Maritime Attorney, Texas, Jones Act Lawyer

Texas Barge and Tugboat Accident Lawyer for Maritime Injuries

The risk of an accident is part of life on the job for anyone who works on a tugboat in Texas and elsewhere around the country. When a tugboat accident happens, the injuries caused can have life-altering consequences, both for the person injured and his or her family. Texas tugboat accident lawyer David Willis has been helping people injured in tugboat, barge and other offshore accidents get the full compensation for their injuries for decades.

Mr. Willis and his team at the Willis Law Firm understand the pain, stress and uncertainty that can come with being injured in an accident. They have dedicated their careers to helping people get back on their feet with the money they deserve. 

Tugboat workers have a number of important legal rights and protections, but maritime laws often raise unique legal questions. That is why it is vital to have an experienced Texas barge accident lawyer in your corner.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family After a Maritime Accident in Texas

As a maritime worker, following a maritime accident in a Texas river, port or bay, there are some important steps you need to take to protect your legal rights. For example, you should try to seek medical attention right away. However, it is important to be careful which doctor you choose – your employer may try to get you to see an “approved” physician, and if you do not seek independent medical advice, you may not get the treatment you need to make a full recovery as quickly as possible.

In addition to seeking medical attention, you should speak with an experienced maritime injury lawyer as soon as possible. The Jones Act and other maritime laws are complicated, so it is important to choose an attorney who has specific experience with your type of accident. At the Willis Law Firm, we have over 30 years of experience representing injured maritime workers in Texas and nationwide. We know what it takes to win, and we will fight aggressively to make sure you win the compensation you deserve.

Why Working on Barges and Tugboats is Dangerous

Tugboat accidents can and do happen, even to people who take all of the reasonable safety precautions. When that happens a Texas tugboat accident lawyer is standing by to be your advocate and your voice.

The job duties for many workers on tugs, towboats and barges are often inherently dangerous. The day-to-day job for tankermen and deckhands can be both physically strenuous and require a significant amount of savvy and skill. That is not to mention that it regularly includes working with heavy equipment and potential exposure to hazardous materials.

Other factors often increase the safety risks of an already hazardous job. Some employers refuse to properly train their employees, often while also requiring them to work long hours with little or no rest. Unfortunately, they may also allow the tug to fall into disrepair, neglect to provide the appropriate work tools and cut corners on safety precautions and equipment.

Examples of Tugboat and Barge Accidents

Tugboat accidents come in a wide variety of ways. A seasoned Texas barge accident lawyer commonly see the following types of mishaps:

  • Equipment failures that cause crush injuries
  • Unqualified personnel on bridge leads to vessel collision
  • Old safety equipment malfunctions, failing to protect workers
  • Poorly trained crewmembers cause winch cables to snap
  • Slippery or cluttered deck floors lead to slip and fall accidents
  • Mistakes in bad weather force tugboat crash

Regardless of the type of accident, a tugboat worker injured on the job has the right to seek compensation for medical treatment and to cover the financial impact of the injuries. An experienced Texas tugboat accident lawyer can help you understand your rights and explore your options.

Texas Tugboat Accident Lawyer Answer Commonly Asked Questions

Can I sue after an accident on a tugboat in Texas?

Yes, with the help of a Texas tugboat accident lawyer. The Jones Act is a federal law that entitles tugboat and other maritime workers to certain medical benefits for an injury or illness sustained while working aboard a ship, regardless of who is to blame. It also permits covered workers to seek additional compensation for missed wages, future medical expenses, reductions in earning capacity and pain, suffering and emotional distress, in certain situations.

In some situations, a person injured on a tugboat may also be able to seek compensation from others responsible for the accident, like contractors or malfunctioning equipment manufacturers.

What kind of compensation is available?

The Jones Act is designed to work similarly to state workers’ compensation systems, putting an injured person in as close as possible to the same financial situation he or she would be in if the accident had not happened.

The compensation includes missed wages, money for lodging and living expenses onshore while recuperating and reasonable medical expenses. In some cases in which the accident was caused by negligence, an injured person may be able to obtain additional money damages. 

How do I know if a Texas barge accident lawyer will accept my case?

It is important to understand that the Jones Act generally does not require an injured person to prove that another person or entity was at fault for the accident. Instead, you must simply prove that you are a “seaman” covered by the law and that you were injured aboard a vessel.

An experienced Texas barge accident lawyer will help you prove unequivocally that you are covered and establish the full extent of the injuries for which you can seek compensation.

What You Need to Know About Barge Accidents Explained by a Texas Barge Accident Lawyer

Although the Jones Act makes clear that people injured on barges are entitled to benefits, the unfortunate reality is that maritime employers often do not live up to their responsibilities to injured workers. 

Those companies and their insurers often fight valid claims, look to settle for pennies on the dollar and simply walk away from promises to find injured workers other jobs. They are regularly backed by small armies of lawyers. 

That is one reason why it is crucial to have an experienced Texas barge accident lawyer fighting aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve.

About the Texas Maritime Industry

The waters off of the Lone Star State are an integral part of the U.S. maritime industry and a key location for shipping, transportation, energy exploration, fishing and other commercial activity.

Texas is home to nearly 40,000 maritime workers, who bring in a total of more than $2.3 billion in total income each year. The industry also accounts for nearly $8 billion annually in economic activity nationwide.

Speak with a Texas Tugboat or Barge Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident on a tugboat, it is important to seek the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney. Do not accept a deal from your employer or the company’s insurer before first speaking with a Texas barge accident lawyer.

The Willis Law Firm assists workers and their families who suffer from maritime-related injuries in Texas and across the country. We are based in Houston and have extensive experience representing area workers. Give us a call at 1-800-468-4878 or email us through our online webform to find out more about your legal rights and options.

Texas Maritime Ports & Terminals

In addition to handling accidents along the entire Houston Ship Channel, we represent clients in maritime injury claims involving accidents offshore, in bays and rivers across Texas as well as the Intercoastal Canal or Waterway (ICW). There are shipping ports throughout Texas; and, if they aren’t located on the Gulf of Mexico, they are located on one of Texas’s rivers or other inland waterways. This includes, among many others:

  • Colorado River
  • Red River
  • Rio Grande
  • Sabine River
  • San Antonio River

According to the Texas Ports Association, Texas ports are responsible for creating close to 1.4 million jobs and $82.8 billion in personal income. More than 560 million tons of cargo move through Texas ports which include the following:

  • Port of Bay City Authority
  • Port of Beaumont
  • Port of Brownsville
  • Calhoun Port Authority
  • Cedar Bayou
  • Port of Corpus Christi
  • Port of Freeport
  • Port of Galveston
  • Port of Harlingen
  • Port of Houston
  • Port of Orange
  • Port of Palacios
  • Port Arthur
  • Port Isabel
  • Port Mansfield
  • Port of Texas City
  • Port of Victoria
  • Port of West Calhoun

These ports support cargo ships, barges, tankers and other vessels transporting petroleum products, iron and steel, chemicals, wood and other products, with the Port of Houston and the Port of Beaumont both being ranked in the top four in the nation in terms of total tonnage. The 52-mile Houston Ship Channel is part of the Port of Houston and links the Port of Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. Major petrochemical refineries are located along the Houston Ship Channel and many maritime industry related activities take place on the channel such as cargo handling and storage, fuel bunkering, ship repair and recycling.

The Houston Ship Channel

The Houston Ship Channel is part of the Port of Houston which is one of the busiest ports in the United States. Many major petrochemical companies operate refineries along the Houston Ship Channel with the Port of Houston serving as the home of the nation’s largest petrochemical complex. The Port of Houston is approximately 25 miles in length and consistently ranks first in United States for U.S. export tonnage, foreign waterborne tonnage, and U.S. imports.

The 52 mile Houston Ship Channel links the Port of Houston to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and the Gulf of Mexico. Cargo and container ships, barges, tankers and other vessels use the channel to move millions of tons of petrochemical products, grain and other commodities through the Port of Houston each year. In addition to petrochemical facilities, many other industries operate along the Houston Ship Channel including, ship repair, cargo handling and storage, recycling, fuel bunkering and asphalt and cement plants.

Experienced Houston Maritime Attorney

With so much shipping traffic and industrial development, the Houston Ship Channel can be a difficult and dangerous place to work. Dock workers, barge operators, crew members, and other individuals working in the maritime industry can be severely injured when a ship channel accident occurs. Unfortunately, these accidents are often very serious and an injured worker can suffer from complicated injuries that will change the entire course of his or her life.

If you have been injured in a ship channel accident, the Willis Law Firm is here to help. We are a Houston, Texas based law firm with more than 30 years of experience successfully representing workers who have been injured in maritime related accidents.

Attorney David Willis is admitted to practice in Texas and New York and is Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1988. He is a leader in Jones Act and maritime injury law and represents crew members and maritime workers nationwide who have been harmed in all types of maritime injury accidents.

The Willis Law Firm – Contact our Houston Offices Today

At the Willis Law Firm we know just how difficult it can be to deal with a serious injury. Our firm understands your injuries are not only painful, but they can require ongoing medical care and even prevent you from returning to your job. It is important to understand that when you are injured in a maritime accident you need to have a strong legal team on your side. When you work with our firm you can take comfort in knowing we will answer your questions and guide you through every step of the legal process. We are an experienced maritime injury law firm that knows the ins and outs of the Jones Act and the many other maritime laws that protect injured workers.

If you have been injured in an accident on the Houston Ship Channel or the Port of Houston contact our law firm today at 1-800-468-4878. Our team of maritime injury attorneys will stand up to your employer and all other parties responsible for your injuries so that you can obtain the financial compensation you need to deal with your difficult situation.


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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
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