Houston is much more than oil and aerospace. A recent study showed that Houston, TX is the No. 2 city in the country for jobs connected to maritime through the moving of cargo between U.S. ports. Only nearby New Orleans has more workers in the maritime industry. When you add up the workers from all Texas ports, it puts Texas as the No. 3 state in the U.S. in cargo transportation between American ports.
The Port of Houston includes over 200 private and public terminals, handling over 8200 seagoing vessels and 215,000 barges every year. Thousands of maritime employees call the Houston area home.
It should come as no surprise, then, that there is a multitude of maritime injury cases in Houston. Maritime workers who are injured at sea do not have many of the recourses that land-based workers do, and often have to hire a maritime injury lawyer in Houston to protect their rights and help them recover losses that stem from their maritime injury.
WORKING AT SEA – IT’S A DIFFERENT WORLD OUT THERE
There are literally hundreds of maritime companies in Houston, and even though they claim to appreciate their employees and the sacrifices they make, you’re only one fall on a slippery deck or one tumbling pallet of cargo in heavy seas from discovering how much or how little they truly do care.
If you are injured at sea, don’t assume your employer will compensate you fairly and make sure your medical bills are covered. Any one of a host of Houston maritime lawyers will quickly point out that the ball game changes drastically when an injury occurs. Not only that, but the rules are different for maritime employees and land-based employees. Defendants in maritime law cases try to hide behind the nuances of maritime law, hoping the injured party is not up to speed on them.
For instance, Workman’s Comp does not apply to injuries suffered while at sea. But thanks to the federal Jones Act, maritime workers have the ability to sue their employers for compensation, and employers are held accountable to provide reasonably safe working conditions and maintain their vessels so that they are safe and seaworthy.
TYPES OF MARITIME INJURY CASES
Maritime workers face situations and endure conditions that would send most landlubbers into a state of fear and despair. While for the most part, they understand the hazards they’re exposed to and have various ways of coping with them and minimizing the risks, accidents do happen.
- Slip and falls – Solidly No. 1 in injury claims. In wet conditions, slips are common and occur on stairwells, on decks, and even in crew areas.
- Bumps and collisions – Swinging booms, cranes, dollies, carts, machines, and unsecured cargo can bash into workers.
- Lifting and carrying mishaps – A tilting deck in rolling seas can make lifting heavy objects treacherous. Even under ideal conditions, heavy lifting is a risky endeavor.
- Illness – Not every claim is due to an injury. Sometimes, crew members become ill due to unsanitary conditions and improper food preparation.
When the ship is out to sea, an injured worker’s only medical option is the onboard medical staff, also known as the infirmary or sick bay. This can be a real asset or pose a real risk if the personnel is inadequately trained. In extreme cases, a transport helicopter might be needed, but weather and sea conditions can play a role in whether a helicopter can be dispatched.
HOUSTON MARITIME ATTORNEYS
Houston maritime lawyers are plentiful, and they know admiralty law (maritime law) inside out, but the experience is key. As an elite maritime injury lawyer, founder Patrick Daniel has litigated hundreds of maritime injury cases and has substantial recoveries for his clients.
But this process requires more than a successful courtroom attorney. Maritime work is grueling, unforgiving, and raw, and any Houston, Texas lawyer who aspires to represent maritime workers had better know the work as well as he knows the law. That’s what sets Patrick Daniel Law ahead of other law firms in Houston, Texas. He knows the work. He grew up in Louisiana and has 20 years of experience in litigating maritime cases – some of it from the other side of the courtroom.