Every day people are injured while shipping goods and fuel for the nation on ocean going ships. The role of a seaman does carry certain risks and accidents with it, and injuries do happen. As members of the ship’s crew, the owner of the vessel and the employer owe certain duties to its crew members.
With the increase in Texas’s population and offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, Houston’s port is quickly becoming one of the largest in America. Due to this, some maritime merchant companies will overextend their crews and put their seamen in positions to be injured. The U.S. Congress in 1920 passed the Merchant Marine Act (the “Jones Act”) which provides a remedy to sailors for injuries resulting from the negligence of an employer which includes its fellow employees. The act entitles them to hold their employer responsible in the event that their fellow employers or employers were careless.
The Merchant Marine Act is a tool that an injured sailor can use to ensure that negligent employers are held responsible for the injuries to seamen. Even with this law many injured people miss their opportunity to be made whole again because they feel that accidents just happen. They do, but what the injured person does not realize is there could be fault by the company because of negligence. This act was put in place to provide a safe working environment to the sailors and their families.
Not every injury will be actionable, but the law does provide specific areas where companies are liable for the injuries incurred by the sailor in the course of their maritime service. Due to the complexity and intricacies of maritime accidents, it is best for an injured person to contact an attorney. This is important to insure a proper investigation takes place regarding the accident and to ensure that the claim is not barred due to time limitations.
If you or someone you know have been injured while in the course of maritime service, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.