Houston Injured Diver Lawyers

Serious and Fatal Commercial Diving Accidents

Injured-Divers

Our Houston injured diver lawyers understand that, of all maritime workers, divers may be at the most risk of serious or fatal injury. Understanding the hazards, maintenance contractors and petrochemical companies that employ divers are required by law to adhere to strict safety standards and dive protocols. When negligent dive managers, crew members or vessel owners fail to exercise proper precautions and a diver is injured or killed, this may form the basis for a claim for compensation under the Jones Act.

Injured divers and families who lost a loved one in a commercial diving accident may also have the option of seeking compensation in a direct action against a third party whose negligence caused or contributed to the injury or loss.

The Houston injured diver lawyers at Stevenson & Murray represents injured divers in Texas, throughout the Gulf Coast and nationwide. Our capable attorneys offer sound legal advice and experienced representation to divers employed by U.S. companies operating in the Persian Gulf, North Sea, Asia, Africa, Australia and around the world. To discuss your case in a free consultation, please contact us today. All consultations are strictly confidential.

Representing Injured Maintenance Divers in the U.S. and Worldwide

If you or a loved one recently suffered any type of diving injury in the Houston area or the waters surrounding the U.S., it is vital to find legal representation you can trust to guide you through the difficult legal proceedings you are likely to face. When an injured diver is covered by the Jones Act, they have the right to seek various forms of compensation from their employer based on the severity of their damages. However, they must find an attorney who has solid experience handling Jones Act claims on behalf of Texas clients.

Our Houston injured diver lawyers have substantial experience in helping victims of diving injuries and other maritime accidents recover substantial compensation on claims of negligence, including:

  • Failure to monitor rate of ascent resulting in nitrogen narcosis (decompression sickness or “the bends”). This is one of the many hazards facing any commercial divers working in deep spaces. Even when the best quality diving gear is used, the human body must gradually acclimate to pressure changes underwater. Ascending too quickly can easily disrupt the pressure of various bodily fluids and cavities, potentially resulting in life-changing injuries.
  • Negligent air flow and oxygen monitoring and regulation. When a person is cut off from oxygen, they begin to experience rapid brain cell death and can easily fall into a coma and die if their flow of oxygen isn’t restored promptly. Any negligent failure to monitor oxygen systems and/or address airflow disruption correctly can lead to liability for the victim’s damages.
  • Failure to conduct required physical and medical evaluation. Commercial diving is a very physically demanding job, and it can also impose psychological distress due to the nature of working in dark underwater spaces. Employers are required to ensure every employee is medically fit for their job duties, promptly addressing any medical concerns that arise to minimize harm.
  • Required over hours diving or too frequent diving. Diving and adjusting to different pressure levels takes a toll on the body, and all commercial divers need to take appropriate rest breaks between diving sessions. When employers impose overly demanding schedules, they can face liability for any medical complications or injuries their workers sustain as a result of overworking.
  • Failure to provide for adequate safety and rescue. All offshore employers handling diving operations are required to have emergency systems in place. When a diving emergency happens, they must be able to arrange rescue efforts and retrieve the victim as quickly as possible. Failure to account for emergencies can lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.
  • Failure to properly treat or promptly evacuate an injured diver. Employers must have appropriate medical supplies and staff available to address emergencies. Any failure in this regard can easily lead to liability for a Jones Act claim against an employer.
  • Failure to properly secure propellers. The propellers of a watercraft can easily cause fatal injuries if they are left unsecured near divers. Some divers may be unable to see propellers as they ascend from their underwater workspaces, and any propellers in motion can easily cause devastating injuries.
  • Dive tender negligence or equipment failure. Every commercial diver typically works with a dive tender, or a coworker responsible for monitoring their equipment, oxygen levels, and other working conditions for the diver. If this individual fails to account for foreseeable safety issues or neglects to monitor the diver, they can face liability for any resulting damages.
  • Faulty dive equipment. Any employer must ensure the dive equipment used in their diving operations is fit for use and receives appropriate care and maintenance regularly. Failure to meet this responsibility can easily result in liability for subsequent dive equipment failures.
  • Improper use of decompression tables. Many divers use decompression tables for spinal decompression therapy, a nonsurgical method of relieving back pain caused by pressure changes experienced underwater. Some diving operation employers offer the use of decompression tables, but the staff managing this therapy must possess appropriate skills and training to ensure they do not injure divers seeking relief.

Saturation diving and underwater welding are two of the most hazardous commercial diving activities. Serious and fatal accidents occur with alarming frequency. Some may even be hushed up by companies who pressure injured divers or their families to accept a hurried settlement.

Injured divers who are treated well by their employers immediately following the accident may find that things change once their opportunity to file a negligence claim has passed. Consulting with experienced Houston injured diver lawyers may be the best way to protect your rights and understand your options.

Compensation Available for a Successful Jones Act Claim

The Jones Act exists to provide legal protection to workers who sustain injuries while working on the sea and who are not typically covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If you believe a recent diving injury that you or a loved one suffered qualifies as grounds to file a Jones Act claim, it’s essential to find an attorney experienced with this type of civil suit. While similar to a personal injury claim in many ways, there are various special considerations a plaintiff must make in preparation for filing a Jones Act claim.

Under the Jones Act, an employer faces liability for any damages a worker sustains while performing their job duties. However, unlike workers’ compensation claims that do not require establishing fault, success with any Jones Act claim requires proving that intentional misconduct or negligence directly caused the injury in question. If you successfully prove your employer or a coworker is responsible for your recent diving injury, the compensation you could potentially secure from a successful Jones Act claim can include:

  • Medical expenses. Any diving accident can potentially cause a severe injury. Some diving injuries like ear barotrauma and injuries from improper decompression can result in permanent medical complications. The Jones Act enables the plaintiff to seek “maintenance and cure,” and this applies to all medical treatments they need to reach maximum medical improvement.
  • Lost wages. A diving injury could leave the victim unable to work until they recover. All wages lost during their recovery can be sought as economic damages. This is beneficial compared to a standard workers’ compensation claim that may only offer temporary disability benefits at a rate of about two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages. Under the Jones Act, you can seek full compensation for all your lost income.
  • Lost future earning potential. A severe diving injury could leave the victim completely unable to work in the future. The defendant would be liable for the income they would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had their injury not occurred. Your attorney can assist you in calculating how much income you would have earned until retirement if the diving injury hadn’t happened.
  • Vocational rehabilitation. When you are left unable to return to commercial diving because of your injury but can handle alternative job duties, you can seek compensation for the cost of training for a new job from the defendant in your Jones Act claim.
  • Pain and suffering. Similar to a personal injury claim in Texas, the plaintiff in a Jones Act claim has the right to seek compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress they experienced from their injury. A catastrophic diving injury resulting in permanent disability is likely to yield a substantial amount of compensation for the victim’s current and future pain and suffering.

It’s common for the victim of a diving injury to initially undervalue how much their claim is worth. While the average person can likely account for immediately recognizable losses like their hospital bills and lost wages, they are likely to struggle in calculating long-term damages for severe injuries. Working with an attorney you can trust is the best strategy for anyone in this situation. The sooner you secure legal counsel from a reliable attorney, the better your chances will be of securing the results you hope to see from your diving injury claim.

Hiring experienced legal counsel is the best way to increase your chances of success with a complex diving injury case and maximize the total compensation you receive under the Jones Act. Stevenson & Murray understands how challenging your situation is likely to be after experiencing any unexpected diving injury or if you must handle legal affairs on behalf of a critically injured loved one. Whatever your case entails, you can expect compassionate and responsive communication with our team through all phases of your recovery efforts until you reach the best attainable results for your claim.

Houston Maritime Diving Accident Lawyer FAQs

Q: What Is the Most Commonly Reported Diving Injury?

A: One of the most commonly reported injuries among offshore divers is ear barotrauma, a condition inside of the ear that occurs due to rapid pressure changes while underwater. This condition often results in chronic pain and hearing loss. Other commonly cited diving injuries include drowning-related injuries and injuries from underwater equipment.

Q: How Soon Should I Speak With a Lawyer After a Diving Injury?

A: Ideally, you should connect with an experienced Houston injured diver attorney as soon as you resolve your immediate medical needs after your accident. Securing legal counsel as soon as you can ensures your legal team has the most time possible to work on your case. When you contact Stevenson & Murray for representation after a diving injury, we will immediately begin working on your case.

Q: How Much Is My Diving Injury Claim Worth?

A: The total value of any diving injury claim depends on the total value of the victim’s economic damages and the severity of their condition after reaching maximum medical improvement. If you can file a Jones Act claim, you could secure compensation for all economic losses as well as current and future pain and suffering caused by the incident. A successful personal injury suit could yield similar compensation. Your Houston injured diver attorney can provide a rough estimate of how much you could obtain if you win your case.

Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Houston Injured Diver Attorney?

A: The right attorney can make a significant impact on the quality of your recovery from a diving injury. Even after you account for the cost of retaining their counsel, they can likely secure far more compensation for your damages than you could manage on your own. Stevenson & Murray is dedicated to helping our Houston clients recover from their work-related injuries as fully as possible.

Contact Our Houston Injured Diver Lawyers

We stand up for your rights and fight for your recovery after a diving accident resulted in serious injury or wrongful death. We invite you to contact our Houston injured diver lawyers at (713) 622-3223 to discuss your diving injury case in a free, confidential consultation.

You may also contact us by email for more information or to request an appointment.

Get in Touch

=