Job-related tasks around the Port of Houston and other maritime sites are inherently dangerous. Accidents are common as workers are moving cargo, repairing ships, building vessels, and engaging in very labor-intensive work. One safety threat that’s often overlooked is the lack of security for employees in this environment.
Many Port of Houston employees expect their employers to implement adequate protection against injuries, but many companies avoid taking responsibility. Negligent port-security puts employees at incredible risk of serious bodily harm and a wide range of losses. But, if you or a loved one were injured because of negligent security, you still have rights and the opportunity to pursue compensation.
The Houston maritime accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., have been fighting for the rights of port employees for decades and know what it takes to recover damages caused by negligent security.
Call (281) 283-8500 today and schedule a free consultation with our team.
Port Employees and Workplace Security
Hazards are everywhere in port and maritime workplaces. Some of these dangerous conditions are ones you would expect, like inclement weather, heavy machinery, massive loading equipment, vehicles, and other safety risks. But other threats come from elsewhere, such as intentional attacks and criminal misconduct.
While other industry’s cover these situations under their state’s workers’ compensation laws, this does not apply to maritime workers. Instead, the federal Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) protects:
- Ship repair employees
- Harbor construction workers
- Many other individuals who work in areas adjacent to navigable waters, including piers, wharves, terminals, and spaces designated for loading vessels.
If you qualify based upon your status as a maritime employee, you may be able to recover monetary benefits from your employer’s failure to provide proper security. The LHWCA does include some specific exclusions for workers in the maritime setting.
Employees functioning in an office, clerical, or administrative capacity cannot seek these remedies, nor can those covered under the Jones Act. The definitions are very detailed, so it’s wise to trust a lawyer who has extensive experience representing victims in maritime accidents and negligent security cases.
Negligent Port Security Injuries and Compensation
Victims who experience violent attacks suffer a multitude of injuries. Minor injuries may include cuts and bruises, but you could suffer head injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, and other harm from a severe breach in security. The most tragic incidents can even lead to fatalities.
The LHWCA provides various monetary benefits for eligible workers when they are injured, commonly referred to as “maintenance and cure.” For instance, you may qualify for:
- Expenses related to medical treatment, including surgery, physical therapy, pain
medications, transportation to physician appointments, and related costs;
- A portion of your lost income when you’re unable to work;
- Temporary or permanent disability payments; and,
- Death benefits for family members who lost a loved one due to negligent port security.
Negligent Port Security Claims for Injured Non-Workers
While the LHWCA provides specific protections for maritime workers, you may also be entitled to recover for your losses as a non-employee. As long as you’re lawfully present, whether, for personal or professional reasons, you have rights under the concept of premises liability.
Business owners must safely maintain the premises at the port, just like any other property owner. When they fail in this duty by neglecting to provide adequate security, you may be able to file a civil claim for monetary damages.
Consult with a Houston Lawyer
Maintaining a safe workplace requires employers to protect their workers from a multitude of threats and safety hazards. When the failure to comply with this duty leads to injuries, it’s a relief to know you may have remedies. To learn more about your rights concerning negligent port security in Houston, please contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C.