At Patrick Daniel Law, our Houston maritime attorneys are well equipped to handle difficult maritime injury cases that other Houston law firms find too complex. Houston maritime injury law, also known as Admiralty law, has many quirks for an experienced maritime injury attorney to spot these inconsistencies, and we find them in every case that comes to our Houston law firm. Houston seafarers are at a disadvantage in some maritime cases. In other sea injury cases, they have some advantages in their favor.But only a maritime attorney in Houston can handle it all. Whether you are in Houston, Harris County, Pasadena, Baytown or the surrounding suburbs if you have been injured at sea and need a Houston maritime injury attorney, Patrick Daniel Law is here to help. . Contact our Houston maritime attorneys for a free consultation.

Patrick Daniel is an icon among Houston maritime attorneys, gaining the distinction through 20 years of maritime law in Houston, Texas and around the Gulf Coast.

Patrick Daniel has argued maritime injury cases from both sides and has extensive experience, not only in the way Houston maritime law cases proceed, but also in the work that goes on at sea by employees of hundreds of Houston maritime companies.

Here is a short list of the types of Houston maritime injury cases he has handled in both Texas and elsewhere:

  • Jack-up rig accidents
  • Deck accidents
  • Tugboat accidents
  • Oil platform accidents
  • Barge accidents
  • Commercial fishing accidents
  • Cargo Ship Accidents
  • Shipyard Accidents

If you sustained a maritime injury in Houston similar to the above, and would like a free consultation with our Houston maritime lawyers, or to find out more about our Houston maritime law services, please call (713) 999-6666 or contact us online.


Houston is much more than oil and aerospace. A recent study showed that Houston, TX is the No. 2 city in the country for jobs connected to maritime through the moving of cargo between U.S. ports. Only nearby New Orleans has more workers in the maritime industry. When you add up the workers from all Texas ports, it puts Texas as the No. 3 state in the U.S. in cargo transportation between American ports.

The Port of Houston includes over 200 private and public terminals, handling over 8200 seagoing vessels and 215,000 barges every year. Thousands of maritime employees call the Houston area home.

It should come as no surprise, then, that there are a multitude of maritime injury cases in Houston. Maritime workers who are injured at sea do not have many of the recourses that land-based workers do, and often have to hire a maritime injury lawyer in Houston to protect their rights and help them recover losses that stem from their maritime injury.


Houston maritime lawyers are plentiful, and they know admiralty law (maritime law) inside out, but experience is key. As an elite maritime injury lawyer, founder Patrick Daniel has litigated hundreds of maritime injury cases and has substantial recoveries for his clients.

But this process requires more than a successful courtroom attorney. Maritime work is grueling, unforgiving and raw, and any Houston, Texas lawyer who aspires to represent maritime workers had better know the work as well as he knows the law. That’s what sets Patrick Daniel Law ahead of other law firms in Houston, Texas. He knows the work. He grew in Louisiana and has 20 years’ experience in litigating maritime cases – some of it from the other side of the courtroom.


There are literally hundreds of maritime companies in Houston, and even though they claim to appreciate their employees and the sacrifices they make, you’re only one fall on a slippery deck or one tumbling pallet of cargo in heavy seas from discovering how much or how little they truly do care.


If you are injured at sea, don’t assume your employer will compensate you fairly and make sure your medical bills are covered. Any one of a host of Houston maritime lawyers will quickly point out that the ball game changes drastically when an injury occurs. Not only that, but the rules are different for maritime employees and land-based employees. Defendants in maritime law cases try to hide behind the nuances of maritime law, hoping the injured party is not up to speed on them.

For instance, Workman’s Comp does not apply to injuries suffered while at sea. But thanks to the federal Jones Act, maritime workers have the ability to sue their employers for compensation, and employers are held accountable to provide reasonably safe working conditions and to maintain their vessels so that they are safe and seaworthy.


What does maritime even mean? Maritime literally refers to anything related to the sea. This may apply to commercial shipping and transportation or military activities. The set of laws governing maritime activities is known as the law of the sea, a term used interchangeably with the law of the sea. The law of the sea differs from the law of the sea, which governs international trade, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters, treaties and relations between countries.Admiralty cases have a more local concept and involve civil actions, individuals, corporations and representatives of those corporations.


The quick answer to the question of when you should call a lawyer after an accident at sea is “as soon as your ship docks in Houston.” If you have cell phone / Wi-Fi access and the privilege of making personal phone calls onboard, call or contact an attorney as soon as you can. If your ship allows workers to make personal calls, the management cannot take action against you if you use your time to call an attorney!

A common mistake some workers make is trying to appear to be a “team” player who doesn’t want to stir things up with the threat of a lawsuit. There could be quite a price to pay in order to protect an image that won’t even benefit you in the long run. A lot of Houston maritime workers – or former workers who can’t work anymore – wish they had called an attorney promptly after their accident.

Don’t try to determine by yourself if you have a case worth filing, despite all the blogs and websites that try to advise you on a DIY courtroom strategy. Make the smart move and call an attorney. Patrick Daniel has won so many admiralty cases that he can generally recognize a winnable case in just the first few minutes of a free consultation. If Patrick Daniel Law accepts your case, the legal fee will come out of the final settlement, and you will have no out-of-pocket expense.


Once you leave Houston and leave the national borders of the United States, even if you are a US citizen working with a US-based company on a US-registered vessel, some laws designed to protect you no longer apply is busy. Fortunately, other laws come into play that restore some of these protections, but in different ways.One of these laws is the Merchant Shipping Act. It is a comprehensive law that provides rules for maritime trade in US waters between US ports.Ports are only transported by ships built in the United States. The Merchant Shipping Act and the Jones Act are often used interchangeably, but in reality the Jones Act is part of the Merchant Shipping Act. rights at heart. These provisions include (among many others): The owner of the boat must take reasonable care to keep it safe and seaworthy.The owner can be held liable if it is found that he acted negligently and the negligence caused damage. Qualified seafarers (officially classed as seafarers) who suffer injury or illness at sea may be able to obtain fair compensation from their employer, through litigation if necessary. The notion of a ship's seaworthiness is extremely important as it can transform a case where the best outcome would be reimbursement of basic expenses (known as maintenance and healing) into a case where all losses suffered by the casualty are recoverable.


The major provisions of the Jones Act apply to a special class of worker called a seaman. It is a legal recognition and very important to the process when injury claims are filed. But there is no binding definition of a seaman anywhere in the Jones Act or the Merchant Marine Act.

There is precedent, however, and maritime attorneys for both sides have to sort through past cases to determine if the plaintiff qualifies as a seaman. Simply being employed by one of Houston’s many shipping companies and spending time out at sea working that job is not enough to qualify as a seaman.

In lieu of a legal definition, most maritime lawyers and judges typically agree on the following definition, but the definition has undergone a metamorphosis of terminology over the years, and it is still subject to revision.

“Seamen means an individual (except scientific personnel, a sailing school instructor or sailing school student) engaged or employed in any capacity on board a vessel” (source).

That is nice and tidy, and a refinement of more cumbersome definitions that preceded it, but the Jones Act sets progess back a bit, insisting that to qualify as a seaman, a worker must spend at least 30 percent of his or her time onboard, out at sea. It’s a point upon which the opposing sides in an admiralty case can argue for hours. Without an overarching definition to go by, however, it often becomes a stumbling block to the process.



Workers who do not meet the requirements of the definition of seafarer can still claim compensation under the Longshore and Dock Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). This federal law allows the injured party to claim losses for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, etc. due to an injury and survivor's benefits if the injury causes the employee's death. This affects dockers, shipbuilders and port construction workers injured in the Pier area of ​​the port.The provisions of the LWHCA differ from standard workers' compensation laws and generally provide for slightly better compensation.


Without the Workman's Comp safety net, seafarers often have to rely on the provisions of the Jones Act for compensation. In some ways, there is actually a better system available to seafarers, which is why it is important to consult a maritime injury attorney. extremely important when an injury has occurred. With the provisions of the Jones Act to rely on, seafarers can make claims for negligence beyond the normal maintenance and healing of certain types of injuries. You can get a bigger severance pay if they claim negligence, and all you have to do is prove that the employer's negligence simply contributed in some way to the damage. In other words, negligence need not be the sole cause of the injury.In reality, being relevant can matter very little. Employers may require seafarers to recognize the significant inherent risks of working on board a seagoing ship, but this does not relieve the employer or shipowner of liability if something goes wrong. Employers are expected to properly build and maintain the boat, make any necessary repairs and provide a safe work environment. “Reasonable due diligence” must be exercised, and potential mishaps must be anticipated and action taken to eliminate them. Negligence is not limited to the way the boat is maintained.Sometimes decisions that put workers at undue risk need to be held accountable. Requiring workers to perform duties in unsafe sea conditions, ignoring safety precautions, performing duties for which they have not been trained, or deviating from accepted practices related to ocean freight are just a few examples of conduct that may be considered negligent .


Seafarers face situations and endure conditions that would drive most freshwater seafarers into a state of fear and despair. Although they largely understand the hazards they face and have different ways of dealing with them and minimizing the risks, accidents do happen. .The most common occupational accidents suffered by seafarers include: Slips and falls: Solid #1 for claims.Slips are common in wet conditions and occur on stairways, on decks and even in crew areas. Strikes and Collisions - Swinging booms, cranes, trolleys, carts, machinery and unsecured cargo can strike workers. Cover in rough seas can make heavy lifting treacherous. Even under ideal conditions, lifting heavy objects is a risky endeavor. Illness - Not all claims are due to injury.Sometimes crew members get sick due to unsanitary conditions and improper food preparation. When the ship is at sea, the only medical option for an injured worker is the onboard medical staff, also known as the infirmary or infirmary. That can be a real benefit. or pose a real risk if personnel are not properly trained. In extreme cases, a transport helicopter may be required, but weather and sea conditions may affect whether a helicopter can be dispatched.


An injury at sea is almost always breaking news on the ship. It's impossible to keep something like that a secret. But no matter how serious the injury is or how it happened, knowing the facts is crucial because ultimately it's up to you to set the record straight about what happened. Of course, if management finds out about your injury, they'll want to speak to you. Be very, very careful what you say, if anything.While you don't want to be rude or uncooperative, you must protect your interests. And under no circumstances submit to a recorded statement. At no point in the process can you be compelled to make a recorded statement. If you decide to contact a maritime lawyer and file a lawsuit, your compensation will depend directly on the degree of negligence of the employer or the boat owner. Insurance adjusters and the lawyers on your side are master manipulators, and anything says before the case goes to court can be twisted and used against you.Don't think you can outwit a seasoned pro! Do not sign any documents, approve any settlement offer, or sign any declaration without consulting a maritime attorney.


However, please complete an accident report as part of the claims process. The difference here is that when you fill out an accident report, you are in control. You have time to reflect on your answers and state the facts clearly without being embarrassed by trying to answer key questions. Get the names of colleagues or witnesses who saw the accident or perhaps even noticed a hazard that may have contributed to your injury. Contact Daniel Patrick Law in Houston now.They will review your case and assist you in preparing the accident report and help to provide a brief summary of the accident. Based on the confidential information you provide them, they can advise you on whether your case is likely to be successful, and if so, how. a lot of compensation you may be entitled to.


The density of businesses in Houston, particularly those in the maritime industry, creates a community where information circulates fairly quickly. When one of the companies is taken to court over a marine damage claim, the other companies in the Houston area take notice. Frankly, neither party in a marine damage case wants the matter to go to court. Many don't. In fact, most don't.When a maritime lawyer steps into a case on the victim's side, the opposing party often suddenly decides that it is in their best interest to settle out of court. The initial offer, "Sign here and we'll get it done," is often withdrawn. and replaced with something more substantial and fairer. Intimidation techniques generally wear off and for the most part leave you alone and contact your attorney directly. Do not attempt to make a claim for damages at sea yourself. The Law of the Sea is very different from the type of laws you may be familiar with.It too is in constant flux. The Merchant Marine Act and Jones Act have been revised several times since their creation and there are now calls for further revisions and even calls for their repeal.