5 convenient locations

Follow Us
facebook Youtube Instagram Twitter
Free Consultations


Maritime, Offshore, & Boating Accidents Attorney

Bexar County boating accident injury attorney

Maritime, Offshore, & Boating Accidents Lawyer Serving Texas

Working offshore in coastal waters or on a vessel is tough, often dangerous work. Serious injuries and deaths can and do occur. When disaster strikes, an injured worker will need an attorney on their side who is not afraid to take on an employer or insurance company that attempts to avoid liability or minimize the compensation that a victim will receive.

Alford & Clark Injury Attorneys is here for you during the most difficult times, and our lawyers have the experience to help you get the justice you deserve. We understand the value of hard work, and we know from first-hand experience the difficulties that industrial and maritime workers often face. With a background in blue-collar work and strong personal and professional relationships with workers in multiple industries, our team knows about the safety issues that play a role in these cases, as well as the applicable laws that can affect a person's ability to pursue compensation. We will fight to make sure victims can receive compensation for injuries that occurred while they were working.

Laws Affecting Maritime and Offshore Accidents

Admiralty law or maritime law refers to the body of law governing marine commerce and navigation, the transport of persons and property at sea, and marine affairs in general, as well as the rules governing contracts, torts, workers' compensation claims, and injuries at sea. There is a clause in the U.S. Constitution giving the Federal courts jurisdiction over admiralty and maritime cases, but as with most areas of the law, the state of affairs has become significantly more complicated over time. Congress has passed several statutes expanding the scope of maritime law, and our maritime accident lawyers are available to help you navigate those laws and obtain the most money possible for your case.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, formalized the rights of seamen and gave qualifying seamen the right to a trial by jury to sue when injured or killed during the course of their employment. As to qualifying seamen, the United States Supreme Court has established a rule of thumb that workers who around 30 percent of their time or less in the service of a vessel in navigable waters should not qualify.

The Jones Act provides qualifying seamen with special rights and protections when they are injured, and these include the right to "maintenance and cure." Maintenance refers to expenses resulting from an injury, including reasonable costs for food, transportation to a medical facility where a person will receive treatment and from this facility to their home or other locations, and lodging while receiving medical care. Cure refers to the medical expenses resulting from an injury, including hospitalization, ongoing treatment by doctors and nurses, medications, and any necessary medical devices. If the shipowner fails to provide maintenance and cure, and that failure worsens a person's injuries, then the injured worker can recover damages related to these issues, including compensation for the pain and suffering they have experienced, as well as any additional medical expenses. The maintenance and cure a person is entitled to receive cannot be reduced due to negligence on the part of the injured seaman. An injury or illness does not need to be work-related so long as it occurred while the seaman was in the service of the vessel.

The 1948 Admiralty Extension Act extended admiralty-tort jurisdiction to include all cases in which the damage or injury is caused by a vessel on navigable water, regardless of where the damage or injury actually occurred. For example, the Act extended admiralty jurisdiction over damages and injuries that a vessel causes on land, such as to bridges and piers or to the people on them.

When a person is killed because of a person's wrongful actions, negligence, or default, and a wrongful death occurred in international waters, the Death on the High Seas Act allows the deceased person's representative to pursue a civil lawsuit in admiralty court against the person who was responsible or the owner of the vessel that caused the death. The damages recovered in this type of lawsuit may be used to provide for the needs of the spouse, child, parent, or another dependent relative of the person who was killed. However, this act does not apply to coastal and in-land navigable waters. ​

Maritime employees may also be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, which provides that longshoremen, harbor-workers, ship repairmen, shipbuilders, and others may not be allowed to sue their employers for employment-related injuries, but they may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. However, under this law, an employee may bring a third-party suit against the owner of a vessel if he has a claim that his injury was caused by the negligence of the owner or of the ship's crew.

Contact Our San Antonio Boating Injury Lawyers

The results of a boating accident, whether commercial or recreational, can be devastating. Alford & Clark Injury Attorneys can help with your boating accident claim, no matter where the accident occurred. Depending on the location of the accident, your injury claim may be controlled by state law, federal maritime law, or both. There may also be rules and regulations particular to the municipality or even the specific body of water at issue.

For example, the Texas Water Safety Act mandates that no person may operate a motorboat or any other vessel in a manner that recklessly or negligently endangers others. However, the Texas Water Safety Act only applies to public water within the territorial limits of Texas. If your accident occurred on privately owned water, our attorneys can help you determine the duties that the boat operator and land owner had to keep you or your loved one from harm. And as you can see above, federal maritime law has its own set of complications that Alford & Clark Injury Attorneys can help you navigate.

Our firm can help you protect your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Call 210-951-9467 today for your free case evaluation or contact us online to set up a complimentary consultation. Our firm has offices in Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin, and we represent clients throughout all of Texas.

Back to Top