Offloading Facility Injuries

If you’ve been injured while working at an offloading facility, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can help. Our firm has nearly 50 years of experience with maritime accident claims and can help you navigate the legal and financial aftermath of an offloading facility injury.

The Houston area sees thousands of ships routinely picking up and dropping off cargo at its port terminals, docks, and warehouses every year, creating vital economic activity for the region and the entire Gulf Coast. Because of the size and heft of cargo containers and machinery, port activity comes with no small amount of risk.

Port workers, longshoremen, and stevedores put themselves at risk every day by utilizing port infrastructure, cranes, forklifts, safety trucks, and other equipment to load and unload cargo ships. While workers are generally safer today than ever before because of state and federal workplace regulations, the kind of work performed at maritime offloading facilities can result in devastating or even fatal injuries. Offloading facility accidents may be caused by too little manpower, faulty equipment, inadequate safety protocols, or other factors.

Common Types of Offloading Facility Accidents

Offloading facilities are key components of port activity in the Houston area and along the Gulf Coast. Workers in these environments load and unload enormous amounts of cargo from ships that are arriving in, passing through, or leaving Houston’s ports and shipping channels. Given the bustling nature of our region’s maritime industry, offloading facility workers can take on serious risks that may lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.

Common causes of accidents in Houston’s offloading facilities can include:

  • Fires or explosions
  • Equipment accidents involving forklifts, safety trucks, or other dockside equipment
  • Heavy objects falling and injuring workers

These types of accidents often may be caused by:

  • Human error due to inadequate manpower or improperly trained employees
  • Disregard for safety regulations or policies
  • Improperly maintained equipment
  • Lack of proper safety equipment

Common Types of Offloading Facility Injuries

With such a high volume of routine, yet dangerous work, the potential for injuries or fatal accidents at Houston offloading facilities can’t be overstated. Common injuries sustained at Texas offloading facilities include the following:

  • Severe burns, due to fires or explosions
  • Amputated or crushed limbs
  • Spinal cord or nerve damage, especially after falls or crush accidents
  • Broken bones
  • Mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Disfiguring lacerations

These injuries may lead to exorbitant medical costs and a long, challenging recovery. Our professional offshore injury lawyers can explain your options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and other damages and fight to obtain the maximum available compensation for your case.

Damages in Offloading Facility Accident Cases

Medical costs and loss of earning capacity can compound the stress you’re already feeling in the wake of a significant offloading facility injury. Thankfully, several laws exist that may help you obtain compensation if your employer did not provide a safe work environment, or if the negligence of a third party caused your accident or injury.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

When a maritime employee is injured while working on navigable waters or dockside, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) may allow the injured worker to receive compensation.

Generally, LHWCA benefits are available to maritime workers who:

  • Perform some job duties related to maritime activities
  • Work in locations on, near, or around the water

When you meet both of these criteria, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Medical costs
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Transportation costs
  • Rehabilitation costs

The LHWCA also allows certain injured workers or surviving family members to sue a third party for negligence in causing injury or death. So if an employee’s injury is caused by a defective forklift, they may be able to sue the forklift manufacturer whose negligence caused the injuries. In these types of situations, an employee may be able to obtain compensation for past and future:

  • Medical costs
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical limitations
  • Mental anguish

The Jones Act

Workers who are injured on vessels at sea may be able to obtain compensation for their losses under the Jones Act. Through a Jones Act claim, you may be able to recover compensation for past and future:

  • Medical costs
  • Physical pain
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical limitations
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of earning capacity

However, the Jones Act applies only to specific types of maritime workers. In some instances, a dock or harbor worker employed at an offloading facility may not be covered by the Jones Act, but rather by a different maritime or Texas law. Factors that determine whether you may be eligible for compensation under the Jones Act include:

  • How much time you typically spend at sea
  • Your type of employment
  • Where your injury occurred

A qualified Texas maritime injury attorney can explain whether you have a claim under the Jones Act or another maritime or Texas law.

Maintenance and Cure

Injured seamen may be able to obtain compensation for daily expenses and the costs of medical treatment until he or she reaches maximum medical improvement under the legal doctrine known as maintenance and cure. Under this doctrine, an injured maritime worker may be able to obtain compensation that includes:

  • Maintenance — Daily living expenses, such as food, housing, and essential utilities
  • Cure — Medical costs associated with an injury

Contact Our Houston Maritime Accident Lawyers

The laws surrounding injuries that happen at sea or on docks, ports, and wharves can be intricate and complicated. A successful claim for compensation may depend on the help of a skilled Houston maritime accident lawyer who understands the nuances of maritime and Texas laws and how they apply to your case.

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we have the skill and knowledge to craft a strong case showing why you deserve compensation for your maritime injury. Our team of dedicated lawyers can draw on decades of maritime injury experience to fully investigate your accident or injury, pinpoint the cause, and identify the responsible parties. We fight for the maximum available compensation in each case we handle, and have helped numerous injured maritime workers obtain multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts through the work of our lead trial lawyer, Scott Krist.

If you are a dock worker who’s been injured in Texas, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at or use the contact form below to schedule a free consultation about your case.