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Legal Blog

Houston Maritime Accidents & Your Rights at Sea

Maritime workers consist of anyone who works on or near the water. There are two main types of maritime workers, and your classification becomes important if you’re injured while working.

Seamen are maritime workers aboard a vessel or ship on navigable waters. All other maritime workers are in their own category. This includes harbor workers, longshoremen, shipyard workers, and oilfield workers, to name a few. And in the event of a maritime accident, your designation can factor into your rights and. The compensation you can recover.

Common Maritime Injuries in Houston

Maritime workers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. It is not uncommon for maritime workers to suffer life-threatening or even fatal injury cases. Some of the more common injuries Houston maritime workers have experienced include:

After you have initially been injured, you must be medically assessed at soon as possible. When you arrive in port Houston, it will be critical that you contact an attorney. If your injuries keep you out of work, you don’t have time to waste. You have to be able to continue supporting yourself and your family. The Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act could be the answer.

Maritime Accidents and the Jones Act

Maritime workers who are considered seamen are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. When someone is injured at work in Texas, you might think workers comp is the only way to get compensated for an on-the-job injury. But a seaman is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, a seaman will need to prove that their injuries were caused by negligence. Here, there are three avenues of financial recovery:

  • Maintenance and cure
  • A civil claim against their employer
  • A civil claim against the owner of the vessel or ship

Maintenance and cure refer to compensation for an injured seaman’s housing and living expenses and medical expenses.

Filing a civil claim also has its benefits. Seamen can seek compensation for other benefits, such as:

  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of closeness and love
  • Loss of society and support
  • Loss of household services
  • Scarring
  • Nuisance

Maintenance and cure are your right no matter who is at fault for your injuries. But talk to a maritime attorney today about what benefits you could recover when you file a claim under the Jones Act.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Maritime employees are not eligible for workers comp benefits. Instead, these workers are protected by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The LHWCA is similar to workers comp, but it also provides additional benefits that most workers comp plans do not.

Injured maritime workers are entitled to:

  • Around 66% of your average weekly salary
  • Complete coverage of your medical expenses
  • Vocational rehab or job training, where necessary
  • Death benefits for surviving family members

Contact a Houston Maritime Accident Lawyer

It’s not uncommon for these benefits to be initially denied or for injured workers to be confused by the process. It’s best to go over your rights and all your options with an experienced maritime lawyer.

Call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. We proudly offer free case reviews to maritime accident victims across Houston. Call our office at 281-283-8500 or complete our quick contact form so we can get your claim filed as soon as possible.