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Date Modified: November 22, 2023
Welcome to Ehline Law Firm, your reliable source for Galveston, Texas Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Lawyers. We empathize with you if you or your family members have suffered mental anguish and physical losses caused by a shrimp boat accident. Our expert team is committed to supporting boat accident victims. We do so by providing comprehensive legal assistance to people involved in a shrimp boat accident.
Knowledge is power, and we’re here to empower you
Our team of expert personal injury lawyers is well-versed in maritime law and has extensive experience in dealing with shrimp boat accidents in Galveston, Texas. Our best accident lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company or other entities in Southeast Texas and beyond. Below, our most highly experienced accident lawyer, Michael Ehline, will break down the secrets of winning a Galveston shrimp boat accident injury case.
A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
“Injury accidents on shrimp boats can turn your life upside down. At the Ehline Law Firm, we understand and are here to help put you back on track.”
Being involved in a shrimp boat accident or boat collision can be a traumatic experience, often leading to physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial burdens. First of all, boating accident cases don’t always involve shrimpers working off the Gulf Coast. Sometimes, people riding personal watercraft or other vessels collide with shrimpers and shrimp basket lines. Sometimes, no one stops to render aid, and people drown.
Often, these incidents were due to someone else’s negligence. Either way, this article is intended to cover workers and crewmembers and how these injury victims can obtain decent representation and a free consultation.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. – William Arthur Ward
Key Facts and Figures about Shrimp Boat Injury Accidents in Galveston, Texas
Unfortunately, in Galveston, Texas, shrimpboat injury accidents are all too common. While the profession is known for its inherent dangers in boating accident cases, a deeper dive into the data reveals the true extent of the risks involved. By understanding these figures, one can better grasp the necessity of expert representation, such as that provided by the experienced team at Ehline Law Firm.
Startling Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Statistics
Given the nature of the work, it’s no surprise that shrimp boat accidents account for an alarmingly high percentage of maritime injuries.
However, the specific figures might still be a shock to many.
50% – The startling percentage of injured shrimp boat workers who do not make a full recovery, as per the same U.S. Coast Guard study.
40% – The percentage of maritime accidents that occur on shrimp boats, according to a 2015 study conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard.
18% – The rate of fatal injuries in the shrimp fishing industry far exceeds the national average for all industries.
The Human Impact Behind the Figures
“Statistics can be stark, but they often hide the real human suffering behind the numbers. Each figure represents a worker risking their life and livelihood in a harsh environment, often authorized by a negligent employer. At Ehline Law Firm, each accident lawyer on our team makes it their mission to give these workers a voice.” – A statement from the Ehline Law Firm.
The Role of Legal Representation in These Statistics
The importance of legal representation in these circumstances becomes readily apparent when considering these statistics. Without experienced legal support, the rights of injured workers might easily be overlooked, under-compensated, or wholly ignored by many commercial boat operators. Partnering with Ehline Law Firm ensures that this doesn’t happen.
As the much-needed advocacy in injury cases, Ehline Law provides the legal lifeline necessary to navigate the tumultuous waters of maritime injury law. With their experience, dedication, and knowledge, they strive to influence these statistics by providing thorough and compassionate representation to shrimp boat workers in Galveston, Texas, who have been unjustly injured.
It’s essential to understand the extent and gravity of the issue.
The numbers are harrowing and indicate a rising trend in accidents, injuries, and fatalities. But remember, you don’t have to navigate these choppy waters alone. Ehline Law Firm is here to help you every step of the way.
Are shrimp boat owners and operators required to have insurance?
In the U.S., it’s essential to understand that shrimp boat owners and operators are generally required to have insurance. This requirement is primarily geared towards protecting the employees and those aboard the boat in case of accidents, injuries, or even fatalities. Owning a shrimp boat and managing its operations involves taking responsibility for those on the vessel, and insurance is one way to ensure that protection is in place.
Types of Insurance Required for Shrimp Boat Owners and Operators:
Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Insurance: This type of insurance is essentially liability insurance for a boat. It covers third-party risks like bodily injury or property damage, which are frequent in accident cases on shrimp boats.
Hull Insurance: As the name suggests, hull insurance covers the physical boat itself, including the hull, machinery, furnishings, and fixtures. This is particularly important for shrimp boat owners as damages to the vessel can sometimes run into tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.
Crew Health Insurance: Given that crew well-being relates to the smooth functioning of boat operations, crew health insurance is a vital coverage element for medical, hospitalization, and repatriation expenses of the crew.
Employers Liability Insurance: This is necessary to cover potential liabilities related to employment relationships on the boat, such as claims for unfair dismissal, harassment, or discrimination.
Details, including policy limits and terms, depend on boat size, nature of operations, and inherent risks involved. Failure to maintain the requisite insurance can result in severe legal repercussions for the boat owners and operators.
Common Causes of Shrimp Boat Injury Accidents in Galveston, Texas
Here’s a quick overview of some of the most frequently seen causes.
Unfavorable Weather Conditions
Gale-force winds, thunderstorms, and fog can all spell disaster for shrimp boats. Once the sea is calm and peaceful, it can turn into an uncontrollable beast in the blink of an eye.
Shrimp boats require well-maintained, functioning equipment to operate safely. The results can be catastrophic when this equipment fails – navigation systems, engines, or safety equipment. Regular inspections and maintenance are crucial to ensure these machines keep humming smoothly.
Poor Training and Lack of Safety Procedures
Working on a shrimp boat can be hazardous, but accidents can be avoided. With proper training. Too often, however, crews are not adequately trained in safety procedures or how to operate the boat. This can lead to careless mistakes, lapses in judgment, and accidents.
Navigating the Legal Waters with Ehline Law Firm
When the worst happens, and you’re left reeling from a shrimp boat accident, you need someone who knows the ins and outs of the maritime accident law. Ehline Law Firm’s Galveston-based shrimp boat injury accident lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and dedication to guide you through these turbulent times.
Revealing the Most Dangerous Areas for Shrimp Boat Injury Accidents in Galveston, Texas
Galveston is well known for its vast shrimp boat industry. The Gulf Waters, Galveston Bay, and the surrounding commercial ports like Porretto Beach, East Beach, and Galveston Ship Channel are bustling with shrimp boat activities. However, these regions also happen to be the most dangerous areas known for shrimp boat injury accidents in Galveston, Texas.
The Gulf Waters
First on our list of dangerous zones is the Gulf Waters. This vast and unpredictable body of water poses serious hazards of rough waves, changing currents, and unexpected weather conditions. As a result, shrimp boat accidents are all too common here.
Next up is Galveston Bay. While the bay is crucial for its shrimp boat activity, it is also home to a high number of maritime accidents. Why? Technical issues, congestion of maritime traffic, and poor visibility frequently lead to severe accidents.
Porretto Beach and East Beach
Porretto Beach and East Beach are areas where shrimp boats anchor and unload their catches. Despite being closer to the shore, these areas are not devoid of risks. From equipment malfunction to the hectic atmosphere, dangers are always lurking.
Galveston Ship Channel
The Galveston Ship Channel, being a major port, sees heavy maritime activity – and consequently, a frightening number of accidents. Collisions and capsizing incidents due to heavy traffic and narrow navigation routes are not unheard of in this region.
Remember: Safety protocols must be followed no matter where you work; when navigating these dangerous zones, always be alert. And remember that if an unfortunate incident occurs, the experienced lawyers at Ehline Law Firm are there to assist you.
Factors That Influence Shrimp Boat Injury Accidents in Galveston, Texas
Not all accidents occur randomly. In most cases, discernible factors contribute to a disaster. In Galveston, Texas, the same holds for accidents related to shrimp boats. Let’s delve into some of those significant factors.
Overworking and Fatigue
The shrimp boat industry is often synonymous with long, grueling hours. Workers aboard these vessels can sometimes work up to 20 hours daily, with little time for adequate rest. This extreme fatigue leads to slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and an inability to respond effectively to emergencies, thus significantly increasing the risk of injuries and accidents.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. – Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Substance abuse occurs in maritime industries worldwide, including the shrimp boat industry in Galveston. With the isolation and stress of being at sea, some workers resort to drug or alcohol use. Intoxication in the hazardous environment of a shrimp boat can lead to reckless behavior, negligent acts, and, in worst-case scenarios, tragic accidents.
Shrimp boats are complex machines that require regular inspections and thorough maintenance to function properly. Unfortunately, some owners neglect to adhere to maintenance schedules due to cost or time constraints. A vessel with faulty equipment, leaks, or structural deficiencies can become a life-threatening environment in the blink of an eye.
Insufficient Safety Measures
Stringent safety measures are crucial in any industry, but perhaps more so in a hazardous industry such as shrimping. Making safety gear mandatory, conducting regular safety drills, ensuring the availability of safety equipment, and providing a safe working environment are all ways to mitigate risk. Sadly, many shrimp boat injuries occur due to lapses in safety measures and non-compliance with safety standards.
Understanding and addressing these influencing factors can significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents on shrimp boats in Galveston, Texas.
Proving Liability in a Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Case in Galveston, Texas
Establishing fault in a shrimp boat injury accident is a complex process. Every case differs and requires a meticulous investigation. As the injured party, you must illustrate that the defendant(s) were negligent and that this negligence led to your injuries.
Gathered Evidence Can Include:
Ship logs and maintenance records
Training and safety procedure documentation
Photos of the accident site and equipment.
Employing this evidence, our legal team constructs a compelling case that demonstrates fault on the part of the negligent party. The primary goal is to investigate, protect, and secure the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Common Parties Held Liable:
Boat Operator: If the shrimp boat operator displayed negligence, for instance, by navigating irresponsibly or ignoring safety procedures, they may be liable. The same goes for barges, supply vessels, and oil rigs.
Boat Owner: Owners who fail to maintain their shrimp boats properly or to train their crew adequately can be held responsible for any resulting accidents.
Equipment Manufacturer: If a shrimp boat accident is caused by faulty or poorly designed equipment, the manufacturer could be liable under product liability law. Think explosions and fires. Although rare, when at sea, it is not uncommon for seamen to lose their lives. We recently handled a case involving unseaworthy crew boats, and had the water been a few degrees colder; our clients could have perished.
The Ehline Law Firm has extensive experience dealing with these complicated liability cases throughout Houston and Galveston, Texas. We are dedicated to vigorously defending your rights and pursuing just compensation because we understand the true impact of these accidents on the life of a seaman.
Proving Liability in a Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Case in Galveston, Texas
Acquiring sound legal counsel can be the turning point in your fight for justice. Our experienced shrimp boat injury accident lawyers at Ehline Law Firm are proficient in proving liability. The complexity of such cases requires an expert understanding of marine law, insurance coverage, and the specifics of shrimp boat operations.
Crucial Points of Investigation in a Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Case:
Accident Scene Analysis: Our legal team meticulously examines the accident scene for any overlooked details that can provide critical insights. In-depth evaluation of physical evidence, photographs, and other relevant data becomes pivotal in building a strong case.
Interviews and Statements: We understand the importance of firsthand accounts in an injury accident case. Hence, we meticulously conduct interviews and analyze statements of witnesses, crew members, and other relevant parties to substantiate your claim.
Inspection of Boat Maintenance Records: Regular maintenance of a shrimp boat is vital for its safe operation. Reviewing maintenance records can often shed light on negligence or lapses contributing to an injury accident.
Examination of Safety and Training Records: Checking the boat owner’s safety protocols and training regimes reveals if mandatory safety measures and training programs were adhered to and if their neglect played a part in the accident.
Proving liability in court demands meticulous preparation, authentic evidence, and sharp legal acumen. Rest assured, our dedicated team at Ehline Law Firm leaves no stone unturned, ensuring your legal rights are upheld and justice is served.
Compensation Options for Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Victims in Galveston, Texas
If you’ve been hurt in a shrimp boat accident, the aftershock can be overwhelming. However, it’s important to know that compensation is available, and the Ehline Law Firm in Galveston, Texas, is adept at securing it for you. Let’s explore the various compensation channels you may be entitled to.
One of the most immediate forms of compensation is for your past, present, and future medical expenses. This may include emergency room visits, surgeries, rehabilitation, prescriptions, and future medical needs related to the injury. Given the potential for serious injuries in these accidents, medical expenses can multiply quickly. If your doctors send you out for additional services like an MRI or C.T. scan, things could get very expensive. Our lawyers will take every expense into account to ensure fair coverage.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
Shrimp boat companies can’t have injured passengers aboard. So, you have to heal before you can get back on your feet. During your recovery, you may be on light duty and unable to work or earn a consistent salary. Compensation can cover these losses as well as diminished earning capacity if your injuries limit your workability in the future. With an experienced team operating on your side, you won’t have to weather this financial uncertainty alone. Wexans feel confident they will be taken care of. with our guidance and focus Questions? Call us today to learn about getting paid the most compensation at (833) LETS-SUE. Let’s get you delivered for your injury claims before it’s too late!
Pain and Suffering
Physical pain and emotional distress following a Shrimp Boat Injury Accident are considered non-economic damages, and you have the right to be compensated for them. The traumatic experience of a boating accident often carries mental and emotional consequences that deserve recognition and compensation.
If a loved one dies in a shrimp boat accident, their family may be entitled to wrongful death compensation. For example, if there was a chemical explosion and someone passed away at sea. This can cover funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of the deceased’s future earnings.
In some cases, if the defendant’s conduct was particularly gross or egregious, the court may award punitive damages. These are not meant to compensate the victim but to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from causing similar boating accidents off the Texas Gulf Coast.
Note: Compensation rules and amounts can vary, and the specific circumstances of your accident directly influence them(was it a car accident, etc.?) and injury. It is vital to engage the services of a competent and experienced law firm like Ehline Law Firm, who can deftly navigate the complexities and fight for the best possible outcome for your boating accident.
Harbor Workers Compensation Act and Shrimp Boat Workers
When you’re injured as a shrimp boat worker, it’s critical to understand your rights for compensation. One relevant law is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This federal law protects maritime workers who aren’t sailors but make their living on navigable waters, often including shrimp boat workers.
Protection Offered Under the LHWCA
The LHWCA protects workers injured on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining areas used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building vessels. Shrimp boat workers who suffer injuries or occupational diseases can seek compensation for medical treatments, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages under the Act after a boating accident.
To qualify for benefits under the LHWCA, the injury must’ve occurred on the navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining areas such as piers, terminals, or docks. The worker must also be engaged in maritime employment at the time of the injury. This includes longshore, harbor, and most dock workers and ship repairers. However, there are exceptions, and certain categories of workers, such as shipbuilders or recreational boat workers on vessels under 65 feet in length, may not be covered.
To file a claim under the LHWCA, the injured worker must first notify their employer about their injury within 30 days, then file a written claim with the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs within one year. Workers who fail to meet these timely notice and claims filing requirements could potentially lose their right to compensation a short while after their boating accident.
Experienced legal counsel like Ehline Law Firm can greatly aid in making a successful LHWCA claim. We understand the complexities of the statute and work to ensure your rights are protected after a boating accident.
How LHWCA Differs From the Jones Act
It’s important to note that the LHWCA covers a different group of maritime workers than the Jones Act. The Jones Act protects seamen who spend a significant amount of their work time aboard a vessel in navigable waters, while the LHWCA covers other types of maritime workers not included under the Jones Act. Both Acts can protect shrimp boat workers, but the specificities of the case determine which Act applies.
Trends and Changes in Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Laws in Galveston, Texas
Keeping pace with the dynamically evolving blue-water law is an integral part of serving the needs of our maritime clients. Let’s delve into some recent trends and changes that could significantly impact shrimp boat injury accident proceedings and settlements in Galveston, Texas.
The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. – Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Case Studies: Real-Life Examples of Shrimp Boat Injury Accident Cases in Galveston, Texas
Shrimp boat accidents can occur under a variety of circumstances, with devastating consequences. To illustrate the diverse causes and outcomes, we will explore a few real-life cases managed by Ehline Law Firm in Galveston, Texas.
A Slippery Deck Turns Fatal
In one of the cases handled by Ehline Law Firm, a shrimp boat deckhand slipped on the wet and slippery deck while the vessel was out in the Gulf Waters. The ship was just returning after a long duration of shrimping in harsh weather conditions. The man from League City fell overboard and, despite immediate rescue efforts, tragically drowned. The subsequent investigation revealed a lack of proper safety equipment and measures on the boat. Ehline Law Firm successfully held the boat owner accountable for insufficient safety measures and managed to secure substantial compensatory damages for the deckhand’s grieving family in a confidential settlement.
Crushing Injuries Due to Poorly Maintained Equipment
Another touching case involved a victim who suffered severe crushing injuries when a winch malfunctioned due to a lack of proper maintenance. The ensuing lawsuit focused on the captain’s negligence in maintaining the essential equipment on board. In this case, Ehline Law Firm’s meticulous investigation and relentless advocacy resulted in a significant result in favor of the victim for his medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Oppressive Working Conditions Lead to Overboard Incident
A memorable case of Ehline’s revolved around a shrimp boat deckhand forced to work extended hours without sufficient rest. Overworked and exhausted, the deckhand tripped on a coil of line and fell overboard, sustaining severe injuries. After an intense battle, the deckhand was awarded substantial compensation.
General Statute of Limitations – Two Years?
In Galveston, Texas, as in the rest of the state, the general statute of limitations for filing a traditional injury accident lawsuit is two years. In those cases, this timeframe starts from the date of the accident or injury.
What About Shrimp Boat Workers – Three Years?
IMaritimeinjury cases often fall under the Jones Act or public maritime law, and they may have different statutes of limitations than typical personal injury cases. Statutes of limitations cary by contract and btate, and federal maritime laws can also influence the claim time limits.
For Jones Act cases, which provide protections for seamen, the statute of limitations is typically three years from the date of the injury.
Potential Exceptions to Statute of Limitations
There are several notable exceptions to the typical two-year statute of limitations. Understanding these exceptions is crucial as they can greatly impact your ability to seek and secure compensation.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations: The court might “pause” or “toll” the statutory period in certain cases. This may occur if the victim was a minor or mentally incapacitated at the time of the accident. Under these circumstances, the two-year timeframe will begin when the minor turns 18 or the incapacitated person regains capacity.
A defendant’s absence from the state: If the defendant in the lawsuit leaves the state of Texas before a claim gets filed, the time they spend outside Texas might not count toward the two-year statute of limitations.
Discovery rule: There are situations where injuries or damages caused by a shrimp boat accident may not be immediately apparent. In such cases, the “discovery rule” may apply. This means the statutory period begins when a reasonable person would have known about the injury.
Each of these exceptions has its complexities and requires in-depth legal knowledge for interpretation.
The Importance of Acting Swiftly
Despite potential exceptions, the best course of action is to commence the legal process soon after your shrimp boat injury accident. Not only does this keep you well within the timeframe outlined by the statute of limitations, but it also helps in gathering fresh, persuasive evidence and eyewitness testimonies. An accident lawyer experienced in personal injury claims can make an otherwise unhappy experience somewhat fun as we break through the defenses and pursue financial compensation for your serious injuries.
Recent Shrimp Boat Accidents in the News?
In recent years, there have been several notable shrimp boat accident cases in Galveston, Texas, that have garnered national news attention:
The Galveston Bay Shrimp Boat Flip (2020): A shrimp boat capsized in Galveston Bay due to bad weather and heavy winds. The crew members were thrown overboard and sustained various injuries. It took an extensive search and rescue operation to locate all the individuals physically.
Galveston Shrimp Trawler Captain Pulled Under By Tanker (2020): In the early hours of January 14, Edison set sail on a three-day shrimp trawling expedition to Key West aboard the Pappy’s Pride with three other crew members. Yet, as they embarked on their journey, the weather began to take an unexpected turn. A colossal ship emerged from the fog, giving the captain a fleeting 10 seconds to respond. A 600-foot tanker abruptly collided with Pappy’s Pride, forcefully pulling Edison under the water’s surface. His leg was entangled in the wreckage as the shrimping boat plunged to the seabed, yet miraculously, he managed to extricate himself.
Fatal Sinking in Florida Shrimp Boat (2010): Captain Bo King and Christ found themselves in a difficult situation on their shrimp boat, Miss Alberta when it started rapidly filling with water amid rough seas and heavy winds around 3 p.m. on Monday. Managing to escape the dire situation through a cabin window, both of them managed to survive the initial crisis. Despite King’s swift thinking to tie Christ to himself with a rope, sadly, Christ didn’t stay until their rescue, which came in the form of a nearby fishing vessel.
These instances are stark reminders that shrimp boat accidents can have severe repercussions, including catastrophic injuries and fatal consequences. They also underscore the importance of having knowledgeable legal representation like Ehline Law Firm prepared to provide victims with the dedicated support they need to navigate the aftermath of such incidents. Maritime workers can call us today to start your boating accident claim.
Hire a Shrimp Boat Injury Lawyer in Galveston County Today!
If you have a serious injury, a compassionate accident attorney on our team can help. We have handled many types of maritime claims, including offshore oil rigs, fishing boats, and claims involving personal watercraft like Jet Skis, yachts, and more. We help shrimper victims and their families obtain financial compensation when no one else wants to help. We do so on a daily basis and have done so since 2005. We have helped families living in Mexico, Texas, and California and can help you take the first steps to success.
Man overboard and drowning incidents are our specialty in this particular practice area. If someone you love was injured or killed on a shrimp boat, we offer free consultations 24/7. Feel free to schedule a time to speak to a lawyer at our offices today by phone at (833) LETS-SUE from anywhere in the world. We promise you and your loved ones that the call will be free and confidential. So there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by letting us hear about the matter you wish to pursue and build.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.