Tugboat Accidents in Texas

Texas Tugboat Accident Lawyer

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 Jones Act 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

Texas Tugboat Accident Lawyer Answers Commonly Asked Questions

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

Yes, with the help of a Texas tugboat accident lawyer you may have legal grounds to file a lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries. The Jones Act is a federal law that entitles tugboat workers 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. 

What Laws Protect Tugboat 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 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.

How do I know if a Texas tugboat 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 tugboat 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.

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 at our Houston office.

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