Houston Maritime Offshore Accident Injury Lawyer
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.
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Our Practice Areas
Do you need an offshore maritime injury lawyer?
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.
Types of offshore maritime injury cases in Houston
Oil rig workers, longshoremen, seamen, and harbor workers in the Houston area may all be subject to the “admiralty” laws.
The most common causes of offshore injuries in the area are:
- Offshore drilling accidents
- Oil rig platform accidents and explosions
- Shipyard worker injuries
- Marine cargo accidents
- Crane accidents
- Commercial fishing accidents
- Ferry boat and cruise ship accidents
- Tanker, freighter, barge, trawler and tugboat accidents
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Toxic chemical exposure injuries
The types of injuries that we help workers claim for in Houston are generally the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal problems and paralysis
- Internal organ injuries
- Burn injuries
- Lung injuries
- Neurological injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Loss of limbs (amputation)
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.
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.
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.
From this point, it’s best not to say too much to your employer or their insurance company. If you decide to hire a lawyer, allow him or her to handle communications and do not sign any statements or documents unless they direct you to do so.
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 another’s negligence, 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:
What damages are typically 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/crewmember 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
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.
- Vocational rehab
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.
Ryan Dehoyos is an experienced Houston-based personal injury lawyer. Recognized as a “Rising Star” on Super Lawyers (2019), Ryan DeHoyos can help secure the compensation you deserve so that you can move on with your life in the knowledge that you have received some measure of justice. He represents clients who have been injured in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or any other type of accident and gets them the compensation they deserve. Call him at (832) 745-4878 for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most car accidents in Houston are the result of one of the following:
- Distracted driving: Texting, eating, applying make-up, and adjusting the stereo are all forms of distracted driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: On average, 28 people die in drunk driving-related accidents every day in the US
- Speeding: Excessive speed is a killer on the roads – and if you are lucky enough to escape death, the injuries may be life-altering
- Fatigued driving: Drivers not stopping to rest is a huge problem in Texas
Reckless driving, faulty vehicle parts, and poor roadway conditions are also common contributing factors in motor vehicle accidents.
In the Houston area, we see the following types of accidents most frequently:
- Head-on collisions
- Side-impact collisions
- Low-speed accidents (e.g., in parking lots)
- Merging accidents
- Single-vehicle accidents (e.g., hitting a tree)
- Multi-vehicle crashes (accidents that cause a “domino effect”)
For further information on this, check out our post on the Different Types of Houston Car Accidents.
It may be. Even minor accidents can cause injuries that have a lasting impact. It’s best to discuss your options with a car accident attorney who can assess whether you have a valid claim for compensation during a case evaluation.
Texas applies “comparative fault” laws for car accident injuries.
This means that when two or more parties are adjudged to be at-fault for an accident, the amount of compensation due for the injured victim is potentially reduced by the amount of fault apportioned to them.
Provided you were 50 percent or less at-fault for an accident, you can claim compensation from the other party or parties for the remaining portion of the fault.
So, if you were awarded $60,000 in compensation but were considered to be 40 percent at-fault for the accident you would receive $36,000 (which is 60 percent of $60,000).