Houston Crewmember Injury Claims
In almost every case, filing a crewmember injury claim is complicated, stressful, and potentially risky if you make careless errors. That is why so many injured maritime workers seek out an attorney to help with their claims.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to helping injured maritime workers, and crewmembers recover the compensation they need to support their families and get on with their lives. For more information about crewmember injury claims, continue reading or call our firm at (281) 283-8500.
Crewmember Injury Claims Under the Jones Act
Maritime accidents that occur away from shore, harbors, ports, docks, and the like are typically covered under the Jones Act. Unlike the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides compensation regardless of fault, the Jones Act requires injured crewmembers to file a lawsuit against their employers for negligence to recover compensation.
This federal law enables injured seamen to sue for full compensation for their damages from a crewmember injury, but it also requires all of the steps to filing a lawsuit. You will need to collect evidence of your employer’s negligence, demonstrate how that negligence caused your accident and subsequent damages, and potentially argue in court or during settlement negotiations.
Who Is Eligible To File a Claim?
Not everyone who works in the maritime industry is eligible to file a crewmember injury claim. The following are the requirements for crewmembers to file a claim under the Jones Act:
- You must be a sailor or seaman
- You must spend at least 30% of your time on the vessel in navigable waters
If you meet the above requirements and your employer’s negligence caused your injury, you can file a claim under the Jones Act. Keep in mind that this is true even if the vessel was docked when the accident occurred.
Employer Negligence in Crewmember Injury Claims
To recover compensation through a Houston crewmember injury claim, you will need to demonstrate that your employer’s negligence led to your accident and injuries. Negligence at sea can take many forms, but the following are some common types of employer negligence that lead to Jones Act claims:
- Failing to train crewmembers properly
- Failing to provide proper equipment for the job at hand
- Failing to maintain an environment free of slip-and-fall hazards, such as oil on the deck
- Failing to uphold workplace safety requirements
- Failing to maintain equipment
You will likely have to demonstrate that the vessel on which you were injured was “unseaworthy.” In maritime law, this term applies if any aspect of the vessel was improperly maintained or presented in a way that caused your accident. It does not mean that the vessel literally cannot be navigated.
Compensation You Could Recover
Filing a Jones Act claim as an injured crewmember should enable you to pursue compensation for every harm or loss you have suffered. Common losses in Houston crewmember injury claims include medical costs, lost income during recovery, disability, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.
Separately from the Jones Act, seamen are entitled to “maintenance” and “cure” after an on-the-job injury. Maintenance refers to daily living and housing costs. Cure refers to medical costs. These benefits are supposed to start the day of your injury, but many employers will try to delay them or give an amount that is not enough to cover your damages.
Why Work With a Maritime Lawyer?
Injured crewmembers are often entitled to compensation under the Jones Act or another federal or state law, but that does not mean they will get the money they are owed. Employers, vessel owners, and even government officials often limit compensation or try to avoid paying you entirely.
For example, employers may try to say you were at fault for your injury at sea. If they can convince a court that you bear some responsibility for what happened, your compensation can be reduced by the percentage of fault you are found to have.
This is unacceptable; you deserve compensation for what happened, and you need it to continue living your life. A maritime injury attorney from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. is here to help. We can hold negligent employers accountable and ensure that you are treated fairly from the moment you are injured until the moment you receive all of the compensation you are owed.