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 as their onshore counterparts. 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. 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. Our team is ready to provide a free consultation and help you determine what you can recover after losing so much.
Call us now at (888) 493-1629 to learn about your options.
Table of Contents
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 and 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.
Corpus Christi offshore accidents often include incidents such as:
What Our Corpus Christi Maritime Law Firm Does
Offshore companies have access to more safety technology than ever, but workers are being asked to do riskier work in response. Many of these companies are willing to bear the cost of fines (relatively small and rare besides) rather than spend money fixing outdated equipment or complying with new safety guidelines. More to the point, offshore companies are not spending the money to keep their employees safe.
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 another verdict or settlement. As a result, injured seamen and crew get the money they need to move forward.
Our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers have represented clients who were injured in:
- Jack-up rig accidents
- Tugboat and barge accidents
- Deck accidents
- Commercial fishing accidents
- Dredging accidents
- Cargo ship accidents
- Oil platform accidents
- Shipyard accidents
At Arnold & Itkin, we’ve earned a reputation for getting the results clients deserve. When the other side isn’t being fair, our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers never hesitate to fight for the results that clients need.
Corpus Christi Jones Act Attorneys
What Is the Jones Act?
Maritime law, also known as admiralty law, is one of the oldest legal codes. These rules can be traced back to the Greeks in 900 B.C. In the U.S., one of the most essential elements of maritime laws is the Jones Act. Officially named the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act statute governs maritime commerce transported between U.S. ports and includes general regulations for maritime employers and vessel operators. Since the nature of maritime work is unique and often involves far more danger than any other type of job, the Jones Act provides specific protections to offshore workers, ensuring they are compensated for any injuries.
Jones Act claims allow workers to recover for the following:
- Cost of living during recovery
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Medical care
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain, suffering, and disfigurement
What Are My Rights Under the Jones Act?
The Jones Act allows seamen to seek compensation after suffering an injury aboard a vessel due to the vessel owner, operator, or another employee’s negligence.
A seaman’s rights under the Jones Act include:
- The right to a reasonably safe work environment.
- The right to make a claim if injured because of negligence.
- The right to maintenance and cure compensation related to the injury or illness.
- The right to additional compensation if the vessel is deemed unseaworthy.
- The right to additional punitive damages if an employer wrongfully refused maintenance and cure.
Unseaworthiness Claims Under the Jones Act
In some cases, injured offshore workers can file a claim of unseaworthiness because the shipowner failed to fulfill their legal obligation to provide a seaworthy vessel.
An offshore vessel can be considered unseaworthy due to the following:
- Inadequate number of crew members or workers
- Improperly stowed cargo
- Lack of appropriate safety guards or rails
- Lack of fire extinguishers and mandatory fire suppression equipment
- Lack of proper elevators or hoists
- Lack of sufficient food or unsafe living conditions
- Untrained crew or captain
Corpus Christi LHWCA Attorneys
What About Longshoremen & Harbor Workers?
Longshoremen and harbor workers use heavy, complex machinery to handle large loads from overseas. These workers are in an environment where they could suffer serious injuries or come into contact with harmful chemicals. Due to the unique working conditions of longshoremen and harbor workers, various laws protect longshoremen’s rights and allow them to make claims if they suffer an injury on the job.
One of those laws is the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
About the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act 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 repairmen
For employees to be covered by the LHWCA, they must be injured in a location outlined above. A non-traditional employee may be covered under the LHWCA if injured on navigable waters.
If you are covered under the Jones Act, the LHWCA won’t apply.
How Does the LHWCA Differ from the Jones Act?
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 the function or mission of a sea vessel” are covered. Meanwhile, the Jones Act covers employees who do “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
- Medical expenses
- Payment for disease contraction caused by shipping harmful chemicals
- Compensation for rehabilitation 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
Corpus Christi Boat Accident Attorneys
Our South Texas Boating Accident Lawyers Serve Clients Nationwide
Boating is a popular pastime for families nationwide and is heavily utilized in the maritime industry. However, popularity doesn’t mean the activity is suitable for inexperienced or drunk operators; boating is as dangerous and potentially fatal as driving a car. Every year, hundreds experience boat accidents that cause catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a boat accident, or if a fatal boat accident resulted in wrongful death, you should contact the experienced Corpus Christi boat accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin.
What Is the Number One Cause of Corpus Christi Vessel Crashes?
Boaters get lulled into a false sense of security. Boaters tend to be more relaxed than the average driver because they have more open space in an ocean or a lake. With nothing but sparsely populated water, even experienced boaters let their guard down. However, a boat has no brakes, making it difficult to maneuver in an emergency—even in open space. This is why operator inattention is the number cause of boating accidents.
Other common causes of boating accidents include:
- Boating Under the Influence: Many people enjoy boat rides for recreational purposes, involving alcohol. Unfortunately, boating while drinking is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
- Different Functioning of Boat Operation: Conducting a boat can be challenging without a braking system. If a boat needs to stop to avoid a collision, there is no way to do this.
- Lack of Experience: Too often, boaters do not have the proper licensing or experience to conduct a boat and cannot adapt to changing conditions, which can cause serious accidents.
- Severe & Hazardous Weather: Heavy rain, wind, and other weather can cause a boat to be difficult to navigate. Lightning can also lead situations to turn deadly, leaving the boat vulnerable.
Boat Owners vs. Boat Renters
Accidents look different for boat owners and boat renters. Boat owners often take boating seriously because they know how dangerous and expensive a boating accident can be. If they use their boat for recreational purposes, they do so with precaution. On the other hand, boat renters tend to be less careful.
While not every renter is irresponsible, some do not take boating regulations and rules as seriously. Boat renters may rent a boat to try something new and may be unfamiliar with safety procedures and regulations. Boat renters also tend to be inexperienced compared to boat owners, but there are exceptions in both groups.
Ultimately, any negligent boat operator can end up causing fatal injuries.
Maritime Law FAQ
What Is Maritime Law?
Maritime law has governed the offshore industry for centuries. Over the years, it has changed along with the industry. A central part of maritime law is the protection of workers after they’ve sustained an injury.
If I’ve Been Hurt Offshore, What Should I Do?
If you’ve been hurt offshore, the company you work for is already mobilizing to limit your options and create a 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 its army of insurers, litigators, and investigators.
When Should I Call a Corpus Christi Maritime Lawyer?
You should call our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers when 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.
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 due to 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 Corpus Christi maritime lawyers who never settle for less than clients deserve. From the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the El Faro tragedy, our team has shown our clients deserve the best—to the tune of billions of 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 blame workers, we refuse to let them. At Arnold & Itkin, our team focuses on one thing: results. No matter what.
Call our Corpus Christi maritime lawyers for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629. Discovering your options is easy and, if we take your case, you’ll only pay a fee if we win.