Texas Seamen Injury Lawyer
Maritime Accident Lawyer in Beaumont Serving Throughout Texas
Gilbert Adams Law Offices represents those who have been injured and the families of those killed in all types of accidents, including those involved in work accidents and injuries on large bodies of water including shipping, marine cargo and seamen injured on navigable waters or while working in harbor. Admiralty & Maritime Law, including Jones Act claims, encompasses a complex set of laws, statutes and regulations and frequently involve multi-state and international complaints that require the services of an experienced attorney with the experience, skills and resources to follow a case through to a positive conclusion for their client.
The maritime accident lawyers at the Gilbert Adams Law Offices have the respect of our peers and numerous referrals from satisfied clients to illustrate these qualities over the past 90 years. When workers are injured in harbors or on navigable waterways, our seasoned maritime accident lawyers are ready to help. If you are a seaman who has been injured on a boat or in the harbor, personal injury law firm Gilbert Adams Law Offices is prepared to take your case.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act refers to legislation passed by the U.S. Congress enabling injured seamen and their families to recover after an injury or death that occurs during the course of their employment. The usual workers’ compensation laws do not apply to most injured maritime workers, meaning that injured seamen would be without recourse should they suffer a serious or fatal injury on the job. Since 1920, injured seamen have been able to rely on the Jones Act to collect damages from their employers who have failed to provide a safe place to work. Indeed, the Jones Act actually instructs injured seaman to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover damages as a result of the injuries received. These damages are in addition to “maintenance” and “cure” benefits a seaman should also receive.
Grounds for a Jones Act Lawsuit
Although it applies to injured workers, the Jones Act operates differently from other workers’ compensation claims. Different remedies are available, and different requirements are necessary for filing a claim under the Jones Act.
In order to file a Jones Act claim, an injured party must establish:
- The injured person was a seaman
- The employee or seaman was injured in the course and scope of their employment
The seaman’s employer was negligent which was a cause of the accident or injuries.
Unlike a Texas workers’ comp, injured seamen must demonstrate that their employer was negligent in order to collect under the Jones Act. They must also be a “seaman” to qualify for Jones Act damages. Whether a person qualifies as a seaman depends on several factors including:
- Whether the injured worker worked on a vessel “in navigation” (including freighters, tankers, offshore crew boats, drill barges, drilling rigs, and others)
- Whether the injured worker’s employment connection to the vessel was substantial in both duration and nature
- Whether the work of the injured worker contributed to the work of the vessel
Proving the maritime connection and status as a “seaman” can be a tricky prospect, requiring a deep understanding of U.S. maritime laws. A seasoned maritime injury lawyer can help you assert your claim for compensation under the Jones Act.
Other Maritime Injury Laws
Not all maritime cases involve injuries to seamen. Other remedies are available to workers injured on a vessel, drilling rig or ship or while performing ship-related work who do not qualify for a Jones Act claim.
For instance, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWC) provides remedies for longshoremen injured while loading and unloading cargo, including harbor workers, shipyard workers, and other maritime employers who do not work onboard vessels. Additionally, the Wrongful Death and the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) allows for surviving family members of maritime workers to recover against an employer whose negligence contributed to the death of the employee. Seamen may also have common law remedies against vessel owners if the ship was unseaworthy. Meanwhile, passengers and other injured parties may have claims under the general maritime laws.
If you’ve been injured on a body of water in the U.S., talk to a knowledgeable maritime injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovery.
Trusted and Effective Legal Help for Your a Texas Maritime Injury Claim
The seasoned personal injury attorneys at Gilbert Adams Law Offices are prepared to handle Maritime injury claims throughout Southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast. We are skilled at seeing a case through to a settlement or final judgment for our clients. We have the resources and experience necessary to take on employers, negligent defendants, corporations, large insurance companies, and anyone else responsible for paying you the damages you are owed. If you’ve been injured, get representation from a maritime worker injury lawyer at Gilbert Adams Law Offices today.