When it comes to filing claims for compensation, indemnity, or damages against a ship owner or operator, a Houston maritime lawyer can help injured passengers and crew in asserting their rights in court. Federal maritime laws enumerate the various grounds for filing these legal claims. To ensure public safety, these laws also itemize actionable offenses and liabilities for erring ship owners or operators.
A professional maritime attorney does not approach maritime cases in the same way as an average personal injury lawyer does. A deep understanding of the major provisions related to offshore injury claims, Jones Act claims and port worker claims is needed.
Different Types of Maritime Claims
The Jones Act, for example, allows seaman to sue employers and seek compensation for injuries resulting from poor condition of a vessel or any form of negligence on the part of the ship operator. This act sets a specific definition of “seaman,” which must be met in order to enforce the aforementioned right. A Houston maritime lawyer can assess if a maritime claim can be filed based on the provisions of this law.
Unlike the Jones Act, general maritime legislation contains broader provisions relating to the injured seaman’s right to claim compensation and damages. Similarly, these maritime laws also impose upon the ship owners to maintain their vessels in top condition and to provide assistance in the event of injury.
Compensations Under These Laws
Seamen are eligible to receive compensation every time they get injured at work, regardless of who is at fault. Maintenance support includes provision for day-to-day living expenses (housing and food, for example). Cure provides for the right of seamen to have adequate medical attention for their injury. Maintenance claims also cover offshore injuries beyond a typical passenger or freight ship. For instance, the high chance of accidents and death in oil rigging platforms at sea requires oil operators to provide the same protection to their workers. It is not uncommon for maritime and offshore workers to be denied of these rights, in which case a Houston maritime lawyer is the only means to a claim settlement.
For families and loved ones left behind by a deceased seaman, they can file wrongful death claims. A Houston maritime lawyer can help the decedent’s representatives in pursuing these claims for compensation, indemnity, and damages.
Admittedly, most seamen and other maritime workers are not aware of the rights afforded to them by law. Sometimes, going to court is the only recourse to pursue these claims to the fullest extent, and in most cases, they are undercompensated for their injury due to their lack of legal knowledge. To afford full protection and enforcement of these rights, a Houston maritime lawyer can assist the aggrieved parties in seeking these benefits.
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