Business is booming all over the Gulf of Mexico. The Port of Houston is the second busiest port facility (in terms of overall tonnage) in the U.S. and one of the biggest on the Gulf Coast. At any given moment, hundreds of vessels are traversing Gulf waters, transporting cargo and passengers to their destinations, while oil and gas companies are expanding their offshore exploration and drilling projects. As a result, maritime workers are in big demand.
There are always risks associated with any kind of maritime work – whether it is on the loading docks of an inland port, a vessel on the high seas, or an oil rig located on the outer continental shelf. Injuries can result from a wide range of incidents, such as:
- Equipment failure and malfunction
- Fire and explosion
- Falling objects
- Slips, trips and falls
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals and other substances
- Falling overboard
- Adverse weather
- Improper safety equipment and training
Severe injuries and even death are unfortunately not uncommon. In response to the high risk these workers face, the U.S. Congress has passed several laws over the years to protect the rights of maritime worker who become unable to work due to an on-the-job injury, allowing them to seek compensation for the damages caused by their injuries.
The Houston maritime law lawyers at The Ammons Law Firm are dedicated to ensuring the rights of injured maritime workers. The rules and regulations for filing a maritime injury claim are often complex. Missing a filing deadline or failing to provide crucial supporting evidence could prove disastrous to your claim. We safely navigate our clients through these difficult legal straits, enabling them to get the full compensation they deserve for their injuries.
Laws Protecting the Rights of Injured Maritime Workers
These are the maritime laws that protect the rights of workers who have been injured in work-related accidents:
- General maritime law gives the crew members of a vessel the right to sue for injuries caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel. It also provides maintenance (living expenses) and cure (medical expenses) benefits to maritime workers while they recover from their injuries.
- The Jones Act allows seamen to seek damages for injuries caused by the negligence of a ship owner, employer or fellow crew member.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides for the payment of compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to maritime workers disabled due to injuries while working jobs that support the maritime industry.
- The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) is similar to the LHWCA in that it protects the rights of offshore workers injured or killed while working at a jobsite located on the Outer Continental Shelf.
- The Death on the High Seas Act provides economic recovery for family members of workers killed while onboard a vessel situated more than 12 miles off US shores.
Do you know your rights?
Injured maritime workers have certain rights after an accident. These rights include:
- The right to an attorney.
- The right to choose your own doctor or hospital.
- The right to compensation for damages due to negligence.
- The right not to admit fault, sign a waiver document or accept a settlement offer.
- The right to fully recover before returning to work.
The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to seek the representation of an experienced Houston maritime accident lawyers as soon as possible after your accident.
Our Houston Maritime Law Lawyers Will Fight for Your Rights
If you are a maritime worker who has been injured on the job, we want you to know that you aren’t alone. The Ammons Law Firm is here to protect your rights under maritime law and see to it you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
We have been successfully representing injured maritime workers in the Gulf Coast region and throughout the United States or more than 20 years. Let us put our experience and understanding of the complexities of maritime law to work on your behalf.
Contact The Ammons Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled Houston maritime law lawyers.