A maritime accident is any mishap that happens while a vessel is in navigable waters. Maritime law, also called admiralty law, will govern an accident victim’s compensation if the incident happened on board a vessel underway.
Accidents at sea present a unique set of challenges, and the law governing them is unique as well. If you suffered injuries in an accident while on board a vessel sailing navigable waters, contact a Pearland maritime injury lawyer for help with pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Types of Maritime Accidents
Sailing is always a risky proposition, especially in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Storms can be severe, but even in smooth waters, the hazards of being in a closed environment on the water are evident.
Maritime accidents could happen under a multitude of circumstances and for a variety of reasons. You might have a claim for damages under maritime laws if you:
- Contracted food poisoning on a cruise ship
- Were struck by equipment while sport fishing
- Suffered burns while working in the engine room of a cargo vessel
- Broke a bone while working on an oil rig
- Slipped on a wet surface on a tugboat
- Were injured in a collision between two vessels
There are multiple variables that an attorney in Pearland must address when seeking damages for a maritime injury. For example, different laws could apply depending on the status of the injured person and why they were aboard the vessel.
Injuries to Maritime Workers
When you are injured while working on a vessel, you might be entitled to seamen’s benefits. Under the law, a seaman is anyone who spends at least 30 percent of their time at work on a ship in navigation. “In navigation” could include time spent at dock loading or unloading, but not if the ship is out of service.
When a seaman suffers injuries while working, their employer must provide them living expenses and medical care for their injury. Usually called maintenance and cure, or M&C, these payments are available regardless of the cause of your maritime accident.
If your employer or the vessel owner was negligent or the vessel was unseaworthy, you can sue for damages. Damages could include lost wages and unpaid medical expenses as well as future costs of necessary medical treatment. If your injury will prevent you from returning to your job, your recoverable damages could include reduced earning capacity. You may also claim compensation for pain and suffering. A Pearland attorney could help ensure that you pursue the maximum amount that your claim is worth.
Injuries to Vessel Passengers in Pearland
Passengers who suffer injuries on a vessel traveling navigable waters fall under the purview of federal maritime law. They are entitled to damages if they can prove that the vessel owners or operators were negligent or that the vessel was unseaworthy.
However, the operators of vessels that carry passengers often restrict their passengers’ rights through the terms and conditions of their tickets. For example, the operator may reserve the right to apply the law of a specific state to any accident, rather than federal maritime law. A passenger’s time to sue may also be limited, forcing them to assume certain risks.
While a ticket is generally considered a binding contract, it may be possible to challenge certain provisions that unfairly limit an injured passenger’s rights to compensation. An experienced attorney could advise you on your options as a maritime passenger in a specific case.
Connect with a Pearland Maritime Injury Attorney Today
If you suffered injuries while working at sea, you might be confused about how to hold the responsible parties accountable and recover your losses. The normal rules governing personal injury or workers’ compensation do not apply to accidents onboard vessels in navigation.
Seeking advice and representation from a Pearland maritime injury lawyer is a positive step toward getting the compensation you deserve. Protect your rights by scheduling a case review as soon as possible.