At Cobos Law, our Houston maritime injury lawyer is proud to help injured maritime workers seek compensation. Every occupation has its risks, and the maritime industry is no different. In fact, seamen participate in one of the most hazardous industries in existence.
Seamen are at risk for work-related injuries whenever they are on the boat. The courts recognize this. Moreover, our Houston personal injury law firm works continuously to fight for injured seamen.
Maritime law allows injured maritime workers the opportunity to claim necessary compensation for any suffering of work-related complications. Moreover, these laws are the basis for all injuries that seamen sustain.
When you sustain an injury at sea, it is vital to work with a Houston maritime attorney with a
comprehensive understanding of these laws. If you have been injured in the maritime industry, contact
our personal injury attorneys and let us fight for you.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE A HOUSTON MARITIME ATTORNEY?
Our maritime injury lawyers help injured dockworkers and seamen attain the compensation they require to recover at our personal injury law firm. Typically, serious injuries lead to expensive medical treatments. Above all, these injuries can have a long-term impact on your life, mentally, emotionally, and financially.
This can include an array of accidents that occur on “navigable waters,” including rivers, bays, oceans, harbors, and docks. Our Houston maritime injury attorneys understand maritime law. We also know the best practices and culture of the maritime industry.
Contact us for a free case evaluation, and we can discuss your legal options.
Maritime Law and Maritime Injury Cases
Admiralty law exists to help injured seamen recover from injuries sustained during work. Without these laws, injured seamen would be forced to act independently to counteract any suffering sustained at work. Whenever a maritime worker becomes sick or injured, the owner of the vessel must reimburse their losses. Maritime attorneys refer to this as “maintenance and cure.”
Essentially, this means that the employer must provide for the affliction until the worker recovers fully. Courts view this obligation as a duty that the owner owes any worker aboard their vessel.
Moreover, seamen are eligible to recover full wages for the length of the voyage during which they sustained the illness or injury. Oftentimes, their employment contract dictates the number of unearned wages they are eligible to receive.
DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT
Commercial maritime work is dangerous. Occasionally the negligence or wrongful act of an employer or co-worker can result in a worker’s death. Under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), if a loved one working on a commercial vessel died at least three nautical miles from a U.S. shoreline, the spouse, parent, child or another dependent relative may recover fair compensation for lost wages, funeral expenses, and costs for counseling.
For a claim to be successful, a maritime attorney must prove negligence on the part of the shipowner or a fellow worker. Even if the decedent may have contributed to his or her own loss of life, some compensation may still be warranted.
When in need of a knowledgeable and experienced maritime injury lawyer, Houston residents know they can trust Cobos Law Firm to provide reliable, strategic representation.
JONES ACT: THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT
If your place of employment is for a business on land yet you sustain work-related injuries, the workers compensation laws for that particular state apply. That’s simply not the case when your work is off-shore.
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act, is a federal statute enacted in 1920 which mainly regulates maritime commerce between U.S. ports. However, a portion of the Act also enables maritime workers to file for benefits from their employers for work-related injuries due to their negligence.
This applies whether you are a captain or mate, a deckhand or cook or bartender. If you contribute at least 30 percent of your work time to the work of a vessel while on navigable waters and you sustain injuries, you can apply for benefits. This includes lost wages, medical expenses, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.
In some instances, off-shore workers may also be entitled to punitive damages if it can be proven that the employer demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of employees. A good Jones Act lawyer can put together a strong suit and get you the compensation you deserve.
LIMITATION LIABILITY ACT & YOUR MARITIME INJURY LAWYER
The Limitation Liability Act protects vessel owners from having to pay compensation for an injury or death that exceeds the value of their craft. This can be bad news for a maritime worker with a claim.
Once a vessel owner files a limitation of liability suit, the proceedings for all claims are stayed. This stay lasts until they consolidate the hearings into a single proceeding where those with competing claims may have to accept pro-rated settlements.
Additionally, limitation liability suits disallow jury trials. Fortunately, some personal injury suits are exempt. These include suits for wages owed to seamen as well as maintenance and cure claims.
If a limitation liability suit has been filed to counter your claim, you need a qualified maritime injury lawyer. Houston is home to one of the best firms in the business, Cobos Law Firm. Moreover, we provide a free initial consultation to help you understand your rights.
LONGSHOREMEN & HARBOR WORKERS COMPENSATION ACT
The LHWCA is similar to the Jones Act. It provides an avenue for maritime workers to receive compensation for lost wages, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation due to an injury sustained on the job. Whether workers are covered under the Jones Act or the LHWCA is strictly tied to their occupational relationships to the vessel.
Seamen are covered by the Jones Act. Longshore workers, dock workers, harbor construction workers, and the like are covered by the LHWCA. If you’re a longshoreman or harbor worker seeking representation from a knowledgeable maritime injury lawyer, Houston is the best place to look.
The Cobos Law Firm in Houston, TX, specializes in maritime law and can help you get the fair compensation you deserve.