What Unique Challenges Does A Maritime Injury Claim Involve?

by Terry Bryant

Only a handful of attorneys in Texas can oversee maritime injury law because it involves some unique challenges not found in any other cases. Seamen are not eligible for workers’ compensation in the event of an accident, which may seem extremely risky for a worker. However, qualified seamen are protected under several statutes, including the Jones Act. These protections force employers and vessel owners to maintain safe standards on their ships, as the bar for proving liability is much lower for these cases.

As long as a seaman is at sea for a minimum of 30 percent of their time, they are protected by the Jones Act and the principle of seaworthiness. The Jones Act allows seamen to sue for negligence against an employer in the event of a maritime injury. The burden of proof for demonstrating liability is extremely small, so employers must keep their workers safe if they wish to avoid the courts. The principle of seaworthiness forces vessel owners to keep their ships in good condition and ensure there are no inherent dangers on the vessel. If a worker is hurt, they may sue a vessel owner if they are able to prove liability.

Finally, seamen must receive maintenance and cure if they are injured on a vessel. This provides the worker with financial support for any room and board and various other expenditures. It also pays for the employee’s medical treatment until they have improved as much as they can.

This area of law is highly complex and with all of the extra stipulations, it can be difficult for a victim to pursue a claim without assistance. That’s why so many victims turn to legal professionals with training in this area.