Maritime accident lawyer, Ryan DeHoyos, explains Texas offshore accident laws, The Jones Act and a number of other important factors you need to know if you’ve been injured in an accident in or around Houston, TX.
Different laws apply to maritime and offshore injuries compared with accidents that occur on land.
The “admiralty laws” that come into play with offshore accidents mean that if you are in the unfortunate position of being injured in a maritime incident, you may require the assistance of a lawyer who is fully conversant in these laws.
You have specific rights as maritime employees that affect the type of lawsuit you will need to file – and not all personal injury firms understand this well.
Maritime offshore injury lawyer, Ryan DeHoyos, has represented many victims who have been affected by such accidents in the Houston area.
The team at the DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC can provide the support and expertise you need and help you fight for a fair deal either in or out of the courtroom.
Offshore accidents present some unique jurisdictional challenges that accident victims on land simply do not face.
This can complicate personal injury claims. A dedicated offshore injury lawyer will understand the legal processes and, importantly, the right venue from which to seek compensation.
At the DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, we will conduct an independent investigation into the events that caused the injury.
If we find that the accident was due to employer negligence or defective equipment, for instance, we will start gathering the necessary evidence to support your claim.
We will identify the at-fault party or parties and begin the process of holding them accountable for your injuries. It may involve several liable parties who must each take a share of the fault.
From there, we will file the claim and handle all communications with the insurance company, saving you the time and stress of dealing with insurance adjusters.
If you are offered a settlement, we can assess this to see if it is in your best interests. Often, early settlements from insurance companies offer far less than you are entitled to and, if this is the case, we will begin litigation so that you can claim your rightful compensation.
While the legal processes for each type of injury claim differ little, the offshore rules are different for maritime injury claims to those on land. Ryan DeHoyos will explain what needs to be done after we review and evaluate your case.
What steps should you take after an offshore maritime injury?
The basic steps to take for offshore maritime injuries are the same as for workplace accidents that happen on land.
Seek immediate medical attention
Once you have reached safety, make sure that you get medical attention from a qualified medical professional. Advise them what happened and the injuries you have sustained and make sure that everything is documented.
Inform your employer
Tell your supervisor at work what happened and that you were injured on the job.
Start to keep records of the accident, with photos, videos and documents that prove the nature and extent of your injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and the effects of your injuries on your life.
Let your lawyer handle communications
Sometimes, the effects of an injury are not apparent until much later, especially with brain or neurological injuries. Therefore, it is important to follow these steps and if symptoms come on later, repeat them as soon as you are aware of a potential injury.
Been injured in an offshore accident near Houston, TX?
If you have been injured due to an offshore accident injury, call us at (832) 745-4878 or schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case today.
Why hire Ryan DeHoyos as your maritime offshore accident lawyer?
Ryan A. DeHoyos has been an established face in the courtrooms of Houston for over a decade. In recent years, he has represented local families affected by personal accident injuries in the city and the surrounding areas.
Ryan went to South Texas School of Law and graduated with a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2009. Upon graduation, Ryan worked for a local law firm and several large businesses to hone his litigation and trial skills, and today he uses this experience and his holistic understanding of legal matters to obtain favorable results for his clients
His knowledge and understanding of the local court system, the associated procedures, and the personnel involved can benefit your case.
When you choose Ryan DeHoyos to manage your case, you can expect the following:
A compassionate, friendly, and focused approach.
An attorney who is truly focused on your best interests
A detail-oriented examination of your case
Tenacious negotiations with the insurance company of the at-fault party
Open and regular communication to keep you informed at every stage of the process
No “legalese”, Ryan will explain matters in clear English no matter how complex
The expertise of a personal injury lawyer recognized as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers
An impressive track record of success in and out of the courtroom
Ryan DeHoyos will fight for your best interests, but you still retain control of the ultimate decision: whether to accept a settlement or proceed to a trial. His advice and guidance can prove invaluable when making this decision.
What damages are awarded in maritime offshore injury claims in Houston?
The main piece of legislation governing the types of compensation that can be claimed by offshore and maritime workers in Houston is the Jones Act.
What is the Jones Act?
The Jones Act is a federal law previously called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. It was enacted to provide protections for maritime workers beyond those afforded in standard worker’s compensation claims.
Sailors and seamen are not covered by workers’ compensation insurance, so the legislation is an attempt to protect these employees if they should suffer an injury at work.
Under the Jones Act, maritime employers must provide sailors and seamen with a safe work environment and a seaworthy vessel.
So, seamen who are injured due to the negligence of an employer/crew member or the unseaworthiness of a vessel can sue employers for financial compensation for their injuries.
The Jones Act does not generally cover workers on a drilling platform, but it does cover anyone who spends at least 30 percent of their time on a vessel or fleet.
An offshore or maritime worker can generally claim the following standard damages:
Additional expenses for injured offshore/maritime workers in Texas
According to the Jones Act, injured seamen may be able to recover the following damages in addition to the standard compensation outlined above:
Maintenance and cure
An injured maritime employee can claim “maintenance” payments for expenses such as food and housing. The employee is also entitled to the full costs of medical care until they have achieved maximum improvement.
An employee injured in an offshore accident may be entitled to help with vocational rehabilitation services, including payments for re-employment evaluation, counseling, and training.
If you are temporarily or permanently disabled by your injury, you may receive payments for lost wages.
An employee may be awarded compensatory damages for the injury suffered AND punitive damages that punish the employer for negligence or unsafe working conditions.
Compensation for maritime offshore injuries in the Houston area
If you or a loved one has been injured in a maritime offshore accident, the DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC will help you recover and rebuild your life with fair compensation for your injuries.
“As a client to this Law Firm, I found it to be rewarding base on their work ethics. With there expertise, knowledge, flexibility and being responsive to their client needs. They will see that their client receive the best outcome on there case. There are many people out there that have bad ideas about lawyers, but DeHoyos Law Firm will make sure that you’re not stressed about anything pertaining to your case. I’ll recommend that you seek this Lawyer and Law Firm for any unraveling situation you might face.”
“I can’t say enough good things about DeHoyos Law! Mr. Ryan DeHoyos is extremely knowledgeable in his field of Personal Injury. I was injured in a motor vehicle accident last year and Mr. DeHoyos stopped at nothing to get me the compensation I deserved. He kept me updated on my case regularly and guided me to get the medical care I needed. Additionally, his staff is so kind and caring, especially Ashley… Thank you, DeHoyos Law for your professionalism in closing my case…and WINNING big!”
DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLCDeHoyos LawDeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC is a Personal Injury law firm in Houston, TX. We have helped countless accident and injury victims obtain the fair compensation they deserve across Texas.