We Fight for You After a Maritime Accident
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 Jones Act 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 Jones Act lawyer in your corner.
Let a Texas Jones Act Lawyer Pursue Compensation for You and Your Family
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 40 years of experience representing injured maritime workers in Texas and nationwide. Our Texas Jones Act lawyers know what it takes to win in court or via settlement negotiations, and we will fight aggressively to make sure you win the compensation you deserve.
What Our Texas Jones Act Lawyers Want You to Know
Working on the water can be a very dangerous occupation. Work-related accidents on ships, barges, boats, rigs, platforms and other vessels are a daily occurrence. The injuries workers suffer in these types of environments can be severe, if not fatal. If you are a seaman who has been injured on the job, you have the right to be compensated for your injuries under the Jones Act. While you may think that filing a Jones Act claim and dealing with legal system is too complicated and overwhelming, a skilled Texas Jones Act lawyer can guide you through the process so you can recover the compensation that you deserve.
Make Sure You File an Accident Report Immediately
When you are injured on the job, the most important thing you can do is to file an accident report with your employer. You should file your report immediately and make sure all information is accurate and complete. An employer will often dispute the date, nature of the injury or even the existence of the injury, without an accident report being filed. If your employer or an investigator asks you to give a recorded, written or sworn statement, you should never do so until after you have talked with an attorney. You should always try to get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all co-workers and other individuals who may have witnessed your accident or were aware of what the conditions were like when you were injured, in case at a later time you need their help to support your injury or the facts.
Examples of Maritime Accidents Eligible for Jones Act Benefits
Maritime accidents come in a wide variety of ways. A seasoned Texas maritime 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 maritime worker injured on the job has the right to seek compensation for medical treatment and to cover the financial impact of the injuries. Our team can help you understand your rights and explore your options.
Meet with a Texas Jones Act Lawyer with Experience in Maritime Claims
Jones Act claims can be difficult and complex. Make sure you select an attorney who is very familiar with the Jones Act and knows how to take the appropriate steps to protect your legal rights. Once you have hired an attorney, he or she will be able to handle the details and paperwork associated with your case so your claim can move forward through the system as quickly and easily as possible. Your attorney can also help you find the medical specialists you may need to properly evaluate and treat your injuries. Remember, you do not have to see the company doctor – you have the legal right to choose your own physician.
We Like to File Jones Act Claims Soon After the Accident
In Jones Act and maritime injury cases, we will typically file a Jones Act claim or lawsuit soon after the accident. Taking immediate action puts everyone on notice that you have initiated a Jones Act claim and are being represented by legal counsel, which means your employer and the adjuster should leave you alone.
While filing a claim immediately is our general rule, there are times when it may be in your best interest to delay your filing. For example, if we think there is a reasonable chance your employer will pay you your maintenance and cure benefits, we may decide to hold off on taking adverse action against your employer. The reason we do this is because once your employer starts to pay these benefits it is much harder for your employer to try to cut them off. Our Texas Jones Act lawyers also will wait until our own initial investigation has been completed so that any witness statements needed are done before filing a lawsuit or putting them on notice of representation.
You Only Have Three Years to File for Jones Act Benefits
If you are a Jones Act seaman who was injured at work, you need to keep in mind that you – have three years from the date of your accident to file your lawsuit. If you wait too long and do not file your claim within the three year statute of limitations, you will be banned from filing suit against your employer. This means it is very important to consult with an attorney immediately after your accident has taken place. While you may believe that three years is long period of time, it is in your best interest to take action much sooner than three years so that early discovery and current location of the parties and facts can be determined and possibly other negligent parties added into the lawsuit before a filing deadline prevents it. Please note that in some circumstances claims against other parties may be needed to be filed within one year from the date of the accident. Therefore contacting a lawyer immediately after the accident is of utmost importance.
Questions to Ask a Texas Jones Act Law Firm
When you are injured in a maritime or offshore accident it can be difficult to determine where to turn for help. While there are plenty of attorneys who may be willing to take your case, you need to be sure that you are hiring the right attorney for your particular situation. The best way to start the process of choosing a lawyer is to ask questions about the attorney’s legal practice and experience. While you should feel free to ask a Jones Act lawyer as many questions as you want, below are a few suggestions that you may find helpful to begin the evaluation process:
How easily will I be able to get a hold of you when I have a question?
When you are injured in an accident you need to know that your attorney will be there to answer your questions. Laws and legal procedures can be intimidating and confusing, particularly if this is your first time dealing with the legal system. At the Willis Law Firm the needs of our clients always come first. We are here to answer your calls 24/7 and offer a multilingual staff fluent in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Is there a fee for an initial consultation with your firm?
When you are trying to find the right Texas Jones Act attorney to handle your case you should be able to interview the lawyer before you make any commitments. Our firm offers free consultations to seamen and maritime workers who have been injured nationwide. An experienced maritime injury lawyer will answer your questions and carefully review your case to outline the legal options that may available to you. Initial consultations with our firm are always strictly confidential and you will be under no obligation to hire our firm.
Will my communications with you be confidential?
If you are thinking about hiring an attorney you may be worried about your confidentiality. At the Willis Law Firm everything you tell us will be held in the strictest of confidence. Even if you decide not to hire our firm we will keep your communications completely confidential.
What will you charge to handle my case?
When you are looking for a lawyer legal costs are a serious consideration. At the Willis Law Firm your Texas Jones Act lawyer will handle your maritime injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that when we take on your case you will not have to pay any legal fees or expenses until we obtain a financial recovery for you.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Texas Jones Act Lawyer David P. Willis
Attorney David Willis is licensed to practice in both Texas and New York making him well positioned to take on maritime injury cases from coast to coast. No matter where you may be located, our firm will build a strong team of experienced lawyers to fight for your rights. We have established strong relationships with lawyers and law firms across the nation with the resources and skills needed to handle the most challenging maritime injury cases.
If you live in Texas and were injured in a maritime accident, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. Call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now.
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.
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.