Dallas Maritime Law Attorneys
Our Dallas-Fort Worth Offshore Injury Firm Helps Clients. No Matter What.
As a maritime worker, you’re no stranger to hard work. You also understand just how dangerous this occupation can be. If you were seriously injured offshore, it might have been a shock to see how the company you work for treated you. Getting the right care can be difficult. Getting money to cover your living expenses while you can’t work can be much harder than you’d expect. If you were injured or lost someone you love in a maritime accident of any kind, Arnold & Itkin is here to offer you support and guidance when you need it most.
Maritime law, including the Jones Act, DOHSA, and LHWCA, give injured seamen and families the opportunity to claim benefits to act as compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. Our Dallas-Fort Worth maritime lawyers understand exactly how these laws interact with one another and apply to different types of workers in specific scenarios. This knowledge allows us to effectively recover the full benefits to which you’re entitled.
Types of Maritime Accident Cases Our Firm Handles in the DFW Area
If an accident occurs over water or in an industry that serves offshore operations, it's likely that our firm can help those suffering from it. No matter whether you need a Dallas offshore explosion lawyer or someone to help with disasters involving sunken cargo ships, you can trust us to secure justice after the unthinkable.
Types of accidents our Dallas offshore injury attorneys can help after include:
- Dredging accidents
- Tugboat and barge accidents
- Oil rig explosions
- Boating accidents
Our Dallas-Fort Worth maritime injury law firm also helps workers such as longshoremen, dock workers, ship builders, and other professions that serve the offshore industry.
Types of Accidents Our Dallas Offshore Injury Lawyers Handle
According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), there are hundreds of offshore incidents on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) each year, which includes the Gulf of Mexico, Pacific coast, Atlantic coast, and the coast of Alaska. Even more occur in inland waters.
These incidents include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Fires and explosions
- Gas releases
- Loss of control
When you consider the fact that a single collision could claim multiple lives or a fire could cause catastrophic burn injuries that leave a worker permanently disfigured and disabled, it is clear that offshore workers are at risk. The companies that they work for are required to comply with strict safety standards to make sure working conditions are as safe as possible, but this does not always happen. With extensive experience investigating and litigating offshore injury cases, our Dallas injury law firm knows how to expose safety violations and other behavior that puts all offshore workers at risk.
Our Dallas-Fort Worth Oil Rig Injury Lawyers Take Complex Cases
One of the most common locations for offshore accidents is on offshore oil rigs. Oil rig workers face dangerous sea conditions, hazards materials, and volatile substances that can trigger an explosion. It's the duty of oil rig owners to make sure workers are safe at all times. This could mean evacuating them before a storm arrives or making sure the right safety protocols are in place to prevent fires and explosions. In some instances, making sure workers are safe can be as simple as optimizing work areas to mitigate the risk of falls and other common hazards. If you've suffered because of an accident offshore, our Dallas oil rig injury attorneys are standing by to help. We have extensive experience helping workers in the oil and gas industry, and we're ready to fight for you!
Dredging: One of the Most Dangerous Types of Maritime Work
Dredges are dangerous because of the heavy equipment they utilize. Yet, they're vital to offshore work as they make many bodies of water navigable for vessels. Workers using clamshell dredges are at constant risk of falling objects while dredges that dredge the floor of a river or ocean can trigger an explosion after striking a gas line.
Dredge accidents often involve:
- Falling objects
- Malfunctioning machinery
- Explosions and fires
- Inadequate safety equipment
- Improper training
- Collisions with other vessels or objects
One study by the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers (USACE) determined that dredging accidents are among the most deadly types of maritime incidents. After looking at 12 months of accidents, the USACE observed there were seven involving dredges. Of these seven accidents, three were fatal, two caused serious injuries, and two caused significant property damage. In other words, most of the accidents were serious events.
Our Dallas-Fort Worth Jones Act Firm Fights for Answers
100 years ago, Congress passed the Jones Act. Today, it is still one of the most important maritime laws protecting the rights of injured seamen. In addition to providing for living expenses and medical care for injured or ill maritime workers, the Jones Act gives seamen the right to seek compensation when on-the-job injuries are caused by the negligence of an employer or vessel owner. Where maintenance and cure cover the bare minimum of what an injured worker needs, a Jones Act claim opens the door to the recovery of additional compensation.
Who Is Covered by the Jones Act?
The Jones Act applies to any person employed on a vessel in navigable waters, as long as they spend at least one-third of their time working aboard the vessel and contributing to its function or mission.
This may include captains, mates, engineers, deckhands, fishermen, sailors, or others who work on:
- Fishing vessels
- Dive boats
- Supply boats
- Cruise ships
- Crew boats
- Pile drivers
- Offshore platform service boats
This also includes oil drilling rigs such as jack-up rigs, semisubmersible rigs, drilling ships, and more. For workers on oil platforms that are fixed to the seabed, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) may apply instead of the Jones Act.
Maritime Law FAQ
Who Qualifies As A Jones Act Seaman?
The Jones Act covers workers on American vessels who are injured by a preventable accident. It enables them to hold employers and vessels owners accountable for failing to prevent accidents that shouldn't happen. If you've suffered from an offshore accident and need to recover, it's important to speak with a Dallas Jones Act lawyer before accepting any settlements from your company.
Who Can Use the LHWCA?
The LHWCA is similar to the Jones Act, except it covers longshoremen, harbor workers, and other workers such as shipbuilders. This law greatly expands the recovery possibilities for injured workers in the maritime industry. Importantly, speaking with a Dallas LHWCA lawyer can help you understand the possibilities for recovery.
Do Maritime Injuries Qualify for Workers' Compensation?
Because they work in navigable waters, maritime workers are usually not covered by state workers’ compensation systems, which provide benefits for on-the-job injuries and illnesses for workers in virtually every other occupation. Seamen, longshoremen, deckhands, commercial fishermen, and others in the maritime industry are protected by maritime laws instead. For example, oil rigs are inherently dangerous place to work. However, employers know how to mitigate and prevent common accidents that workers face on them. When an oil rig explosion changes lives, it's likely because a company or vessel owner failed to make sure it didn't happen. United States maritime law allows workers and their families to hold negligent parties accountable after accidents.
What Damages Can a Dallas Maritime Lawyer Help to Recover?
The best Dallas maritime attorney should be focused on the past, present, and future losses caused by your accident. In the past, offshore workers had their recovery limited by traditional maritime law. While employers were required to pay for a worker's room, board, and care until they recovered from an injury, they faced no consequences after that worker was considered to be as well as possible. To increase accountability in the industry, laws such as the Jones Act were created to help workers recover compensation for their losses.
A maritime lawyer should fight to recover losses such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, the cost of future care, the lost ability to earn a wage, pain, emotional suffering, and any loss caused by your offshore accident.
What Are Catastrophic Maritime Injuries?
Generally speaking, catastrophic injuries are those that change the rest of a person's life. They can mean the need for lifelong care, a lost ability to work, or can cause a person to experience permanent pain. Since maritime injuries are often serious, they are usually considered catastrophic. Burns, spinal cord injuries (paralysis), brain injuries (TBI), and amputations are all examples of catastrophic maritime injuries. Since catastrophic injuries have lasting implications for those who suffer from them, the help of a lawyer can make a significant difference for them. Our catastrophic maritime injury lawyers demand the compensation that clients need for financially security. No one should suffer for the rest of their life because of a preventable accident—and we fight to hold negligent parties accountable for them.
Protecting Maritime Workers' Rights in Dallas-Fort Worth & Nationwide
As a maritime worker, you have the right to benefits for any type of injury that occurs while you’re working at sea.
These offshore injuries may include the following:
- Injuries caused by an unseaworthy vessel. Your employer has a duty to make sure the vessel you’re on is seaworthy, meaning it should be free from hazards that could put you in danger.
- Any on-the-job injury, regardless of fault. You’re entitled to maintenance and cure, which includes a daily living allowance and medical care while you’re injured. Maintenance and cure benefits are like workers’ comp benefits for inland workers.
- Injuries caused by your employer’s negligence. The Jones Act gives you the right to pursue compensation for lost earnings, medical care, emotional trauma, and other damages if your injury was caused by negligence or wrongdoing on the part of your employer.
- Death at sea. The Death on the High Seas Act gives families of seamen the right to pursue compensation if they lose a loved one while he or she is working at sea. Our Dallas wrongful death lawyers are ready to help families find answers to difficult questions.
Helping After Serious Boat Accidents in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Not all maritime accidents are related to industry. Many incidents involve recreational boats. In fact, our state leads the nation when it comes to recreational boating accidents. Between 2019 and 2020, the state had an increase of 45 percent in recreational boating accidents.
Dallas-Fort Worth boat accidents are often caused by:
- Drug use
- Inexperienced operators
- Thrill seeking
Get Help from a Dallas Offshore Injury Attorney: (888) 493-1629
At Arnold & Itkin, we're proud to be a Dallas maritime injury lawyers who've earned a reputation as fierce advocates for workers and their families. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded, survivors turned to us for help. After the El Faro was lost at sea, we secured the justice that the grieving widows created by the disaster deserved. Families trust our team because we never back down from a fight and never allow large companies to intimidate us. We've faced dozens of lawyers from the world's most powerful companies to make sure our clients have gotten the results they deserve—we're ready to do the same for you.
Your rights are important and should never be compromised. Call (888) 493-1629 to find out how our Dallas-Fort Worth injury lawyers protect you. For us, results are everything, no matter how difficult the case. No matter what.