Dredging plays an important role in making waters more navigable for large boats and ships. Unfortunately, because this role requires the use of heavy machinery, there is a greater likelihood that dredge workers will be injured on the job.

Although accidents can happen, there are laws put in place to protect dredge workers who’ve been injured. Continue reading to learn more about Houston dredging injuries and how a Houston law firm can help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Common Dredging Injuries

Each day, dredge workers face considerable danger while operating various types of machinery. Because of the size, weight, and design of the dredgers, the injuries that a dredge worker can incur are severe and sometimes fatal:

  • Back and shoulder injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries
  • Knee and ankle injuries
  • Leg and hip injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Crush injuries
  • Hernias
  • Amputation
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Workers can avoid many dredging injuries if proper safety protocols are followed and enforced by vessel owners and supervisors. If ship owners and supervisors are found to be negligent, dredge workers may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Maritime Laws

Maritime law was initially instituted to address and correct the hazardous traveling and working conditions, along with low wages that seamen faced on navigable waters. Today, maritime law, also referred to as admiralty law, covers injuries, contracts, torts, and any other offenses that take place on navigable waters.

As maritime legislation developed, the principles of the law were put into the following laws:

  • The Merchant Marine Act of 1928 Also referred to as the Jones Act, this act allows seamen to sue negligent ship owners for injuries they incurred. 
  • The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) This act gives relatives of deceased seamen the right to sue the employer for funeral expenses, loss of income, and emotional support due to the seamen’s passing. 
  • The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) This act ensures that non-sailor professionals working in the United States are compensated for their injuries.

Dredging is an essential but dangerous job. These maritime laws make it possible for dredge workers and others in the maritime industry to seek compensation and justice for any injuries they receive while on the job.

The Law of the Sea

The law of the sea is different from maritime laws because it dictates how nations interact with each other in maritime matters. The three matters covered in the law of the sea are jurisdiction over coastal waters, ownership of natural resources, and navigational rights. The goal of this law is to ensure that there is order, productivity, and peaceful relations on navigable water.

Which Laws Apply to Houston Dredging Injuries

As a Houston dredge worker, maritime law grants you basic maintenance and access to medical compensation. In practice, this is similar to worker’s compensation for seamen. Maintenance covers the seamen’s day-to-day expenses, and medical compensation covers the seamen’s medical expenses.

In addition, you are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. This act gives you the right to sue negligent ship owners for any injuries you have sustained while working on a dredge. This can be an effective way to receive compensation for Houston dredging injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a Houston dredging accident, talk to an attorney about which law may apply to your case.

Getting Compensation With Help From a Houston Dredging Injury Attorney 

A dredge injury can be severe, leaving you with extensive medical bills and potentially long-lasting effects. Although nothing can make up for the injuries you’ve sustained, a Houston dredging injury attorney can help you fight for compensation.

The Houston law firm of Lapeze & Johns is equipped to serve Houston dredge workers in their injury cases. Reach out to our experienced and compassionate attorneys today to get started on your injury case.

Contact the office of Lapeze & Johns today to get help with your Houston dredging injury case.

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About Christopher Johns

johnsChristopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.