What Laws Protect Texas Tugboat Workers?

Maritime Injuries Mar 4, 2021

Texas Tugboat Accident Lawyer for Injured Seaman 

Maritime work, such as work performed aboard a tugboat, is one of the most dangerous industries to work in. In fact, according to the National Institute for Occupational and Health (NIOSH), from 2011-2017, fatal injuries for maritime workers in marine ports and terminals in the United States occurred at a rate five times that of the U.S. workforce overall. Nonfatal injuries and illnesses during that same time period were nearly double that of the U.S. workforce overall. 

Work performed aboard a tugboat involves the towing or tugging of large vessels which can be difficult and very dangerous. Maritime employees working aboard a tugboat often perform work that is repetitive involving the performance of physical labor for long periods of time which can lead to injuries. These maritime workers also use dangerous equipment and machinery every day that can malfunction, also causing injuries to workers.  If you or a loved one were injured or killed while performing work aboard a tugboat, a Texas tugboat accident lawyer at Willis Law Firm can help you or your loved one obtain compensation for work-related injuries. Our firm is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured maritime workers.

Accidents sustained by tugboat workers can be severe. Fortunately, there are several laws that protect maritime workers. Maritime law is a specialized area of law that protects maritime workers who are injured or killed at work. The protection and compensation available to maritime workers under these laws will depend on various factors, such as the type of worker injured, where the injury occurred, and the specific details of the accident and injuries sustained. Below is a brief summary of several maritime laws that apply to injured Texas workers. 

Jones Act

As mentioned above, the Jones Act is a federal law that provides some compensation for injured maritime workers. This law applies to seamen working aboard a vessel whose injuries result from the negligence of their employer.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Another maritime law is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) which is a federal workers’ compensation program that applies to maritime workers injured near navigable waters. Workers that are covered under this law include, for example:

  • Dockworkers 
  • Workers repairing ships
  • Harbor workers
  • Forklift operators
  • Longshoremen
  • Cargo workers

The LHWCA provides medical care and income benefits to covered injured workers, as well as death benefits to eligible survivors of a deceased maritime employee. 

Death on the High Seas Act

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) is a federal maritime law that applies to maritime workers injured in a work-related accident occurring at least three miles from U.S. shores or territories. DOSHA also provides some death benefits to a surviving spouse, child, dependent, or representative when a wrongful act or neglect causes a worker’s death.

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) is a federal law that extends the rights afforded by the LHWCA to those employees working aboard vessels on the outer continental shelf area of the United States. 

Other laws may also apply to an injured maritime worker’s case depending on where the accident took place. A Texas Tugboat Accident Attorney can help explain the law that applies to your case and advise you as to your legal rights.

Questions about Injuries Sustained Working Aboard a Vessel? Contact a Texas Tugboat Accident Attorney at Willis Law Firm Today 

If you or a loved one were injured or killed while working aboard a vessel, such as a tugboat, help is available. Contact a Texas tugboat accident lawyer at Willis Law firm today. Our team will do a case evaluation for you free of charge. During your initial meeting with our firm, we will answer your questions and outline all legal options available to you. You may contact us at 1-800-468-4878 or email us through our online webform to find out more about your legal rights and options. We are here for you.

Board Certified, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

Free & Confidential ReviewSame Day Response

All Information
Kept Confidential
Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office - Houston, Texas
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056
Back to Top


Protect Your Rights.

"Willis battled the chemical companies
and won our case." - MELISSA C.