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January 5, 2024
McLaurin Law

How Are Time Limits for Maritime Injury Claims Handled in Texas?

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Are you a maritime worker who sustained an injury while working on a freight or cruise ship? You may be entitled to compensation, but you must take action within a certain timeframe. 

A maritime workplace accident attorney can tell you what statute of limitations applies to your case, what compensation you may expect, and how to file a claim. 

How Much Time Do You Have to File a Maritime Claim in Texas?

The standard deadline for maritime injury claims is three years. However, exceptions may apply to different cases. For example, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), you must file a claim within a year of the accident. Rules may also differ for offshore and onshore accident claims.

If you didn’t realize the damage immediately after the accident, or if you’re filing a claim after a workplace illness that took some time to manifest, the statute of limitations begins from the moment you first become aware of the injury or illness. 

Notifying Your Employer

Although you may have years to file a claim, you must usually notify your employer much sooner. For example, under the LHWCA, you must inform your employer of the accident within 30 days. Save any documentation of the communication with your employer to prove you gave notice on time.

What If You Miss the Filing Deadline?

If you miss the timeframe for filing a claim, it usually means you would lose any right to seek compensation. Since it’s not always clear which maritime and admiralty laws would apply to your case, it’s important to seek legal counsel soon after your accident. A maritime workplace accident attorney will explain how much time you have to act.

Laws That Protect Injured Maritime Workers

Several acts protect injured workers in the maritime industry and their family members, namely:

  • The Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, workers injured offshore can claim compensation for medical costs, lost earning capacity, physical pain, scarring and disfigurement, and mental anguish.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The LHWCA covers harbor, dock, and port workers to whom the Jones Act wouldn’t apply. LHWCA benefits include medical expenses, permanent partial disability, and compensation for scarring, disfigurement, and permanent injuries. 
  • Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). DOHSA allows eligible surviving family members to claim certain benefits if a maritime worker lost their life through an employer’s carelessness or negligence.

Why You Should Take Action as Soon as Possible

Even if you have three years to file a maritime injury claim, we recommend acting quickly. First, the sooner you contact a lawyer and start working on your case, the easier it will be to gather relevant evidence and medical records. Second, you’ll want to settle your claim as soon as possible to collect the compensation that would cover your damages.

In serious or catastrophic injuries, your maritime accident attorney may recommend waiting until your condition stabilizes so you’ll know what to expect in terms of recovery and prospective medical costs. However, you should still contact a lawyer soon after your accident to protect your rights. 

McLaurin Law PLLC: Representing Injured Maritime Workers and Their Families in Texas

Did you suffer an injury or illness during maritime work? Contact McLaurin Law today. Our skilled maritime accident attorneys have successfully settled many personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of seamen, longshoremen, dock workers, and their families. We’ll walk you through every step of your claim and go the extra mile to help you secure maximum compensation.

Call (713) 322-5523 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a maritime workplace accident attorney in Houston, TX.

Copyright © 2023. McLaurin Law, PLLC. All Rights Reserved.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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