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Types of Cases Our Galveston Personal Injury Lawyers Handle
A personal injury can occur from just about any type of accident. Personal injury claims are possible when another party’s negligence caused a person’s injuries. Negligent parties can include employers, drivers, property owners, medical providers, and any other entity. While personal injuries happen in different ways and have a variety of manifestation, they all have one thing in common: someone should have prevented them from happening at all.
We’re ready to help after all types of accidents, including the following:
- Catastrophic injuries
- Plant explosions
- Oil rig explosions
- Product liability
- Industrial injuries
- Railroad and train accidents
- 18-wheeler accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Maritime law (i.e., Jones Act)
- Wrongful death
Calling our firm means having a team that pays attention to every detail. We’ll open an independent investigation into the incident to make sure we’re seeking the right compensation for past, current, and future losses. If you need medical now, we’ll make sure you receive it. If you can’t return to work, we’ll fight for the compensation of lost wages. If your case requires compensation for unique circumstances, we won’t hesitate to pursue it.
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Galveston Maritime Lawyers
Representing Injured Seamen & Offshore Workers
The offshore industry is America's oldest industry. Maritime law was the law when we were just British colonies, and many of our founding fathers were maritime lawyers before the Revolution. Many of those basic precepts still form the foundation of maritime law today, particularly the rule of maintenance and cure. Maintenance and cure refer to the responsibility of a ship's owners or captain to fund an injured worker's living expenses and medical treatment if he or she was injured while working aboard.
Despite centuries of progressively better safety, offshore work is still some of the most dangerous work anyone can get into. America's industries depend on the risks that our offshore workers take: from shipping vessels to barges to offshore oil rigs, our workers are doing the high-stakes work that keeps our nation running. That's why our Galveston maritime attorneys fight to protect workers after they've been grievously injured offshore while doing their jobs—their companies owe workers a great debt, but none of them are willing to pay it unless someone makes them.
Common Galveston Offshore Injuries & Accidents
Ships and rigs are dangerous places to work. That's why vessel owners and supervisors are made responsible for the upkeep and safety of their vessels—by holding them legally liable, the hope is that they'll work harder to ensure the safety of their workers. When fines and citations aren't enough to deter unsafe environments, offshore accident survivors can file claims to further deter unsafe practices.
Without holding offshore companies accountable, workers will more often suffer injuries from:
- Diving accidents
- Crane failures
- Vessel collisions
- Slips and falls
- Dangerous equipment
- Explosions and fires
- Lift accidents
- Post-traumatic stress
In some instances, injuries are so serious that a person might never fully recover. Sometimes, this means that a person has a lifetime of medical care and pain ahead of them. Other accidents cause injuries that force seamen to lose their ability to work as they once did. When injuries have a lasting and negative impact on a person's life, they're referred to as catastrophic.
Catastrophic maritime injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Burn injuries
When an offshore worker sustains injuries such as the ones listed above, they need the help of our Galveston maritime catastrophic injury lawyers. We fight to make sure clients have the compensation required to live their life as comfortably as possible. This includes demanding compensation for lost income, the cost of current and future medical care, and any other damages a person needs to recover so their life can be as normal as possible.
Galveston Oil Rig Accidents
Oil rig workers are expected to work for 12 hours a day for 2 weeks at a time—it's a hard, grueling living. Many workers find it rewarding, however, so there's never a shortage of men and women willing to take a spot on a rotating crew. Unfortunately, there's always an open spot because drilling operations are seven times deadlier than the average workplace in the United States. Our Galveston oil rig accident attorneys have represented hundreds of oil rig workers who were injured on the job, getting them the millions they needed to rebuild their lives and start new careers (or replace their income if they were no longer able to work).
We represented over one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew after the deadly explosion that killed 11 people and injured 17.
Demanding Answers After Galveston Maritime Deaths
Sometimes, companies fail to prevent accidents that are deadly for their workers. When this happens, grieving families deserve answers and a way to move forward after losing so much. Our Galveston maritime death attorneys fight for the justice families deserve after the unthinkable.
Our Galveston maritime death law firm has help recover compensation such as:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical debt
- Lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional suffering
- Loss of support
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Galveston Jones Act Lawyers
Helping injured Seamen Recover Fair Compensation
Working as a Galveston seaman in the maritime industry can be risky, especially with heavy equipment and unsafe conditions on many vessels. When an injury occurs at sea, it can be extremely difficult to get proper medical care while you are thousands of miles offshore. That’s why maritime injuries tend to be more dangerous than injuries that occur on land, according to a CDC study.
In addition to the centuries-old principles of admiralty law that govern maritime accidents, the United States has passed four laws that are foundational to offshore workers' rights: the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, the Limitation of Liability Act, and the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act. The most relevant to injured seamen is the Jones Act—a law that entitles workers who have been injured by negligence to recover for their lost wages, lost earning capacity, mental and physical suffering, living expenses during recovery, and medical care. It's similar to workers' compensation for mainland workers, but it includes a far more qualifying losses.
What Is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act provides protection under admiralty law that offers support for any U.S. citizen working as a seaman who suffers injuries due to employer negligence. The Jones Act refers to The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which is a federal statute enacted to encourage workers to take offshore jobs and stoke the industry’s growth. Since maritime work is dangerous by nature, the Jones Act is vital for creating relief for injured workers and ensuring they get fair compensation for their injuries.
Although the Jones Act is similar to workers’ compensation, a Jones Act settlement is usually larger than a workers’ comp settlement because offshore workers can claim more avenues for recovery, whereas worker’s compensation generally covers only basic medical care. Importantly, workers’ comp does not require a beneficiary to prove negligence, but the Jones Act does.
Jones Act claims can include the following:
- Cost of living while recovering
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Lost wages from recovery time
- Medical care
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain, suffering, and disfigurement
Maritime Workers' Rights Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act allows maritime workers to seek compensation for an injury that occurs aboard a vessel and as a result of negligence of the vessel owner, operator, or other employee. Families also have the right to bring a seaman’s wrongful death action under the Jones Act if their loved one died as a result of a work-related injury or illness. Learn more about your rights by contacting Arnold & Itkin today.
Your rights as a seaman under the Jones Act include:
- The right to a reasonably safe work environment.
- The right to make a claim if injured by negligence.
- The right to maintenance and cure related to the injury or illness.
- The right to additional compensation if the vessel or crew is deemed unseaworthy.
- The right to punitive damages if an employer wrongfully refused to pay maintenance and cure.
Claims of Unseaworthiness Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act protects offshore workers from negligence that can cause fatal accidents. Unseaworthiness is a common claim filed by maritime workers if a vessel is not deemed reasonably safe for the type of work required.
There are many factors that contribute to a ship’s seaworthy condition, including:
- Improperly stowed cargo
- Too few crew members or workers
- Lack of appropriate safety guards or rails
- Lack of fire extinguishers
- Lack of proper elevators
- Lack of sufficient food or supplies
- Untrained crew or captain
- Hazardous living or working conditions
If you believe an unseaworthy ship was the cause of your offshore accident, it is advised to contact an attorney to know how to proceed. These cases require specific investigations to prove your case. Arnold & Itkin attorneys can help alleviate your suffering by pursuing the maximum amount of compensation possible.
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Galveston Offshore Explosion Attorneys
Getting Answers After the worst Offshore Accidents
Sometimes, offshore workers face some of the largest and most destructive work accidents possible: explosions. Oil rigs and other vessel deal with volatile substances that, if handled improperly, can cause catastrophic explosions. Our Galveston oil rig explosion lawyers have been there to help injured workers recover, and we're ready to help you do the same. In fact, we're the firm that many of the crew members of the Deepwater Horizon turned to after the rig was part of one of the worst maritime disasters in United States history.
We refuse to let companies treat our clients wrong and never back down from a fight. Our team investigates complex offshore explosions and we refuse to settle until we're convinced that the other side is taking responsibility for the suffering it could have prevented.
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Galveston LHWCA Attorneys
About The Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act
The Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a law that helps injured workers get the compensation they need after sustaining injuries on the job. It covers workers who load, unload, craft, and repair vessels as well as those who work on navigable waters within the United States.
Our Galveston LHWCA attorneys help workers such as:
- Harbor workers
- Ship repairers
- Longshore workers
The LHWCA is important because it helps injured workers receive compensation for the full extent of their injuries that extends beyond what typical workers' compensation would provide. For example, the act can help injured harbor workers hold negligent companies accountable and recover things such as lost wages, medical bills, and any other damages caused by their accident.
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Galveston Work Accident Attorneys
Fighting for the Victims of Workplace Injuries in Galveston, TX
For over 100 years, the workers that have made the American economy what it is today have fought relentlessly for their own safety. Numerous tragedies have pushed work safety into the modern era. Under the law, employees arrive at work each day with the right to be provided a safe environment in which to do their job. However, some employers do not faithfully follow the safety standards that every worker in the nation is legally entitled to. As a result, corporate negligence puts workers' lives at risk every day.
Common locations for workplace accidents include:
- Drilling rigs
- Construction sites
- Chemical plants
- Office buildings
- Retail stores
- Construction sites
Galveston: The Hub of Texas Industry
As one of the largest ports in the United States, Galveston is a hub of industry in the Gulf region. Due to its proximity to the oil fields of Texas, the port serves as an important step in the state’s energy production process. However, Galveston and Texas City do not just serve as a point of transportation for energy, but they produce it as well. In fact, the Galveston Bay Refinery employs over 1,000 people, cementing the area as a central location for the nation’s energy production.
Disaster Across the Bay
Galveston was just miles away from the worst industrial accident in American history. On April 16, 1947, the residents of Galveston felt an explosion rock Texas City. Across the bay, residents could see plumes of smoke, fire, and the ruins of what used to be buildings. Texas City looked like a warzone.
That morning, a ship called the Grandcamp was being loaded with fertilizer comprised of ammonium nitrate. Used throughout World War II as an explosive, ammonium nitrate found a post-war use as a potent fertilizer. That morning, the Grandcamp was also loaded with a stockpile of government owned ammunition. When a fire broke out in the hull of the ship, the situation became dire. However, most of the fire crew and workers did not know the true danger hiding in the burning ship. To make things worse, the captain of the ship prevented crews from using their hoses to put flames out to keep the cargo dry.
When the ammonium nitrate reached dangerous levels of heat, it violently exploded. The ammunition in the ship’s belly combined with the wood of the ship to create what was essentially a giant grenade, sending pieces flying in every direction. The explosion leveled city blocks, crumpled cars, and could be felt miles away. Nearly 600 people were killed and over 5,000 were injured. Just across the water, Galveston was a witness to one of the most unfortunate series of events in the history of industrial work.
The most tragic aspect of this incident was the fact that it was preventable. The fire was believed to been started by a worker’s cigarette. Though smoking was officially banned, the rules were not enforced. Adding to the tragedy was the ship’s captain who ignorantly prevented firefighters from doing their jobs. Had procedures been in place and laws followed, this accident would not have happened. The scale of this disaster is an example of why negligence must be held accountable—especially for the sake of those have suffered from it.
What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?
If you were injured in any type of work accident, the first thing you should do is take care of yourself. If there is an active fire or chemical leak, get out as quickly and as safely as you can. Once you’re safe, make sure emergency personnel are called in. If you were injured in a different type of accident, or once the scene is under control, seek medical attention. You should see a doctor as soon as possible, even if you feel you are not seriously injured at first. Some industrial injuries are not immediately apparent, like back injuries, whiplash, or head trauma, and waiting to get treatment will only make things worse.
You’ll also need to make sure your supervisor or manager knows that you were injured. Reporting an industrial injury is a crucial step to take, so be sure to do it in writing and to keep a copy for your records.
Last but not least, talk to an attorney! You are going to be facing medical bills and any number of challenges trying to make ends meet if you can’t work for a time because of your injury. A Galveston work accident lawyer can work to help you recover the full and complete compensation you need for your medical treatment, any ongoing therapy or care, lost earnings, and possibly much more. You can rebuild after an industrial injury, if you take the right steps and involve an attorney.
Do I Need a Galveston Work Injury Lawyer?
For very minor on-the-job injuries, you may not need a lawyer. You may just need to see a doctor once, which would be covered by workers’ compensation, and then return to work like normal. For serious work injuries, however, the process is not so simple. You could be dealing with the type of physical and emotional trauma that will lead to expensive medical bills, the need for ongoing treatment, and an inability to work for a time—if ever again. If you were seriously injured in an industrial accident or are running into any problems getting the treatment and support you need, it’s time to involve a Galveston work injury law firm. You have rights, but they must be actively asserted to ensure you get what’s rightfully yours.
At Arnold & Itkin, we’re here to help survivors and victims of factory accidents and all industrial and other work injuries in Galveston and throughout the U.S.
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Galveston Industrial Accident Lawyers
Galveston, Texas: The Center of the Nation’s Energy Industry
Galveston County has some of the largest refineries in the nation. Unfortunately, these locations have been the sites of some of the worst industrial accidents in United States history.
Oil refineries & chemical plant operators in Galveston County include the following:
- Texas City Chemical Plant (Eastman)
- 2 Texas City Chemical Plants (Dow)
- BP Texas City Oil Refinery (Marathon Oil)
- Texas City Refinery (Marathon Oil)
- Galveston Bay Refinery (Marathon Oil)
- Texas City Oil Refinery (Valero)
- Gas Manufacturing Plant (Praxair)
Are Incidents at Factories Considered Industrial Accidents?
Yes, a factory accident is a type of industrial accident. Employees at Galveston factories are considered industrial workers, whether they’re employed at a factory that deals with petroleum, clothing, electronics, chemicals, or plastics. Factory workers may perform repetitive and highly physical labor, typically around heavy machinery and potentially hazardous substances. These make factories dangerous places to work, particularly when employees are not properly trained, safety standards are overlooked, or equipment is improperly maintained. Our Galveston factory accident lawyers are committed to helping workers of all levels who perform any job duties at factories, warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other industrial jobsites.
When companies fail to maintain refinery equipment and provide workers with the proper training, serious accidents occur at refineries. In March of 2005, the BP oil refinery in Texas City exploded. The incident took the lives of 15 workers and injured 180 others. The company received record fines for failing to prevent the accident using proper safety standards. Then, just four years after the incident, the oil giant received additional fines for failing to implement new safety standards after the accident.
In short: Galveston-area companies are not always working for the best interest of their employees. Our mission is to stand up for those suffering because of this.
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About Galveston, TX
Galveston got its name from a Spanish military and political leader named Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid, Count of Gálvez, who lived from 1746 to 1786. After Mexico won its independence from Spain, it established the Port of Galveston in 1825. Shortly after, Galveston served as the temporary capital for the Republic of Texas, and, by 1839, the city was a successful port of entry and was growing. By the end of the 1800s, the population of Galveston had reached about 37,000 people.
Through the decades, Galveston has had a history of catastrophic events that hindered its growth. In September 1900, Galveston was struck by a devastating hurricane that claimed about 6,000 to 8,000 lives. A seawall was built to protect the island from similar flooding in the future, but it took decades for Galveston to rebuild. In 1947, a ship carrying 2,200 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded at the Port of Texas City, and Galveston again entered a period of economic stagnancy. In 1961, Hurricane Carla hit Galveston and created an F4 tornado that claimed 8 lives. In 2008, Hurricane Ike caused extensive damage to buildings along the Galveston seawall.
Through it all, Galveston has stayed strong, rebuilding and investing in tourism and shipping, and it has paid off. As of 2021, Galveston had grown to a population of about 53,219 people. The area is home to the University of Texas Medical Branch, Texas A&M University at Galveston, and Galveston College. Tourists and residents visit the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, the Galveston Railroad Museum, Moody Gardens, and the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum, which is a retired jack-up rig. Galveston is also home to six distinct historic districts, which include over 60 buildings and structures that are listed in and protected by the National Register of Historic Places. The city’s culture and history continue to attract new residents, businesses, and tourists.
Galveston Links & Resources
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Call Our Galveston Injury Lawyers for the Help You Deserve: (888) 493-1629
Arnold & Itkin’s mission is to be the difference clients need at the negotiation table or in the courtroom. If an insurer or company is refusing to settle for a fair amount, we'll fight to make sure they don’t get away with it. We never accept less than a client deserves because we know that ever dollar we earn goes toward rebuilding a life.
When you call us, you’ll be connected to a member of our team for a completely free and confidential consultation. Importantly, we only work on contingency fees. In other words, we’ll take on 100 percent of the costs associated with your case so you don’t have to worry about them. You’ll only pay us a fee if we win results in your case! This is how we show you that we’re fighting for results instead of taking the other side’s first offer.
Call to see how we can fight for you. A member of our Galveston injury firm is standing by to take your call for free!