Houston Maritime Lawyers: Protecting the Rights of Seafarers in Hobbs, TX
Maritime law governs activities that take place on or near water. Seafarers who work on ships, offshore platforms, and other maritime vessels face unique hazards and challenges while on the job. When accidents happen, severe injuries, illnesses, or even fatalities can occur. That’s why Houston Maritime Lawyers in Hobbs, TX, plays a critical role in protecting the rights of seafarers and helping them receive the compensation they deserve.
The Hazards of Working at Sea
Working at sea is inherently dangerous. Seafarers face a wide range of hazards, from rough seas to extreme weather conditions, which can make their work difficult and dangerous. Furthermore, the work is physically demanding, and injuries caused by falls, slips, and lifting heavy loads are common.
Other hazards common to maritime work are fire and explosion. For instance, offshore rigs have gas and oil pipelines that connect to the platform, and a fire in such platforms can be catastrophic. Additionally, there exists a danger of asphyxiation, especially if there is a leak of toxic gas.
Another common hazard on board maritime vessels is the presence of hazardous chemicals and substances. Seafarers may be exposed to these chemicals through inhalation, absorption through the skin, or ingestion. Exposure to hazardous chemicals can result in severe illnesses such as cancer, respiratory diseases, or skin conditions.
The Role of Houston Maritime Lawyers
Houston Maritime Lawyers in Hobbs, TX, is dedicated to protecting the rights of seafarers who have been injured, become ill, or killed while on the job. The lawyers have extensive knowledge of the laws and regulations governing the maritime industry and work tirelessly to ensure that clients receive the compensation they deserve.
The lawyers’ areas of expertise include offshore accidents, Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), and maintenance and cure. They carry out investigations and work with industry experts, such as marine engineers, medical professionals, accident reconstructionists, and safety consultants, to build a strong case for their clients.
Moreover, Houston Maritime Lawyers in Hobbs, TX, understands the unique challenges that seafarers face after an accident. For example, injured seafarers may not be able to return to work for an extended period, resulting in lost wages and mounting medical bills. Houston Maritime Lawyers can help clients file claims for compensation for lost wages and medical expenses.
What the Jones Act Covers
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States. It provides protection and compensation for seafarers who are injured while working on a vessel that is “in navigation.” The Jones Act covers seamen who work on any vessel, including barges, tugboats, and cruise ships, among others. However, it does not cover those who work on fixed offshore platforms.
To be compensated under the Jones Act, seafarers must prove that their employer’s negligence contributed to their injury. This means that the employer must provide a safe workplace and equipment and maintain and operate the vessel safely. If the employer’s negligence caused the accident, the seafarer can sue for damages.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides compensation and medical benefits for injured maritime workers who are not seafarers. The act covers longshore workers, harbor workers, and other employees who work on the docks, wharves, or other facilities used in loading or unloading ships.
The act provides compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and disability resulting from a job-related injury or illness. If a worker is permanently disabled, they may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services.
Maintenance and Cure
Maintenance and cure is a doctrine that requires employers to provide injured seafarers with maintenance and cure benefits until they can return to work. Maintenance is a daily allowance paid to a seafarer to cover the costs of food and lodging while they recover from an injury. Cure is the payment of medical expenses until the seafarer has fully recovered.
Seafarers face a multitude of hazards while working at sea. Injuries and illnesses can have a devastating impact on their lives and those of their families. While working in the maritime industry, seafarers need legal representation from Houston Maritime Lawyers in Hobbs, TX. The lawyers understand the complex laws and regulations governing the maritime industry and work tirelessly to ensure that seafarers receive the compensation they deserve. Maritime lawyers can help navigate the complex legal processes and provide peace of mind to seafarers and their families.