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Whether you are working on a rig or a boat, seaman and maritime laborers are constantly risking their lives. General maritime law has been around for centuries and refers to an entire body of federal law that regulates accidents that take place on the waters.

What Is Maritime Law?

General maritime law provides additional rights and damages to seamen and maritime laborers outside the Jones Act. General maritime law in Houston also provides remedies to non-seamen injured in a sea setting or while involved in maritime activities. These are common law remedies that are available for maritime accidents. This law provides additional remedies for injured seamen and their family members. It basically allows injured workers to pursue damages outside the Jones Act.

When Does Maritime Law Apply?

The statute of limitations controlling general maritime claims is actually three years from the day of the event that was the cause of action. This means that an injured maritime worker has only three years to file suit, or lose his right to make a claim forever.

What is the Jones Act?

In 1920 Congress created this act to ensure that seamen, sailors and ship’s crew members, are treated fairly by their employers while maintaining a safe environment. The Jones Act offers injured seamen and certain offshore workers to compensation outside of workers’ compensation by filing a lawsuit against his or her employer.

If a seaman is injured or died on the job due to negligence of his or her employer or employees, the seaman or his family can file a lawsuit against the employer.

Who Is Considered a Seaman?

A seaman is any individual that contributed to the work of the vessel or worked on the vessel while in motion. Vessels consist of ocean freighters and tankers, tugs and barges, offshore crew boats and work boats, and drilling rigs.

What Are The Common Types of Maritime Injuries?

Maritime jobs are extremely dangerous. It is important to wear the proper protective gear and follow the safety procedures. If you are injured it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some of the common types of injuries are:

  • Neck and back strains from heavy lifting
  • Exposure to toxic and hazardous chemicals
  • Slip and falls from oily or slippery substances on walkways, decks or barges
  • Broken bones or amputations
  • Burns and electrocutions
  • Medical negligence by the ship’s doctor and medical staff
  • Defective equipment
  • Falling overboard or drowning
  • Auto related

Houston Maritime Lawyers

We understand that whether you are a seaman, harbor worker, fisherman or longshoreman, your ability to earn a living or resume your daily life may be seriously compromised by an accident on the water. These cases are complex and require an experienced maritime attorney. Our attorneys have successfully helped maritime injury victims.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a maritime accident, contact Sutliff & Stout to discuss your maritime claim at (713) 405-1263 or contact us online. Our team will properly evaluate your claim and help protect your interests.