When Maritime and Admiralty Laws Apply

When a person is injured on dry land, personal claims are typically informed by state law.

However, when a person is injured on sea, whether while waiting at a dock or in the midst of a weeks-long journey, a unique set of federal maritime laws — also known as admiralty laws — may apply. These nuanced, yet complex, rules cover legal issues on what are considered “navigable waters.”

Defining Navigable Waters in Houston

Navigable waters are defined as bodies of water, such as interconnected systems of lakes, rivers, seas, and oceans used for interstate or international commerce. The largest navigable water body near Houston is the Gulf of Mexico. Rivers, lakes, and shipping channels that connect to the Gulf would also be considered navigable waters under Texas maritime laws.

Texas Maritime Laws: A Closer Look

Texas personal injury laws governing compensation cover several facets of maritime work and a variety of maritime-based industries — including commerce, navigation, natural resource exploration, and shipping. An employee or their surviving family may be entitled to different forms or amounts of compensation depending on where an on-the-job injury or fatality occurred. For example:

  • The Jones Act covers seamen who spend much of their time (and who are injured) at sea.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act typically applies to longshoremen and dockworkers on shore.
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act applies to employees who work on structures built in the Outer Continental Shelf (usually associated with the discovery and extraction of natural resources).

How a Houston Maritime Injury Can Help

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our lawyers truly understand the complexities of the various maritime and admiralty laws. We have represented Texas residents injured in the Gulf of Mexico, at ports of call in several Gulf Coast states, and in navigable waters and shipping terminals off the coast of Texas.

Decades of experience representing clients provides us with the skills, experience, and resources to win maritime accident cases. Our Houston personal injury lawyers are known throughout Texas for our work on offshore injury cases and our track record of representing people injured in maritime accidents.

If you or your loved one has been injured in an offshore injury, not only will we pursue every avenue for recovery on your behalf, we will treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. When you are suffering from a life-altering or life-threatening illness or accident, our Houston personal injury lawyers will make every effort to make the process of getting the compensation you deserve as stress-free as possible.

If you are the victim of a maritime accident, it is important to work with knowledgeable attorneys who understand maritime and admiralty laws and have a significant track record of success. Contact our Houston personal injury law firm today at to learn how we can help.