Have you or your loved one been injured in a maritime accident? If so, you could be entitled to financial compensation. A Port Arthur maritime injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and fight for the recompense you deserve.
Our law firm has years of experience in maritime law (admiralty law). Our lawyers possess the expertise and resources to help victims of maritime accidents receive the justice they need. Contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP today for a free consultation and let us help you achieve the justice you deserve.
What is Maritime Law?
Maritime law is a branch of the legal system that governs activities related to marine navigation and commerce. This branch of the law is important for anyone who works in or around the ocean. This includes fishers, cruise ship employees, and boat operators.
Sometimes, maritime injury cases can prove to be complex due to different factors. That is why maritime laws exist—to hold those accountable for negligence or wrongdoing when incidents occur at sea. Whether it’s an accident on board a vessel, or injuries sustained while working offshore, victims need experienced representation from a Port Arthur maritime injury lawyer familiar with this type of law.
Types of Maritime Injuries
In this section, we list some of the types of maritime injuries that occur regularly. They include:
- Falls from heights due to slippery surfaces or unsafe ladders.
- Injuries that occur due to defective machinery onboard ships or exposure to hazardous conditions such as noxious fumes or extreme temperatures.
- Shipyard accidents such as explosions and fires caused by the use of fuel tanks and welding equipment.
- Personal injuries caused when vessels collide with other vessels or objects at sea.
Note: Maritime injuries can lead to head trauma, broken bones, crushed limbs, or even death due to improper implementation of safety procedures.
Sometimes, the injuries are long-term—often requiring specialized care over extended periods of time.
In addition, the injuries might take a substantial emotional toll on victims. The pain and suffering involved often surpass what people typically experience in everyday life.
Causes of Maritime Injuries
Maritime workers put their lives on the line every day. They are at a heightened risk of suffering injuries due to hazardous working conditions or substandard safety protocols.
When it comes to the case of hazardous working conditions, you might find employees operating faulty equipment or working in dangerous shore-side worksites. Such cases are critical and require urgent legal representation if injury or death occurs.
The use of substandard safety protocols is another form of negligent behavior that has become all too common in marine circles. Such scenarios will often occur in the form of overcrowded vessels, dereliction of duty by supervisors or co-workers, inadequate training programs for crew members, or improper maintenance practices.
In some situations, maritime companies will fail to provide proper protective gear for employees who operate hazardous materials or heavy machinery.
Preventing Maritime Injuries
When it comes to maritime safety, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are several steps you can take, such as those that we share below.
Tips for workers:
- Wear the appropriate safety equipment and clothing.
- Follow established safety protocols and procedures.
- Perform regular safety inspections.
- Use caution when working in hazardous areas or near heavy machinery.
- Stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Tips for employers:
- Provide and maintain safe working environments and equipment.
- Utilize proper safety training and ensure that all crew members understand the potential hazards associated with their duties.
- Monitor crew members’ physical condition and well-being and make sure they are fit for duty.
- Employ safe loading and stowage practices to reduce the risk of cargo shifting and causing injury.
- Make use of preventive maintenance programs to catch any potential hazards that could cause injury.
Tips for regulators:
- Establish a comprehensive safety management system (SMS) for all maritime operations.
- Require vessels to adhere to international safety regulations and standards.
- Regularly audit vessel safety and performance.
- Ensure that all crew members receive adequate training and are knowledgeable about safety procedures.
- Require comprehensive accident investigation and reporting.
Maritime Injury Claims
A maritime injury claim is a legal process to seek compensation for an injury sustained while working on a vessel, in navigable waters, or on an offshore platform.
Generally, these claims are governed by the Jones Act and are made against an employer.
You can use the following steps to file a maritime injury claim:
- Take note of the statute of limitations: According to the law, you must file maritime injury claims within three years of the date of the injury or death of a loved one.
- Gather evidence: Evidence of the injury, such as medical records and witness statements, will help support the claim.
- Identify the defendant: File the claim against the employer whose negligence caused the injury.
- File the claim: File the claim in the Federal court district where the injury occurred. For instance, for injuries that occurred in Port Arthur, you must file the claim in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
- Seek damages: Damages typically include medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
After taking these steps, you will generally have to negotiate a settlement with the employer or take the case to trial.
A Port Arthur maritime injury attorney can help file the claim correctly and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Maritime Injury Lawyers
A maritime injury lawyer is a specialized attorney who can help you if you have suffered an injury in the maritime industry or lost your loved one under similar circumstances.
These lawyers can help you access compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and the costs of ongoing care. They also help ensure that victims receive their rightful benefits, such as disability and life insurance, and recompense for pain and suffering.
To find a maritime injury lawyer, you can start by researching local law firms and asking for referrals from family, friends, or acquaintances.
Alternatively, you can contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP for assistance.
Contact a Maritime Injury Lawyer for a Free, Confidential Consultation
Maritime accidents should be taken seriously because the consequences can be devastating for those involved. Therefore, it is always beneficial to understand what steps you can take if you or someone close to you has been injured or lost their life while working on the water.
Ultimately, seeking legal advice as soon as possible ensures that your rights are protected and that any compensation due is pursued quickly with minimal disruption.
To start, you can contact us for a free, confidential consultation.