Maritime law can be complex. Although these laws are designed to protect the rights of maritime workers who become injured or ill, they can be difficult to navigate. This is why it’s crucial to seek legal representation from an attorney who has a deep background in this specialized area of the law. It is essential to select an experienced maritime lawyer. When choosing an attorney, you should inquire about the number of cases they have tried. Don’t allow an attorney to dance around your questions; you need to select someone who is prepared to give honest, direct answers to all of your inquiries.
History of Admiralty & Maritime Law
Maritime law—also referred to as admiralty law—is nearly as old as the shipping industry itself and governs most accidents that occur on navigable waters. The law’s roots can be traced back to the unwritten customs of nautical behavior of the Egyptians and Greeks. However, the earliest formal codes were established around 900 BC on the Greek island of Rhodes. The original maritime laws and codes stemmed from the ancient customs and rules of shipping. For example, the Doctrine of General Average—the concept that all sea cargo stakeholders (owner, shipper, etc.) evenly share any damage or losses that may occur as a result of a voluntary sacrifice of part of the vessel or cargo to save the whole—can be traced back to the early shipping customs of the Rhodians.
The concept of a separate legal authority regulating maritime issues was brought to the west by Eleanor of Aquitaine, who learned of the concept when she accompanied her first husband King Louis VII of France to the Mediterranean on the Second Crusade. The term admiralty law came from the British admiralty courts, who presided over maritime matters separately from England’s common law courts. As the U.S. judicial system is based on the British system, amended admiralty laws were gradually incorporated into our legal system soon after the constitution was ratified.
Maritime law sets forth many of the basic legal tenets associated with the sea and seamen, including:
- Seaman’s Right to Maintenance and Cure
- The Jones Act
- The Death on High Seas Act
- The Saving to Suitors Clause
- Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act
What Can Cause an Offshore Accident?
Offshore workers battle tough weather conditions and utilize dangerous heavy equipment. There are a variety of reasons for offshore accidents, including:
- Vessel transfer accidents
- Bad weather
- Diving accidents
- On-board leaks and slippery deck conditions
- Fires and explosions
- Crane failures
- Boat collisions
- Outdated vessel technology
- Human error
- Helicopter crashes
- Distracted crews
- Unmet safety regulations
Getting Help After A Maritime Injury
Do you need a maritime attorney after an offshore injury? The answer is almost always yes. If you have been injured while working in a maritime occupation, our Houston maritime attorneys will do three things for your:
- Keep your employer from taking advantage of you
- Level the playing field in tough cases
- Answer your questions throughout the process
Our offshore injury attorneys are knowledgeable about all facets of maritime law. Maritime law is fairly complex, and we have the answers to your questions. Pursuing compensation for an offshore injury can be full of roadblocks and delays, but a Houston maritime lawyer can help you receive a just and timely resolution in your case.
Hire a Top-Rated Texas Maritime Accident Attorney for Your Case
An experienced maritime lawyer can review your case’s facts and determine your best legal options.
They will do this by examining the following:
- Your worker status at the time of injury
- The seaworthiness of the vessel you were working on
- The timeframe for bringing a claim
- All other factors that may have contributed to your injury
Another reason you may benefit from hiring a lawyer is that they know how to deal with offshore companies. On your own, you may feel like you have no hope. After all, you’re just one person, and your company is likely an established corporation that knows how to handle injury cases.
There is no reason why you can’t have aggressive representation as well. You may feel as if any attorney will do, but if you are an offshore worker, you and your company are bound to a specific set of laws called maritime law or admiralty law. You need a lawyer who is well versed in this specific and specialized area of the law if you want to get the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Turn to us when you need the best.
Contact A Houston Maritime Lawyer
At Richard J. Plezia & Associates, we have won verdicts and achieved confidential settlements for injured maritime workers all over the country, including the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline.
Our offshore injury lawyers have years of experience dealing with large corporate defendants and their insurance providers. If you or a member of your family has been seriously injured or killed as a result of an offshore accident, you should contact us for a free case evaluation. Without the advice of an experienced maritime lawyer, you may face lifelong injury complications and financial ruin.