Houston, Dallas And McAllen Texas Admiralty & Maritime Accident Lawyers
Injuries caused by accidents at sea often lead to complex legal problems. Determining the parties at fault and how they were negligent is a challenging legal matter that not every personal injury attorney can handle. At Rose Sanders Law Firm, PLLC, our aggressive admiralty and maritime injury lawyers use their years of experience to efficiently resolve legal issues and get clients the compensation they deserve.
Rose Sanders Injury Law Firm, PLLC helps admiralty and maritime injury clients across Texas from our conveniently located offices in Houston, Dallas and McAllen. Our personal injury lawyers work with clients to understand the intricacies of their unique legal problem and then craft a personalized plan of attack designed to get results. When you contact us, you can rest assured that we will immediately protect your rights. You can call our firm now at 713-231-9288 to schedule your free consultation.
The Law of the Sea
If you have been injured at sea, your loved one has been injured at sea, or you’ve lost a loved one at sea, your claim will be addressed by maritime law, which is also called admiralty law. This branch of the law is exceptionally complex, and although being injured in the course of your work at sea or on the docks can be similar to being injured at work on land, there are also distinct differences and unique legal challenges.
Maritime law incorporates legislation governing actions that take place on bodies of water. While maritime law originally governed activities on the ocean, it now covers all navigable waters (including both foreign and interstate commerce). If the accident that leaves you injured involves a vessel or maritime activity, maritime law likely applies.
Navigable waters refer to the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and all waterways within the United States itself.
State vs. Federal Jurisdiction
If you are injured on the water in Texas, you may wonder whether your claim is a matter of state or federal jurisdiction. Fortunately, the answer to your concern is refreshingly straightforward – federal courts have jurisdiction over all maritime claims. While you can file your maritime claim in a state court, federal laws apply (for all substantive matters). Typically, the only differences between state and federal courts (in relation to maritime claims) are procedural in nature. As such, filing in state court can prove beneficial due to the immense complications associated with federal procedures. For federal filings, there tend to be additional steps between the starting point of filing your case and the conclusion of going to trial. It is difficult to overstate exactly how complicated maritime cases can be and how critical having a dedicated maritime accident lawyer in your corner can prove.
Specific Categories of Maritime Accidents
The Jones Act
The Jones Act, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration, is the most comprehensive maritime trade statute. The Jones Act is intended to support both strong national economics and strong national defense by requiring that all the following apply to merchandise that is shipped by water within the United States:
- The cargo must be shipped on vessels that are built in the United States.
- The vessels must be owned by Americans.
- The vessels must be registered in the U.S., which means they must be crewed by Americans.
This approach helps to ensure that we, as a nation, have a fleet of vessels that not only bolsters our own economic strength but can also serve as a trusted resource for the transportation of supplies in times of need. If you are an American who works at sea, your maritime claim will very likely fall under the Jones Act, which allows employees like you to seek compensation from their employers. Under the Jones Act, you can seek compensation based on your employer’s negligence, which is distinctly different from workers’ compensation cases.
How the Jones Act Applies
Prior to the Jones Act, which passed in 1917, sailors and others who worked on the water had no legal recourse if they were injured on the job. The Jones Act ensures that these workers have legal protections in the event they are injured while working.
The Jones Act requires the employers of those who work at sea to cover their employees for work-related injuries by paying for their medical treatment and for their living expenses. The intent behind the Jones Act includes all the following:
- Protecting merchant marines
- Recognizing the contributions maritime workers make to the defense of our nation
- Fostering both domestic and foreign commerce
The Jones Act provides maritime workers with a right to sue after being injured in an accident at work. Examples of incidents that could potentially give victims the right to sue include:
- Exposure to dangerous chemicals
In Addition to the Jones Act
In addition to the Jones Act, there are a variety of other federal laws that protect you when you are working offshore on a ship or rig.
The Loss Of A Loved One At Sea
Injuries or accidents on the high seas that lead to the death of a loved one are tragic and often preventable if not for the negligence of another party. Our firm holds those parties accountable for their negligence and works to get justice for the surviving family members. If your loved one was killed in a maritime accident, our compassionate attorneys can help.
The Death on the High Seas Act
The Death on the High Seas Act addresses those wrongful death cases in which families of sailors who have lost their lives on the sea can recover on their losses (or legal damages) – if the sailor lost his or her life on international waters as a result of his or her employer’s negligence or as a result of a vessel that was not seaworthy.
The Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation
The Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (directed by the U.S. Department of Labor) provides both vocational rehabilitation and compensation for longshore and harbor workers who are injured on the job. It also provides compensation to the families of longshore and harbor workers who lose their lives on the job.
The Oil Pollution Act
The Oil Pollution Act (OPA) enforces the safe removal of oil spillage on the water and implements the processes used to determine associated damages.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act addresses accidents and injuries that occur on the Outer Continental Shelf of the U.S.
Proven Help For Many Types Of Boating Accidents
Most injury attorneys know little about the intricacies of maritime and admiralty law, and even fewer have successfully represented clients in accident cases. To add to this complexity, many of these cases involve businesses and insurance companies that have significant resources to fight an accident claim. Thankfully, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help people who are injured at sea.
We will analyze every fact in your case and determine who the negligent parties are and how they acted negligently. Our legal team uses their years of experience with the insurance and medical industries to craft effective legal strategies. We do everything in our power to guide injured clients toward positive outcomes.
Our firm represents clients who were injured at sea in many types of accidents, including those involving:
- Barge and vessel accidents
- Boating collisions
- Drowning incidents
- Ship channel accidents
- Cargo accidents
- Injuries in international waters
Contact Us Now To Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Texas Maritime Accident Injury Lawyer
The formidable maritime accident lawyers at Rose Sanders Injury Law Firm – proudly serving Houston, Dallas, and McAllen – take an aggressive stance in complicated maritime cases. We have a wealth of experience guiding cases like yours toward advantageous resolutions that support not only our clients’ legal rights but also their fullest recoveries. Please, call us now at 713-231-9288 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation.