Over 160,000 gallons of fuel spilled from a disabled barge off the coast of Texas last week, and now all of the traffic in and out of the Port of Texas City has been halted. While crews are at work to contain the spill and clean up the area, local and national businesses are feeling the pain. For those businesses affected by the spill, a Houston maritime attorney may be the answer.
What happens when you have to shut down maritime traffic in or out of the Port of Texas City for a day? Well, two large oil tankers were trapped in port, unable to make their deliveries. Several cruise ships were stuck both in and out of port, delaying paying customers’ vacations and returns, and that’s not all.
It’s been estimated that the port sees between 25 and 30 ships entering and leaving each day. These ships make deliveries to and from local businesses, which feed the local economy. The pinch felt from being unable to send or receive these deliveries could spell doom for some companies.
So, is the accident the fault of the owners of the disabled barge that leaked the fuel out into the harbor area? Should that company and their insurance be responsible for all of the losses involved? A Houston maritime attorney, like one of the ones at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, may be able to sort out who is at fault and who should pay for which damages.
This is not a cut-and-dried case. It’s too soon to tell if there will be much impact on the local economy or if the owner of the leaky vessel can be held responsible for losses to businesses not directly tied to the port. If you’ve been directly or indirectly affected by an accident like this, you should call a Houston maritime attorney today to find out your rights and what you can do for compensation.
These days, you hardly ever hear of maritime vessels colliding. Much like the way the FAA and air traffic control systems work to keep airplanes from colliding midair, there are multiple measures in place with maritime vessels to keep them from colliding, such as radio and radar. When a collision does occur, crewmembers based out of Texas should be prepared with the contact information for a Houston Maritime Attorney.
On May 2, 2012, one of these rare collisions took place between an oil tanker and a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU). The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the collision was most likely caused by a failure in the tanker’s main propulsion engine. No crewmembers were injured on either vessel, but the combined damage was estimated at $16-17 million.
If you’re a crewmember on a maritime vessel, it’s important that you know your rights. If you’re involved in an accident, you could be seriously injured, preventing you from working for some time, or your employer could attempt to fire you for misconduct. If you know that the accident occurred through no fault of your own, you need to call a Houston Maritime Attorney immediately.
If the insurance companies involved in handling the case of the tanker and MODU collision had determined that the engine failure was due to poor maintenance, no fault could be found with the crewmembers on board. If someone had been injured, he or she would have had the right to worker’s compensation.
Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies don’t always have the best intentions. That’s why calling a Houston Maritime Attorney, like the ones at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP, is usually the best course of action. Even if you haven’t been in an accident, you should get the contact information for a qualified attorney. When you work in a dangerous field, you need to take precautions for yourself and your family.
On March 22, 2014, an oil barge and a ship collided in the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest shipping channels in the country. The crash took place near the famed Texas City Y, the spot where the Houston Ship Channel, the Intracoastal Waterway, and the Texas City and Galveston Ship Channels meet. Thankfully, only minor damage was done to the oil barge, although it did leak some of its contents into the surrounding water. While no injuries were reported, collisions like this can result in all manner of injuries and even in death.
If you are injured or if you lose a loved one in a barge or tanker collision, you will require the services of an experienced Houston maritime attorney. Maritime law can be very complex, and hiring a traditional personal injury or wrongful death lawyer is not the way to go. You need someone who is very well-versed in maritime law and who knows what your rights and entitlements are according to that set of laws. By making the right choice when hiring an attorney, you give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome.
When looking for an experienced Houston maritime attorney, contact the team here at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP. We will provide you with a free case review and will work to answer your questions and to learn as much as we can about your case. We don’t collect a penny until you do, so there are no up-front fees to worry about. We know that you have enough on your plate worrying about dealing with your injury or loss and trying to figure everything out. Put your case in our hands and let us handle the courts and the insurance company so that you can put your focus where it needs to be – on your recovery.