Who Can You File a Texas Jones Act Claim Against?
As an offshore worker in Texas, you’re entitled to a safe working environment. Specifically, your employer should:
- Provide a reasonably safe working environment
- Through ordinary care, ensure that all sea vessels that maritime workers will work on are in reasonably safe condition
- Ensure that there’s a maintenance and cure process in place if employees fall ill or get injured
If an employer, shipping company, or vessel owner refuses to provide these, you can hold them liable. But that’s not all. They can also be held liable in the following circumstances:
- Clear negligence of safety protocols and processes
- Intentionally endangering the lives of the crew by placing them on unseaworthy vessels
- Injuries or illnesses suffered because of their negligence
- Your employer forced you to work in conditions that are clearly unsafe
- Your employer deployed and used faulty equipment
Proving Negligence in a Jones Act Case
Proving negligence in a Jones Act case requires a lower burden of proof than workers’ comp or personal injury claims. All it takes is some evidence that the employer’s negligence—no matter how small—contributed in some way to your accident and injuries. Once you’re able to prove this, you qualify for compensation under the act.
Also, you may be able to sue third parties for negligence too, thus increasing your compensation amount. But, those are peculiar circumstances that your Jones Act lawyer in Texas will explain to you if necessary.
Finally, please understand that there’s no set timeframe for these kinds of cases. Some are resolved within a short time, others take longer. It all depends on the investigations your attorney carries out, the willingness of the company to settle, and how much you’re asking for as compensation.
Jones Act Claims Process in Texas
The claims process in a Texas Jones Act case is pretty straightforward:
- The offshore worker reports the accident or injury to his or her superior, which could be the ship captain or a supervisor
- The shipping firm that the worker works for will then request the accident report
- The worker will commence medical treatment
- The worker will hire a Jones Act attorney in Texas to help file the claim and pursue damages
- The injured worker’s lawyer will pursue the compensation
- If the company doesn’t settle, the attorney will file the suit in a federal or state court and prevail upon the courts to award you a well-deserved settlement
Please note that you have to file your Jones Act claim within three years of the accident or injury. This is the statute of limitation for all Jones Act claims in Texas.
Jones Act Cases We’ve Represented
The Buzbee Law Firm has represented hundreds of maritime workers in Jones Act claims in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The firm has served as counsel for workers with many job functions in many related occupations, including:
- Offshore drilling
- Offshore supply and transport
Our attorneys have successfully represented many clients, including:
- More than 20 workers who were injured when the Parker 14J collapsed off the coast of Louisiana. Our clients obtained more money in settlements than those of any other attorney or law firm.
- A class of offshore workers alleged that their wages had been suppressed by their employers. The case resulted in a settlement for the class.
- A class of maritime workers claims that their workplace was riddled with asbestos; that case also resulted in a settlement for the class.
- A widow whose husband died on a ship after becoming ill after his employer failed to arrange for medical treatment.
- The estate of a young offshore worker who was found dead, with his body tangled in the spokes of a large hose reel on a drilling rig. The suit resulted in a financial settlement to the estate and, as part of the settlement, the defendant agreed to install a reel guard in an effort to prevent further incidents.
In one of his first trials, Tony Buzbee represented the estate of an offshore worker who was killed while working aboard a drilling rig off the coast of Saudi Arabia when a pipe exploded. The case resulted in a jury verdict against the defendant.
In the course of the lawsuit, Buzbee uncovered a deadly problem with piping used in the drilling industry and, as a result of the suit, that problem has now been corrected in the industry. That case was tried to verdict, resulting in significant compensation.
An Experienced Texas Jones Act Lawyer Can Help You
Trial lawyer Tony Buzbee started his career representing Jones Act maritime workers. He cut his teeth representing workers injured on boats, ocean-going vessels, and drilling rigs.
The Buzbee Law Firm has handled multiple Jones Act injury cases against Falcon Drilling, Diamond Offshore, H&P, Global Santa Fe, Transocean, Rowan Drilling, and other major pipe-laying companies.
If you need assistance with a Jones Act claim, a claim involving an offshore injury, or a legal dispute involving seagoing enterprises, contact us today by email or call our toll-free office line. Our Texas Jones Act attorneys provide free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis.