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HOUSTON MARITIME ATTORNEY । Houston maritime attorney USA

Houston Maritime Attorney

We serve injured maritime workers nationwide. Texas and Louisiana offices.
As in other industries, sailors are at risk of work-related injuries any time they are on the clock. Courts recognize this and continue to work to protect injured seamen through general maritime law. Maritime law allows workers who have been injured ashore or in the maritime industry to claim necessary compensation for medical complications.
Common maritime law is the basis for all injuries caused by seamen. It is important to have a broad understanding of the general law before delving into the following activities.

History of Admiralty and Maritime Law

Maritime law—also referred to as admiralty law—is almost as old as the shipping industry and governs most accidents that occur in navigable waters. The roots of the law can be traced back to the unwritten customs of nautical behavior of the Egyptians and Greeks. However, the earliest formal codes were established on the Greek island of Rhodes in 900 BC. Early maritime laws and codes derive from ancient customs and shipping regulations. For example, the doctrine of general average—the idea that all maritime cargo stakeholders owners, shippers, etc. share equally in any loss or damage that may occur as a result of a voluntary sacrifice to preserve the vessel or cargo. Complete—Rodians can be traced back to the primary shipping customs.

The idea of a separate legal authority to regulate maritime issues was brought to the West by Eleanor of Aquitaine, who learned of the idea when she accompanied her first husband, King Louis VII of France, to the Mediterranean on the Second Crusade. The term admiralty law comes from the British courts of admiralty, which presided over maritime matters separately from the common law courts of England. Because the US judicial system is based on the British system, the amended Admiralty Laws were gradually incorporated into our legal system soon after the Constitution was ratified.

When do maritime laws apply?

Perhaps most obviously, maritime law applies to incidents that occur on the high seas—in other words, accidents that occur outside the territorial waters of any country. Furthermore, the law of the sea applies to the territorial sea, which is the water within 12 miles of the shore. However, the applicability of the law becomes less clear further domestically. Early in United States history, maritime law did not apply to incidents occurring within the “body of the nation” and therefore excluded incidents involving the Great Lakes and nontidal inland waterways. However, throughout the 19th century, this exclusion disappeared.

Maritime law now applies to navigable waters. A waterway is considered navigable if, by itself or in conjunction with another body of water, it can serve as an “uninterrupted highway over which commerce with other states or foreign countries is or may be carried on. Consequently, if a body of water is completely landlocked within a single state, it is not navigable for purposes of admiralty jurisdiction. However, a body of water need not flow between states to be considered navigable. A body of water may be considered navigable if it is a link in a chain of bodies of water that can be used to service interstate commerce. Finally, the test is that the commerce of one state must be capable of being carried on to another state or to a foreign country. Once this test is passed, the law of the sea is likely to apply even if it is a recreational vessel.

Cases That Need a Texas Maritime Accident Attorney

Houston maritime injury attorneys exist to help injured sailors or dock workers recover from serious injuries and obtain the compensation they need to cover long-term medical expenses incurred offshore. These include “navigable waters” rivers and oceans and any accidents occurring in harbors or docks.

A remarkable aspect of maritime accidents is that they are often devastating. Offshore oil rig explosions cause significant damage, ship collisions are often catastrophic, and oil platforms can unfairly change the lives of workers. Maritime lawyers fight to help workers recover the compensation they deserve, whether they suffered after a major explosion or were injured due to unsafe working conditions.

Our maritime attorneys have represented more Deepwater Horizon and El Faro crew members than any other law firm. We not only understand maritime law, but also the practices and culture of maritime employers. Talk to us to discuss your case so we can look at your legal and financial options.

Fundamentals of Maritime Law

Maritime law derives from many sources: federal law and common law of the sea are two of the most prominent. These sources provide some maritime doctrines commonly used in cases involving ships and their passengers and crew.

Jurisdiction in matters of maritime law

In the United States, jurisdiction over admiralty law matters was originally vested in federal courts. However, most admiralty cases are currently heard in both state and federal courts under the save-to-suit clause in title 28 of the United States Code (28 U.S.C. § 1333). Exceptions to this are any matter involving maritime property; These cases can only be tried in federal court. If a state court handles an admiralty case, the court must apply admiralty or maritime law rather than state law.

How does maritime law provide for injured workers?

Without maritime law, injured seamen would be left on their own to deal with the suffering they suffered while on duty. Anytime a ship’s crew gets injured or sick, the shipowner must compensate them for their loss. Maritime law refers to this compensation as maintenance and cure, meaning that until the seafarer fully recovers, the employer must pay for their suffering. Courts view this obligation as an unquestionable duty that a shipowner owes to any seaman on board their ship. Seafarers are also entitled to recover full wages for the length of the voyage during which they sustain injury or illness. An employment contract may specify the amount of earned wages a seafarer may receive.

Because many shipowners are loathed to pay the maximum amount possible, they either follow the old rates ranging from $15 to $35 per day or control healing benefits with hand-picked covered treatments. The US Supreme Court has held that the duty to provide maintenance and cure must be broad and inclusive. When it comes to compensation, the seaman is almost always favored when doubt is involved.

Catastrophic marine damage

In some cases, an offshore accident can cause injuries so severe that they permanently change a person’s life. These types of injuries are so notorious that the medical and legal communities have a term for them: catastrophic injuries. When a person has this type of offshore injury, their injuries will likely affect them for the rest of their lives. In some cases, certain injuries mean that a person will not be able to earn a living through physical labor as they did before. In other cases, it means that every aspect of a person’s life is affected by the severity of their injury.
Often, these offshore injuries require lifelong medical care. When workers suffer from accidents they did not cause, they deserve compensation for care that will make their lives as comfortable as possible.

Maritime burn injury

One of the most catastrophic injuries that can occur in a marine accident is a burn injury. If you have suffered a burn injury during a marine accident, it is imperative to contact a top-rated Houston maritime burn injury lawyer as soon as possible. Arnold & Itkin LLP has helped advocate for the rights of hundreds of injured seafarers, including those who suffered severe burns while working offshore.

Types of burn injuries a maritime worker may experience

There are different degrees of burn injury depending on the severity of the burn. Burn injuries can be caused by excessive heat, electricity, chemicals, radiation, or friction. Any of these burn hazards are present on seagoing vessels or offshore rigs.

Houston Maritime Brain Injury Attorneys

Head injuries occur frequently in the maritime industry – depending on the severity of the injury, lifelong treatment may be required. In many cases it may seem that litigation could not have been prevented; In reality, many brain injury accidents could have been prevented with proper precautions. If so, you may be able to file a claim under the Jones Act.

Types and common symptoms of brain injury

When a marine worker suffers a head injury, it is one of two types: a closed head injury and an open head injury. A closed head injury is when an injury does not break, fracture, or perforate the skull. An open head injury is when the skull is punctured or fractured. Although open-head injuries may seem more serious, closed-head injuries are difficult to diagnose and may require extensive treatment.
Brain damage at any level can have a severe impact on an employee’s daily life, altering their personality and their ability to make a living. When a brain injury is caused by an employer or co-worker’s negligence, it’s important for injured individuals to hold the at-fault party accountable—for their own sake, that of other employees, and that of the loved ones they support.

Maritime Amputation Injury Lawyers

Although not all marine injuries are caused by negligence, amputation injuries often are. If an employer or shipowner fails to maintain equipment, train crew, or create a safe working environment, it can lead to serious injuries requiring amputation.
It is essential to work with regularly maintained equipment and machinery to function properly. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that workers are properly trained to use the equipment. If your employer does not meet this standard and you lose a limb as a result, then he was negligent and must be held accountable.

Amputation treatment

Surgery is needed to treat a lost limb or to have a limb amputated. Once you have surgery, you may still need extensive physical and psychological therapy to adjust to the new reality of losing a limb or using a prosthesis. These payment costs can be difficult for an injured marine worker to manage, especially while supporting a family. Our firm often needs to help our clients rebuild their financial security in the wake of expensive medical treatment. This is why it is important to contact a marine amputation injury attorney as soon as possible.

Compensation recovery for amputation injuries

If you are seriously injured in a marine accident that requires amputation, you have the right to compensation. Limb loss is a financially costly loss; Patients face treatment costs for the rest of their lives. Under maritime law, you have several avenues for recovering damages, especially if negligence is involved. Because maritime law differs from land law, it is vital to contact an experienced maritime amputation injury attorney as soon as possible so that you can get the best possible outcome for your case.

Understanding marine trauma

In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control released a report examining fatal marine injuries from 2003-2010. It found that those working in the offshore oil and gas industry were seven times more likely to die than workers in other industries. However, the oil and gas industry is not the only common sector for marine injuries. Any time people are on board or working in the maritime industry, hazardous conditions are present and ship owners and employers must take appropriate measures to protect them.

Persons in charge of a vessel are liable for marine injuries. Ship owners and employers must ensure that they provide safety training for workers and ensure that their ships and rigs are seaworthy. This is also true in the face of natural disasters and extreme weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms. Rough seas are no excuse for a ship capsizing or sinking if the owner knew of the storm and failed to evacuate the crew or take measures to avoid it.

Offshore workers who suffer maritime injuries have access to recovery through the Jones Act. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, it protects US citizens working offshore. It enables shipowners to be held accountable for failing to protect the safety of injured workers. Essentially, the Jones Act provides similar protections to offshore workers that their onshore counterparts enjoy. Employers and shipowners must be held responsible for this and held liable for their negligence.

Full cost recovery for maritime and offshore accidents

After a serious accident, injured sailors can face many costs. These not only have an immediate effect but can affect them for years. In almost all cases, the immediate effects are evident in the inability to work, steep bills, and pain and suffering associated with injury or illness. Even the future costs of rehabilitation are often well-known. However, it is not always easy to see what the future costs of an injury will be. In some cases, the person may need lifelong treatment or eventually go away from the side effects. For this reason, it is crucial that the injured and their families recover compensation for injuries sustained under maritime law.

Marine Injury: Do You Know Your Rights?

After an accident, one of the most important things you can do is make sure all your needs are met: medically, legally, emotionally, and financially. However, this can be difficult.

From the initial filing of a claim to the preparation and proceedings of a court case, there are many instances where your rights may be compromised. Unsympathetic employers and insurance companies care little about the well-being of injured employees. Therefore, it is imperative to seek legal representation from an attorney who cares about the future of your health and well-being.

Maritime law as it applies to employers

As employer and owner, the ship owner must preserve the safety and structure of the ship in a manner suitable for all employees on board. Manning, equipping, and supplying the ship are key aspects of the shipowner’s responsibilities under maritime law. Subsequently, if any of the ship’s employees are injured or ill due to the ship’s malfunction, the owner will be liable for any damages.

Why do I need to hire a Houston maritime injury lawyer?

If you are not ready to consider litigation, you should still consult with an experienced Texas maritime attorney to discuss your claim. In many cases, your company may ask you to sign a contract or be released in exchange for unpaid wages, maintenance, or medical benefits. It is imperative that you have any documents reviewed by a skilled Houston maritime injury attorney before you sign them so that you do not waive any of your rights to recovery.

Perhaps the most important reason you need a lawyer is to have teams of lawyers representing employers and insurance companies. Their goal is to settle your claim as cheaply as possible. The only way to level the playing field with your employer or insurance company is to have an experienced attorney represent your interests. As an injured employee, you are new to the process in which your employer, its insurers, and their attorneys routinely deal with these cases. It is important to the outcome of your claim that you have a team that regularly handles maritime law claims.

Hire a top-rated Texas maritime accident attorney for your case

An experienced maritime lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine your best legal options.

Another reason you can benefit from hiring a lawyer is that they know how to deal with offshore companies. On your own, you may feel like you have no hope. After all, you’re just one person, and your company is probably an established corporation that knows how to handle injury cases.

There’s no reason you can’t represent aggressively as well. You might think any attorney would, but if you’re an offshore worker, you and your company are bound by a specific law called maritime law or admiralty law. If you want to get the full amount of compensation you deserve, you need a lawyer who specializes in this specific and specialized area of law. Turn to us when you need the best.

Maritime Law FAQ

What is a Maritime Attorney?
A maritime attorney is a legal professional who focuses on helping those who have suffered injuries, accidents, and wrongful deaths due to recreational and commercial marine accidents. These incidents are governed by maritime law, which creates specific pathways for the recovery of loved ones injured or lost in the water.

A qualified Houston maritime attorney will have a thorough understanding of how maritime law affects incidents in national and international waters, as well as a commitment to see each case through to a successful outcome. Often, marine injury cases require extensive investigation, thorough knowledge of centuries-old laws, and a willingness to litigate in court. Maritime companies are some of the most powerful in the world, so having an experienced maritime attorney to deal with their tactics is crucial.

Should I hire a maritime injury lawyer?

Yes, you probably need a maritime injury lawyer because the laws governing offshore injuries can be complex. Deciding whether to hire a marine injury lawyer can seem like a difficult decision. Here’s what you should know: If you’ve been injured at sea or lost a family member, there’s no one who can protect your rights and help you rebuild your life like a skilled marine injury lawyer. Your employer won’t have your back. Your loved ones don’t know how to help. You need a strong lawyer who knows the ins and outs of maritime injury cases to defend you.

Importantly, hiring a maritime lawyer means getting help from someone who will seek the compensation you deserve rather than the compensation you are awarded. A maritime attorney will investigate your case to help ensure that the other side is being fair. If they are not they will be prepared to fight for your recovery in court.

What is a maritime injury?

A maritime injury can include any type of physical or psychological trauma experienced at sea. Offshore workers, cruise ship passengers, fishing vessel crew members, and all others who are injured or lost in US or international waters may be considered victims of maritime injuries. These injuries are often serious and life-changing, warranting the involvement of an attorney who knows how to hold at-fault parties accountable under marine injury law.

Importantly, marine injuries are generally not covered by coastal law. For example, injured maritime workers cannot file for workers’ compensation like longshore workers can. Instead, they must use laws like the LHWCA and the Jones Act to seek compensation. In other cases, workers can use old maritime laws like maintenance and cure to secure the compensation they need after an accident.

What is maritime law?

Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, governs navigation and shipping. Maritime law is an ancient set of rules used to protect offshore workers before the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act. It provides basic provisions that ensure that workers are maintained and cured after an injury.

Are maritime laws the same everywhere?
No, maritime law is not the same everywhere. Although many nations have common roots in admiralty law, those nations have since amended it with their own unique terms. For example, the Jones Act is a law that only applies to ships flying the American flag.

What is Jones Law?
The Jones Act is a law that enables injured seafarers to secure the compensation they need for the full extent of their injuries. Before the passage of the Jones Act in 1920, seafarers injured in preventable accidents were unable to collect the full amount of compensation required for their injuries. Through the Jones Act, workers can recover damages such as medical bills, lost wages, future care costs, and more.

What are maintenance and cure?
Maintenance and cure describe the living expenses (maintenance) and medical expenses (cure) that an offshore worker needs after an accident. For decades, maritime law has required shipowners to ensure that injured workers receive maintenance and healing after sustaining an injury.

What are the common causes of sea injury?
Common causes of marine injuries are accidents that should have been prevented and were not. Importantly, it is the responsibility of ship owners and employers to prevent these accidents and protect workers

What kind of compensation might I be eligible for after my offshore injury?
It depends on what type of work you were doing at the time of your injury and what laws govern it. Some workers will be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act and others may be eligible for recovery through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. It is not always easy to determine what assistance workers are eligible for from these laws. Speaking with our offshore injury lawyers during a free consultation is the best way to explore your options.

What if I can’t afford a maritime attorney?
The right maritime law firm will help you afford their services. Injured maritime workers often face difficult financial situations and need to make special financial arrangements with maritime lawyers. For example, Arnold & Itkin LLP operates on a contingency fee basis—meaning we cover all costs of a case and do not collect payment unless we win. In addition to bearing the financial burden of litigation fees and investigative costs, our firm has helped our clients obtain the medical care they need as their trials progress.

What is the difference between maritime law and common law?
In many ways, there is little difference between how maritime law is governed and how common law is governed. However, some meaningful differences exist, but those differences exist more in court than in actual law. For example, there is no right to a jury trial if an admiralty action is brought in the admiralty court. It is important to note, however, that the only cases that should be brought in federal admiralty court are those enforcing a maritime lien, foreclosure on a preferred vessel mortgage, limitation of the vessel owner’s liability, and any proceeding in which the vessel itself is being sued.

Is maritime law the same as the law of the sea?
Maritime law is not the same as the law of the sea. Maritime law is the law of the United States that governs incidents on navigable waters. The law of the sea is primarily based on international treaties and agreements that regulate how countries interact with each other on matters involving the high seas. For example, the law of the sea governs nations’ jurisdiction over coastal waters, ownership of natural resources, and navigational rights.

What does a maritime lawyer do?
Maritime lawyers handle cases involving maritime vessels, maritime crafts, offshore oil rigs, and harbor workers. Because of the summary law involving injury or contract disputes related to shipping or shipping activities, an experienced maritime attorney is critical to bringing a successful claim. A maritime lawyer must understand federal laws, state laws, the complexities of marine insurance, and many other shipping and offshore drilling industry specifics. This is a very complex area of law, making it important to engage an experienced maritime lawyer.

When are maritime laws applied?
The most infamous application of maritime law may be the Deepwater Horizon disaster, in which 11 crew members were killed and many more injured. In a federal district court, among other things, admiralty jurisdiction was present because the alleged torts occurred over the navigable waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act jurisdiction was present because the casualties occurred in the context of the exploration or production of minerals on the outer continental shelf. While Arnold & Itkin handled many of the crew’s claims, it was important that they were well-versed in maritime law.

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