Whether you work in the Gulf of Mexico or on Texas’s coastal or inland waters, there is always a risk that you will get injured on the job. Working on the water is dangerous—and this is especially true when companies don’t prioritize their workers’ safety. If you’ve been injured on the job, you will want to speak with a Texas maritime lawyer as soon as possible.
Why should you speak with a Texas maritime lawyer? The short answer is that you may be entitled to financial compensation that you won’t be able to obtain on your own. After an injury on the job, you can’t rely on your employer to help you, and you need to ensure that you are making informed decisions with your best interests in mind.
Why You Should Speak with a Texas Maritime Lawyer if You’ve Been Injured on the Water
Here are seven reasons to hire a Texas maritime lawyer after you get injured on the job:
1. Your Lawyer Can Explain All of Your Legal Rights
Making smart decisions after a maritime accident starts with understanding your legal rights. For most maritime workers, this means understanding their legal rights under the Jones Act.
The Jones Act is a federal law that protects workers who spend their days on the water (and who are not protected by Texas’s workers’ compensation law). If you qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, your legal rights include:
- The right to choose your own doctor for treatment;
- The right to maintenance and cure benefits regardless of how you got injured (with limited exceptions); and,
- The right to additional financial compensation if someone else is responsible for your injuries.
These are just examples. Injured seamen (and other injured workers) have many other legal rights as well. When you hire a Texas maritime lawyer to represent you, your lawyer can explain everything you need to know.
2. Your Lawyer Can Determine Which Claim (or Claims) to File Under the Jones Act
If you qualify as a seaman, there is a good chance that you are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits. But, filing a claim for these benefits might not be your only option. In many cases, injured seamen can file other claims under the Jones Act as well, including:
- Claims for Jones Act negligence when their employers are responsible for their injuries; and,
- Claims for unseaworthiness when they get injured due to a dangerous condition onboard a vessel or floating rig.
Filing a claim for Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness allows you to recover significantly more compensation than you can recover through a claim for maintenance and cure. As a result, it is critical to ensure you know all of the Jones Act claims you are eligible to file.
3. Your Lawyer Can Determine if You Have a Claim Outside of the Jones Act
Along with assessing your rights under the Jones Act, it is also important to find out if you are entitled to financial compensation under any other laws. For example, even if you don’t have a claim for Jones Act negligence or unseaworthiness, you may have a claim against an equipment manufacturer for a product defect. On the water, lots of things can go wrong, and making sure you know who (or what company) is to blame is critical for recovering the full financial compensation you deserve.
4. Your Lawyer Can Seek Maximum Compensation for Your Medical Bills and Lost Wages
Regardless of the claim (or claims) you can file, you need to ensure that you are seeking maximum compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. When you are recovering from a maritime injury, you do not want to leave any money on the table. An experienced Texas maritime lawyer will be able to help make sure you receive full maintenance and cure benefits while fighting to recover any additional financial compensation that is available.
5. Your Lawyer Can Seek Just Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering
If you have a claim outside of maintenance and cure, you may be entitled to recover much more than just your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. If you have a claim for Jones Act negligence, unseaworthiness, a product defect, or another issue, you may be entitled to full compensation for all of your injury-related losses.
This includes compensation for your pain and suffering. While financial compensation isn’t available for pain and suffering in all cases, if a Texas maritime lawyer can help you file a claim, this could significantly increase the amount you are able to recover.
6. Your Lawyer Can Help You Seek a Lump Sum Settlement
Waiting to see if your benefit check comes in the main can be stressful. It can be even more stressful when your check doesn’t come. One way to avoid this risk is by seeking a lump sum settlement. When you hire a Texas maritime lawyer, your lawyer can help you decide whether it makes sense to seek a settlement, and if it does, your lawyer can negotiate for a favorable settlement on your behalf.
7. Your Lawyer Can Fight for Your Rights in Court if Necessary
While many successful maritime injury claims result in lump-sum settlements, some seamen end up needing to take their claims to court. If going to court is what it takes to protect your legal rights, you will need an experienced Texas maritime lawyer on your side. Hiring an experienced lawyer promptly will also help minimize the chances of this being necessary.
Request a Free Consultation with a Texas Maritime Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured working in the Gulf of Mexico or Texas’s inland or coastal waters, we strongly encourage you to contact us for more information. We provide free consultations, and we don’t charge any legal fees unless we win. To speak with an experienced Texas maritime lawyer in confidence as soon as possible, call 800-468-4878 or request an appointment online today.Share This