Houston Crane Accident Lawyers
The Port of Houston is one of the largest and busiest ports in the country, given its considerable river access and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, it is a vital cog in the larger Texas economy and provides thousands of jobs.
Cranes are hulking machines lifting and transporting cargo that may weigh thousands of pounds and can cause catastrophic injuries when something goes wrong with their operation. It’s imperative to reach out to a team of experienced maritime accident lawyers if you or someone you know has suffered a crane injury. We at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., with more than 40 years of experience, can help dockworkers and other employees receive fair and just compensation following a crane injury.
Dockworkers, longshoremen, stevedores, and crane operators are among those key employees who ensure daily operations run smoothly. Each may play a role in loading or unloading cargo while exposing themselves to the risks that come with heavy, unwieldy cranes. While an employer is obligated to provide a safe work environment that mitigates risk and complies with federal regulations, accidents nevertheless happen. Malfunctioning cranes, old equipment, or improperly trained employees may lead to serious or fatal injuries in the course of operation.
If you’ve suffered a crane injury, you should contact a Texas personal injury lawyer with a track record of success. Contact our Houston law firm for a free consultation and to learn how we can help.
Common Causes of Houston Crane Injuries
When a crane injury happens, there’s a reason behind it. A variety of factors may contribute to accidents that bring with them debilitating, far-reaching consequences.
Common causes of crane injuries at Houston area docks and ports may include:
- Malfunctioning or defective equipment
- Unsafe working conditions or inclement weather
- Inadequate manpower or improperly trained workers
- Unbalanced or overly heavy loads
- Failing to comply with federal regulations and safety standards
Common Types of Crane Injuries in Texas
Given the dangerous nature of working at a dock or on a wharf, horrific crane injuries may severely impact one’s well-being or even lead to death. These are some of the common crane injuries that may be experienced by port or dockside workers on the job:
- Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury
- Severed or crushed limbs
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage, nerve damage, or paralysis
- Slipped, ruptured, herniated, or bulging discs
- Burns from fire or hazardous chemical exposure
- Back and neck injuries
- Disfiguring lacerations
Substantial medical costs and an arduous recovery may follow a devastating crane injury. A professional Houston maritime injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows employees injured on American waters or while working dockside in vessel-related activities to receive compensation. If an employee does not qualify for compensation under the Jones Act or under Texas workers’ compensation laws, they may be able to file claims under the LHWCA.
Compensation is available to dock workers who pass “status” and “situs” tests.
- Status Test — This test relates to the work an employee performs. In order to receive compensation under the LHWCA, at least some of an employee’s duties must be considered “maritime” work.
- Situs Test — This test concerns the location where the employee generally works. Employees who work on, near, or around the water generally fall into this category. However, administrative positions at a port are not included.
Employees who pass both tests may be eligible for disability payments, medical treatment, transportation costs, physical therapy, rehabilitation costs, and other compensation.
The LHWCA also allows injured maritime workers or their surviving family members to sue a third party for negligence that contributed to an injury or death.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that allows an employee to sue their employer or a negligent third party for injuries sustained at sea. Through a Jones Act lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for past and future:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain
- Physical limitations
- Mental anguish
Given that the work takes place on shore and in port, most dockworkers and longshoremen cannot receive compensation under the Jones Act. That said, numerous factors may determine whether an employee can file a Jones Act claim. An experienced Houston maritime injury attorney can explain those factors and an injured worker’s potential rights under the Jones Act.
Maintenance and Cure in Crane Accidents
Maintenance and cure is a legal doctrine that allows a seaman covered under the Jones Act to receive specific types of compensation when injured on the job until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement. Those include:
- Maintenance — Maintenance covers daily living expenses, such as food, housing, and essential utilities
- Cure — Cure covers payments for medical costs associated with an injury, such as emergency care, surgeries, hospitalization, and physical therapy
Contact Our Houston Crane Accident Lawyers For Help
Injuries that happen on docks, ports, and wharves, or at sea, may be subject to different laws than accidents that occur on land, and require skillful handling by attorneys with in-depth knowledge of maritime laws and cases.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our personal injury lawyers in Houston have the resources, skills, and know-how to win maritime injury cases. We will draw on decades of maritime injury experience to investigate your crane injury and take the appropriate course of action. We fight for fair compensation in every case and have won numerous multi-million dollar awards on behalf of injured maritime workers through our lead trial attorney Scott Krist.
If you’ve been injured in a dockside crane accident in the Houston area, it is crucial to work with lawyers who have a track record of success. Contact our Houston law firm at 281-283-8500 or using the form below to learn how we can help. We offer a free initial consultation about your case.