Longshore Claims

Longshoremen who have been injured on the job, or families of these employees who have been killed in the line of duty, may be entitled to recover compensation for injuries and other losses under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). A Houston maritime accident lawyer can explain how this might benefit you.

Longshoremen are the engines that drive the economic activity at docks and ports around Houston. With several terminals and key connections to the Gulf Coast, stevedores and longshoremen spend thousand of hours loading and unloading cargo, repairing or maintaining vessels, shipbuilding, and performing other harbor work every year.

But this work can bring substantial risks. Employers are required by law to provide a safe and hospitable workplace, but devastating injuries nevertheless occur, whether due to momentary lapses in judgment, unsafe conditions, inclement weather, or other unpredictable factors.

Given the complex nature of the LHWCA and the difficulty of pursuing a LHWCA claim, it’s imperative to reach out to a knowledgeable maritime accident lawyers to discuss longshore claims. With more than 27 years of experience, the attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C., can help longshoremen who have been injured on the job and are seeking compensation.

Common Types of Texas Dockside Accidents

Longshoremen perform hazardous work in the maritime industry. A port employee tasked with loading and unloading cargo ships may face stressful work environments, unpredictable weather, malfunctioning equipment, and other scenarios that increase risk and throw safety into question.

Common factors that lead to injuries sustained by longshoremen include:

  • Fires or explosions due to malfunctioning equipment or hazardous cargo
  • Extreme weather, including heat, humid temperatures, or storms
  • Heavy objects falling and hitting longshoremen
  • Malfunctioning equipment, including cranes, safety trucks, forklifts, and more
  • Slippery surfaces caused by lax safety oversight or rainfall

Common Types of Texas Longshoremen Injuries

The kinds of accidents outlined above can have serious, lifelong effects on longshoremen and their families. The following are common injuries that may be sustained by longshoremen in the course of performing their duties:

  • Severe burns, resulting from fires or explosions
  • Respiratory problems after inhaling toxic vapors
  • Broken or fractured bones after slipping or falling on slippery docks
  • Crushed or amputated limbs due to falling equipment or cargo
  • Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
  • Slipped, ruptured, bulging, or herniated discs
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Disfiguring lacerations

As a result of these injuries, a longshoreman may face an arduous recovery and rapidly mounting medical bills. If you’re facing either of these situations, reach out to a professional Houston maritime accident lawyer who can help secure the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Damages Available to Injured Longshoremen

The financial effects of a serious accident can easily overwhelm an injured longshoreman, but the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) can help injured maritime workers obtain compensation if employers did not provide a safe work environment.

The LHWCA allows employees injured while working dockside in maritime-related activities to receive compensation. Dock employees and, as the title implies, longshoremen who do not qualify under the Jones Act or under Texas workers’ compensation laws are generally covered by the LHWCA.

Compensation is available to longshoremen who pass “status” and “situs” tests.

  • Status Test — The status test involves determining whether a maritime worker was, in fact, a maritime worker. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act requires that at least some of the employee’s job involve maritime work to be eligible for compensation under the act.
  • Situs Test — The situs test looks to where an employee works. This also helps determine eligibility for compensation under the LHWCA. In order to receive compensation, an employee must work on, near, or around the water — but not in an administrative or office worker capacity.

Employees who meet these criteria may be eligible for:

  • Temporary or permanent disability payments
  • Medical treatment
  • Medical transportation
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Physical therapy

The LHWCA also allows injured workers or their surviving family members to sue a third party for negligence that led to an injury or death. Our Houston maritime accident lawyers can discuss your options for a lawsuit and the possible types of compensation you may be able to recover.

How Our Houston Maritime Accident Lawyers Can Help

Injuries that happen at sea, even those that occur on docks or in ports, are subject to a different set of laws than accidents that occur on land and often involve multiple, complicated factors. For these reasons, maritime injury cases can be complex and require representation by experienced and knowledgeable Houston personal injury lawyers.

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston maritime accident lawyers have significant experience with dockside and harbor accidents in which longshoremen or other workers sustained serious injuries. We know how devastating a severe injury can be — especially when you were hurt through no fault of your own.

We have helped countless injured maritime workers to obtain the maximum available compensation for their injuries, including numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts obtained through the skill of our lead trial lawyer, Scott Krist. We approach each case with a passion for justice and the desire to help you obtain the compensation and resources you need to restore your life after a catastrophic maritime accident.

Contact one of our Houston maritime injury lawyers today if you’re pursuing a longshore claim in the wake of an accident while dockside or at port. We offer a free initial case evaluation and charge no fees unless we obtain compensation for your injuries and other damages.