maintenance, an experienced maritime attorney can file a claim and ask a judge to determine an amount to cover the employee’s cost of living including rent, food, and other obligations. Each case is taken individually and there are no set amounts that exist under a workers compensation policy. Often the only way to protect an injured seamen’s rights to collect maintenance and cure benefits is to file a lawsuit.
Ship Master’s Duty
If an injury was caused or contributed to by an unsafe condition aboard a vessel, then the injured party may be entitled to recovery under an unseaworthiness claim. A vessel owner is obligated to provide a seaworthy vessel to all who board his vessel. This includes maintaining the safety of the whole of the vessel and all its fixtures and fittings. Maintaining a safe environment includes adequately manning, equipping, and supplying the vessel. Proper manning involves the duty to provide a properly trained crew. The vessel must be supplied for the job requirements, and equipment must work in a safe manner. If any of these conditions do not exist and in some way contribute to your injury, you could file a negligence claim. There is a long list of possible events and oversights that often lead to unnecessary injury:
- Falling overboard
- Slippery decks
- Injured during boarding or leaving a rig or vessel
- Unseaworthy vessels or boats
- Shifting loads
- Falling and lifting injuries
Injuries resulting from these events are often preventable and the direct result of a negligent action. If you’ve been injured or a loved one has died as the result of an injury, call the offices of Brian White as soon as possible. We will assist you by fully informing you of your rights to recover damages and receive the best medical care available.
Aggressively Protecting Seamen’s Rights
Brian White aggressively works to protect any person working at sea. We specialize in Jones Act/Maritime Law injuries and have recovered significant awards for
- Rig and platform workers
- Jack-up rig workers and crews
- Tankers, freighters, and other ocean-going crews
- Off-shore platform workers
- Barge workers and crew
If you work on the sea or waterway as a regular part of your job, you are more than likely covered under Maritime Law. Call for a free consultation to discuss your injury and how we can help you secure the medical care and financial damages you deserve and need.
We never charge a fee until we win your case. Don’t compromise your rights to recover the compensation you need and deserve by waiting to act. We will listen to your concerns and answer your questions and lay out clearly all of your options.