Unseaworthiness Vessel Claims in Texas | Houston Jones Act Negligence

The owners and operators of maritime vessels owe the seamen that work on these vessels the duty of maintaining it in seaworthy condition. All parts of the vessel that are used must stay in suitable working condition, be maintained properly, and be in safe working order. When they fail in this and injuries occur, unseaworthiness vessel claims in Texas may be possible.

Seamen are protected against unseaworthy vessels under the Jones Act and general maritime law. Poorly maintained ships can be riddled with dangers for the workers who are employed on them. If you’ve been injured as a result of an unseaworthy vessel, Houston Jones Act negligence attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can help hold the owner and operator of your vessel accountable for your injuries.

What Is The Doctrine of Unseaworthiness?

The Doctrine of Unseaworthiness holds owner and/or ship operator responsible for providing a seaworthy vessel. Generally, this means that anything that is part of the ship or connected with the vessel must be in safe working condition. The Doctrine also requires that an adequate crew man the ship. The Doctrine makes the owner liable for any injuries that stem from poorly maintained equipment or a badly trained crew.

What Makes A Ship “Unseaworthy”?

The term “unseaworthy” is an all-encompassing term that relates to a ship’s condition of maintenance. The following categories are some examples of unseaworthiness vessel claims in Texas:

  • Worn out equipment and fixtures that need replacement to be in proper working condition.
  • Missing equipment and fixtures. Example – no fall protection or other safety equipment on the ship.
  • Falling or slipping hazards left unaddressed. This could be an oil slick that isn’t cleaned or a rope left in a place where other seamen walk.
  • Lack of safe access between the ship and the shore, like an unsafe gangway.
  • Missing warning signs or unreadable posted signs.

What Makes a Crew Inadequate?

The seaworthiness doctrine is unique because it also addresses the crew working on the ship. If an inadequate crew causes or is related to the cause of your injury, you could be compensated under a theory of unseaworthiness. Conditions related to the crew that make a vessel unseaworthy include:

  • Breaking safety rules
  • Lack of proper training and certifications
  • Working excessive hours
  • Poor supervision
  • Insufficient crew to perform important tasks
  • Lack of safety procedures
  • Absence of safety and training drills

Get Help With Unseaworthiness Vessel Claims in Texas

You may be entitled to recover damages if an unseaworthy vessel caused your injury. The maritime attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates can help you recover medical damages, loss of income, compensation for disability, and damages from pain and suffering. Our Houston Jones Act negligence attorneys hold owners and operators accountable for the injuries they cause through unseaworthiness claims in Texas. Call today to schedule a consultation: 1-800-428-1853.

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