Commercial fishing plays an important role in Texas’s Gulf Coast economy. From Galveston Bay to offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, commercial fishing vessels are a constant presence in Texas’s coastal waters, and many local residents spend their days catching fish and processing their vessels’ catches on the water.
Unfortunately, accidents involving commercial fishing vessels are not uncommon, and many fishermen find themselves in need of an experienced Texas commercial fishing accident lawyer.
10 Reasons to Speak with a Texas Commercial Fishing Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in a commercial fishing accident, there are lots of ways an experienced lawyer will be able to help you. Here are just some of the reasons why you will want to speak with an experienced Texas commercial fishing accident lawyer as soon as possible:
1. You May Be Entitled to Benefits Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that protects individuals who qualify as “seamen” under the law. This includes commercial fishermen in most cases. If you qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act and you have been injured in a commercial fishing accident, you can file a claim for benefits regardless of why you got injured (with only very limited exceptions).
These maintenance and cure benefits cover (or should cover) your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Your lawyer can help make sure you receive the full benefit to which you are legally entitled.
2. You May Be Entitled to Additional Financial Compensation Under the Jones Act
Since maintenance and cure benefits don’t cover all of the costs of a commercial fishing injury, it is important to evaluate the other options you have available. In many cases, these options will include filing a claim for additional compensation under the Jones Act. If your employer’s negligence or an issue with your commercial fishing vessel is responsible for your injury, then you may have an additional claim for unseaworthiness or Jones Act negligence. Both types of claims allow you to seek full compensation for your injury-related losses.
3. You Need to Protect Your Jones Act Claim(s)
Regardless of which claim (or claims) you can file, you need to be careful to protect your legal right under the Jones Act. In addition to evaluating your legal rights, your Texas commercial fishing accident lawyer can also tell you what you need to do to protect them.
4. You Need to Rely on Sound Legal Advice
When you report your injury to your employer, your employer may try to tell you what to do. Unfortunately, your employer doesn’t necessarily have your best interests in mind. Additionally, many employers simply don’t have a clear understanding of their employees’ rights under the Jones Act. To ensure that you are making smart decisions, you need to rely on sound legal advice.
5. You Need to Know How Much You Are Entitled to Recover
Making smart decisions also involves knowing how much you are entitled to recover. This requires knowledge of:
- Which claim (or claims) you can file under the Jones Act
- How long you will be out of work
- How much it will cost to treat your injuries
- How much it will cost to undergo rehabilitation and therapy
- All of the other ways your injuries will impact your life
Most injured commercial fishermen are entitled to recover much more than they realize. When you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you, your lawyer will make sure you know exactly how much you deserve to take home.
6. Your Lawyer Can Negotiate for a Favorable Settlement
Negotiating a settlement allows you to receive a lump sum for your injuries, and it avoids the risk of your employer (or its insurance company) prematurely terminating your Jones Act benefits. Your lawyer can explain whether it is in your best interests to seek a settlement, and if so, your lawyer can negotiate for a favorable settlement on your behalf.
7. Your Lawyer Can Fight for Just Compensation if Necessary
If a fair settlement isn’t on the table, you need to be prepared to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. Asserting your legal rights is important, and if you don’t receive just compensation, your commercial fishing injury could negatively impact your finances for years to come. While fighting for just compensation isn’t easy, you can maximize your chances of recovery by putting an experienced lawyer on your side.
8. You May Have a Claim Outside of the Jones Act
In addition to filing a claim (or claims) under the Jones Act, you may have a claim outside of the Jones Act as well. For example, if you got injured when a piece of commercial fishing gear failed or malfunctioned, you may have a claim against the manufacturer. An experienced Texas commercial fishing accident lawyer will be able to evaluate all of your options and fight to recover just compensation from all available sources.
9. You Only Get One Chance to Assert Your Legal Rights
While you may have multiple claims after a commercial fishing accident, you only get one chance to assert your legal right. If you don’t assert your legal rights effectively, you won’t receive the financial compensation you deserve.
10. Mistakes and Delays Can Jeopardize Your Recovery
When you are entitled to financial compensation for a commercial fishing accident, mistakes and delays can jeopardize your financial recovery. An experienced Texas commercial fishing accident lawyer can explain the mistakes you need to avoid, and your lawyer can make sure that you do not waive your legal rights by waiting too long to file. As we said, there are lots of ways a lawyer can help you, and since hiring a lawyer costs nothing out of pocket, you have nothing to lose by seeking experienced legal representation.
Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Texas Commercial Fishing Accident Lawyer for Free
Do you have questions about your legal rights after suffering injuries in a commercial fishing accident? If so, we encourage you to get in touch. Call 800-468-4878 or contact us online to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.Share This