Houston Maritime Accident Attorney
Learn about Maritime Accidents
The coast of Texas is home to many maritime industries. International shipping, the oil and gas industry, and the Houston Ship Channel provide many jobs to residents of the greater Houston region. Maritime work, whether on a dock or on an oil and gas drilling rig, is dangerous, despite laws requiring owners and employers to maintain safe workplaces. The safety of workers often depends on the ability of another worker to do his or job properly or to communicate effectively. Equipment must be perfectly maintained at all times. When training of workers is poor or maintenance faulty, serious maritime accidents happen.
Protecting Victims of Maritime Accident Injury
Learn about our maritime injury lawyers
Gary S. Tucker & Associates prides itself on having the best maritime personal injury lawyers in Houston, Texas. Our team works with offshore injury claims, offshore injury disputes, barge injury law, and any other additional reason for accident connected with the sea or seafaring commercial activity.
What is The Jones Act?
Learn about maritime rights
What is the jones act? The jones act basically provides additional rights and protection to seamen who may be injured or experience accident while working because of an employer or another employee negligence. It is the employers responsibility to make sure all employees have acceptable safety training before working. The jones act provides workers with individual guarantees such as money for lost wages and help with medical bills, and no punishment for time off of work. We will talk more about the benefits of seamen when we discuss maintenance and cure.
Maintenance and Cure
Learn About Maritime Compensation
“Maintenance” takes the form of a daily allowance, usually an average per day to cover the food and also any additional shelter the injured seaman would have received aboard the vessel had the injury not occurred. “Cure” represents the employer’s obligation to provide an injured seaman with appropriate medical care, hospitalization, and rehabilitation services, until the injured seaman reaches maximum medical improvement. Please note that the obligation to provide maintenance and cure ends when the seaman reaches maximum medical improvement, even if the seaman will never fully recover from his injuries, and will never be able to return to work.
An injured seaman has an absolute right to maintenance and cure apart from any Jones Act claim. If a seaman has a valid Jones Act claim, the seaman may be able to recover a very substantial award of damages in addition to obtaining full benefits of maintenance and cure.
Maritime workers who are not seamen may be eligible for compensation under The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.
Liability of Third Parties
A qualified attorney will help an injured seaman identify all possible sources of recovery.
Seeking Legal Help
An experienced Jones Act attorney can assist a seaman with an injury claim and maximize recovery of maintenance and cure. If an employer improperly denies maintenance and cure benefits, it may also be possible to gain an additional award of damages and attorney fees. For cases where a seaman is killed, where possible, an attorney may also seek damages under the Death on the High Seas Act.
An injured seaman or maritime worker should always seek out an experienced lawyer when attempting to settle a claim, and should always consult with a qualified attorney before settling a claim with an employer. Determining a seaman’s legal rights and maximizing recovery can be complicated, and lawyers unfamiliar with this area of the law can leave their clients with inadequate settlements. Many employers will attempt to take advantage of the plight of an injured seaman, the desperate financial situation an injury can create for an injured seaman and the seaman’s family, and will offer settlements substantially lower than the amounts to which the seaman could obtain with the help of a lawyer.