Corpus Christi Maritime Lawyers
Our South Texas Offshore Injury Firm Demands Answers & Gets Results
It’s taken centuries for maritime law to develop. For years, offshore workers didn’t enjoy the same protections that their onshore counterparts enjoyed. Yet, as time passed, this began to change. Today, maritime workers are protected by several laws and have the chance to pursue the fair compensation not afforded to their predecessors of decades gone by. At Arnold & Itkin, it’s the mission of our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers to make sure that these laws are used as much as possible for the benefit of injured offshore workers and their families.
The following acts are foundational to maritime law:
- Jones Act
- Death on the High Seas Act
- Limitation of Liability Act
- Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act
When you’re injured in an offshore accident, you shouldn’t expect your company to do the right thing. Too often, they fail to do what's right for workers. Instead, turn to Arnold & Itkin LLP. Our team is ready to provide a free consultation and help you determine what you can recover after losing so much.
Recovery is possible after a free and confidential consultation with our Corpus Christi offshore injury firm. Call us now at (888) 493-1629 to learn what your options are.
How Maritime Law Works
Maritime law is also known as admiralty law, and it’s one of the oldest legal codes used today. These rules can be traced back to the Greeks in 900 B.C. and have changed along with the offshore industry. While many countries have created sets of maritime laws, many of them draw from similar sources because of the age of the industry. Additionally, international treaties have resulted in countries recognizing each other’s offshore laws.
In the United States, one of the most important offshore laws is known as the Jones Act. Officially named the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law makes vessel owners liable for injuries and financial damages workers sustain because of accidents. Before this law, workers could only seek compensation through a process known as maintenance and cure. This allowed workers to receive compensation for care until they were as recovered as possible (cure) and covered living expenses as they received it (maintenance).
While useful, maintenance and cure only allowed for a partial recovery of losses caused an accident. Modern maritime laws, such as the Jones Act, make companies liable for the full extent of damages caused by preventable accidents.
What Our Corpus Christi Maritime Law Firm Does
At Arnold & Itkin, our goal is to help injured offshore workers recover after serious and preventable accidents. Jones Act claims can be complicated. They require intensive investigations, familiarity with maritime law, and the resources required to stand up to some of the world’s largest companies. Our team gives regular workers the strong voice they need when facing these powerful companies.
Our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers have represented clients who were injured in:
- Jack-up rig accidents
- Barge accidents
- Deck accidents
- Commercial fishing accidents
- Tugboat accidents
- Cargo ship accidents
- Oil platform accidents
- Shipyard accidents
Our team has earned a reputation for getting the results that clients deserve. When the other side isn’t being fair, we never hesitate to take them to court to fight for the results that clients need. Obtaining the compensation that a client needs for financial security after an accident is the most important part of what we do.
Our maritime lawyers fight for the recovery of losses caused by:
- Long-term rehabilitation
- In-home care
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Emotional and financial counseling
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium
What Causes Offshore Injuries for Corpus Christi Workers
Thanks to Corpus Christi Bay, Corpus Christi remains a hub for offshore workers. Adding to the area’s offshore economy are the energy companies headquartered in the city as well as nearby areas such as Houston, Galveston, and other major Gulf port cities. Unfortunately, while offshore work is extremely important, it is also one of the most demanding, dangerous types of jobs available. Offshore work presents significant economic opportunities, but it can be dangerous for the men and women who want to take advantage of them.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) tracks hundreds of offshore incidents on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) each year. Among other areas, the OCS includes the Gulf of Mexico—one of the most common areas for Corpus Christi offshore work.
Corpus Christi offshore accidents often include incidents such as:
These accidents are serious for two reasons. First, they’re preventable. Companies are responsible for investing in the safety of their workers and making sure they don’t suffer from serious accidents that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Second, these incidents often harm workers more than the massive companies that they work for. Injuries are expensive, require time away from work, and, in some instances, are life-altering. Offshore accidents are often catastrophic—they involve oil rig explosions, vessel collisions, and toxic substances. Companies are responsible to make sure the people who make their profits possible don’t suffer in the process.
What Our Corpus Christi Offshore Accident Law Firm Does
Offshore work is so dangerous that the oldest law in maritime history is the principle of "maintenance and cure." Maintenance and cure, put simply, is the legal obligation of a shipowner or captain to provide injured seamen with the money needed for their medical care and basic living expenses.
Offshore companies have access to more safety technology than ever, but workers are being asked to do riskier work in response. More to the point, offshore companies are not spending the money to keep their employees safe. Many of these companies are willing to bear the cost of fines (which are relatively small and rare besides) rather than spend money fixing outdated equipment or comply with new safety guidelines.
Our South Texas maritime attorneys know that the best way to make companies behave is to hold them accountable for poor safety practices. When injured workers file claims against manufacturers, owners, or employers, they help change the equation—forcing companies to pay for safety rather than pay for another verdict or settlement. As a result, injured seamen and crew get the money they need to move forward.
What About Longshoremen & Harbor Workers?
Longshoremen and harbor workers use heavy, complex machinery to handle large loads from overseas—increasing the harm caused by on-the-job accidents. These workers are in an environment where they could suffer serious injuries or come in contact with harmful chemicals. Due to the unique working conditions that longshoremen and harbor workers have, there are various laws that protect longshoremen's rights and allow them to make claims if they suffer injury on the job.
One of those laws is the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The Corpus Christi LHWCA lawyers at Arnold & Itkin help harbor workers file claims under the LHWCA to help them pay for medical care, lost pay, physical rehabilitation, and more. We’ve helped injured workers secure billions of dollars to rebuild their lives, and we’re ready to do what it takes so you can too.
About the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that grants workers’ compensation for wounded employees who work in the areas used for loading, unloading, crafting, and repairing sea vessels. The LHWCA also protects workers on navigable waters within the US. The act ensures employees are appropriately compensated when they suffer work-related injuries that require extensive treatment.
The LHWCA covers various offshore and maritime occupations, including:
- Longshore workers and operators
- Harbor workers
- Ship builders
- Ship repairmen
- Ship breakers
For an employee to be covered by the LHWCA, he or she much be injured in a location outlined under the list above. A non-traditional employee may be covered under the LHWCA if they are injured on navigable waters. If you are covered under the Jones Act, the LHWCA won't apply.
How Does the Jones Act Differ from the LHWCA?
The goal of the Jones Act and the LHWCA is to provide injury compensation for a specific group of workers. However, the outlined group of employees differs between both acts. Under the LHWCA, maritime workers who do not “directly aid in function or mission of a sea vessel” are covered. Meanwhile, the Jones Act covers employees who “directly aid the function or mission of a sea vessel”.
Who is excluded from the LHWCA?
- Intoxicated employees
- Employees covered under workers’ compensation
- Government employees
- Employees who harm themselves
Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Entitlements
Workers are entitled to benefits under the LHWCA if an injury occurs in their area of work, which can include the shipyard but also extends to building and repairing areas. If you have suffered serious injuries on the job, it almost always results in a financial crisis. Injured longshoremen should be able to receive compensation for their losses.
Below are employee benefits under the LHWCA:
- Medical expenses
- Payment for disease contraction caused by shipping harmful chemicals
- Compensation for rehabilitation and/or physical therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Benefits for the families of workers killed on the job
- 2/3 of your normal weekly pay for the duration of recovery
LHWCA Representation in Corpus Christi
If you have been injured while working as a longshore or harbor worker, it is important that you have a Corpus Christi LHWCA attorney on your side who is well-versed in maritime law and the LHWCA. At Arnold & Itkin, we recognize the importance of these types of claims and how they affect each client’s livelihood. This is why we work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for our clients, so they have the ability to take care of themselves and their families. We are prepared to go the distance in our efforts to help our clients fight for their health and their future. We are the leading offshore injury lawyers in the nation, and our attorneys can help you move forward with grace and confidence.
Maritime Law FAQ
What Is Maritime Law?
Maritime law is the set of laws that have governed the offshore industry for centuries. Over the years, they've changed along with the industry. However, a central part of maritime law has been the protection of workers after they’ve sustained an injury on a vessel.
Is Maintenance & Cure the Jones Act?
While maintenance and cure is like the Jones Act, it’s not the same. The concept of maintenance and cure only provides for the immediate financial losses a worker sustains because of an offshore injury. The Jones Act seeks compensation that extends far beyond the immediate losses associated with an injury. Additionally, maintenance and cure doesn’t require an injure worker to prove fault, while the Jones Act does. Most often, the Jones Act is most beneficial for workers because it allows them to recover the compensation that they need for financial security after an incident.
When Should I Call a Corpus Christi Maritime Lawyer?
You should call our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers any time you’ve been involved in an offshore accident. Importantly, never accept a settlement before seeking legal advice. While it might seem that your company is trying to do the right thing, early settlement offers are typically designed to be as low as possible. Once a person accepts a settlement, they absolve their company of future liability. Call Arnold & Itkin LLP will help you determine what your options are and how much your case might be worth.
If I’ve Been Hurt Offshore, What Should I Do?
If you’ve been hurt offshore, then the company you work for or were contracted with are already mobilizing to limit your options and create legal cover for themselves. That might include asking you to sign a waiver or contract before you’ve had a chance to speak with an attorney or even see a doctor.
After your accident, the best thing you can do is call an attorney to represent you in any conversations with the company or their attorneys. Getting representation will put you on an even playing field with the company and their army of insurers, litigators, and investigators.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?
After an accident, you’ll reach a point at which your physical recovery reaches its peak. For instance, if you suffered a spine injury, there is a point at which your paralysis or mobility will no longer improve. That moment is when you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI), and your permanent injuries will become clear. MMI is relevant to both your case and to your company’s insurer, as MMI determines how much financial compensation you’re entitled to for your lifelong injuries.
Will Talking to a Lawyer Get Me in Trouble?
First of all, no one will know you spoke to a lawyer unless you tell them. Legal consultations are 100% confidential. Additionally, you have the right to speak to an attorney if you’ve been injured as a result of an offshore accident. If your company or a company representative is urging you to avoid speaking with an attorney, it’s a sure sign that you need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Call Our Corpus Christi Maritime Law Firm for the Help You Deserve
When you call our team, you're reaching out to a group of Corpus Christi maritime lawyers that never settles for less than clients deserve. From the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the El Faro tragedy, our team has shown that our clients deserve the best—to the tune of over a billion dollars recovered for them. When the other side isn’t fair, we fight back. When they say it wasn’t their fault, we investigate their claims. When they try to shift the blame to workers, we refuse to let them. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, our team is focused on one thing: results. No matter what.
Call our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers for a free consultation now at (888) 493-1629. Discovering your options is easy and, if we take your case, you’ll only pay a fee if we win.