Ports, docks, shipyards, offshore drilling oil rigs and other maritime environments along the Gulf Coast and in other Texas regions can be very dangerous places. Maritime workers, cruise ship passengers and crew members, recreational boaters and others are at risk for injuries should a water-related accident occur. Whether the incident happened while performing work duties, vacationing on a cruise or simply getting out and enjoying a day on the water, these injuries can be serious and even fatal.
The maritime lawyers at Brais Law Firm have decades of experience representing Jones Act seamen, offshore drillers, crew members, dock and harbor workers and other individuals who have been injured on or near navigable waters. With offices in Houston, Texas as well as locations in Miami, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts, our firm frequently litigates maritime disputes on behalf of clients who have been injured aboard vessels and in terminals, ports and drilling platforms in Texas, including Houston, Galveston and Beaumont. We are highly skilled attorneys who know the maritime industry. Partner Keith Brais represented maritime employers, cruise lines and marine insurers for nearly 20 years before making the choice to focus his career on helping injured individuals. He now uses his inside understanding of how these entities operate to help maritime accident victims throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region get the financial relief that they deserve.
With more than 2.3 million residents, Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States and the largest city in Texas. The city spans approximately 656 square miles, which is comprised of 634 miles of land and 22.3 miles of water. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land Metro Area covers 8,260 square miles with a population of 6,772,470 people.
Houston is home to the second largest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies in the U.S. The city serves as the nation’s headquarters for the energy industry, with more than 700 exploration and production companies operating in the region. More than 40,000 oil and gas extraction workers are employed in Houston, representing approximately 30 percent of the energy jobs in the U.S. Houston is well known for its offshore drilling and exploration activities and is the home of one of the largest ports in the world – Port Houston.
Located on the southeast end of Houston, Port Houston is a leading port in the Gulf of Mexico and the second busiest port in the United States. The port is a major component of the region’s economy, producing 1.1 million jobs throughout Texas and generating over $5 billion in state and local tax revenues. Over 200 million tons of cargo make their way through Port Houston each year. Principle imports and exports include petroleum and petroleum products, iron and steel, fertilizer, organic chemicals, wood and plastics.
While oil drilling and exploration serve as a major source of employment in Houston’s maritime industry, workers engaged in these activities can suffer serious injuries and even fatalities. There is no doubt that offshore work is dangerous. When companies do not take appropriate steps to ensure that their equipment is in good working order and they fail to provide proper training and safety precautions, tragedies can occur.
Attorney Keith Brais has firsthand knowledge of just how risky offshore operations can be. From 1981 to 1987, he worked in various positions on offshore drilling rigs, starting out as an engineer trainee and advancing to the role of assistant driller. He has worked on all types of rigs and has a solid understanding of oil drilling and exploration activities. Keith and the Texas maritime attorneys at Brais Law Firm are dedicated to helping workers who have been injured on offshore drilling platforms, supply and crew boats, barges, tugs and other vessels in the Houston region and beyond. We know just how devastating these accidents can be and we aggressively pursue all legal remedies applicable in the case.
Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston Island is a coastal city 50 miles southeast of Houston, Texas. The island is part of a group of barrier islands along the coast of Texas and is 27.03 miles in length. Galveston is a popular destination for Texans and both the tourism and marine industries are major players in the region’s economy. The population of Galveston County is estimated at more 329,00 people making it the 17th most populated county in Texas.
The Port of Galveston began as a trading post in 1825 and has expanded to offer 850 acres of port facilities today. Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay, the port provides a gateway to the Gulf of Mexico for both international trade and cruise ships. Cargo operations are comprised of a diverse mix of imports and exports including bulk grains, fruit, fertilizer, steel and other products. In 2017 alone, more than 3.3 million short tons of cargo passed through the port.
In addition to cargo operations, over 1.8 million cruise passengers embarked and disembarked from the Port of Galveston on 256 cruise ships. Cruise lines operating out of the port include:
Liberty of the Seas
Vision of the Seas
With so many cruise ships, cargo ships and other vessels passing through the Port of Galveston and Galveston Bay, maritime workers, cruise ship passengers, crew members, vacationers and other individuals can be severely injured in all types of maritime accidents. The attorneys at Brais Law Firm regularly represent people who have been injured in incidents occurring on or near the water. Whether the accident took place on a cruise ship, in a port or harbor, or out at sea, our legal team is committed to helping accident victims get the compensation to which they are legally entitled. Our attorneys have over 70 years of collective experience handling maritime injury cases and we know how to build powerful cases against maritime employers, cruise lines, marine insurance companies and other entities responsible for compensating injury victims.
Beaumont is located 90 miles east of Houston along the Texas/Louisiana border and near the Gulf of Mexico. It is home to the largest oil discovery in Texas – Spindletop Hill. The explosion of the Gusher on January 10, 1901, is well known to have set in motion Texas’ move to become a major producer of petroleum and industrial power. According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, Beaumont City ranks as Texas’ 30 th largest city in terms of population, with a population estimate of 119,114 people.
Located in Southeast Texas, The Port of Beaumont offers eight berths and 18 miles of railway served by three Class One rail carriers. The port is a major player in the Texas economy, creating more than 12,000 direct and indirect jobs and contributing $111 million to the economy through re-spending. Ranked as the 5th largest port in the U.S. in terms of tonnage, the Port of Beaumont offers diverse cargo capabilities, including bulk grain, aggregate and rock, wind energy components, agricultural goods, rolling stock, project cargo, liquid petroleum, ethanol, paper/pulp products, iron and steel, military equipment, and heavy lift and oversized cargo.
Individuals who work at the Port of Beaumont and on vessels and other structures in Beaumont’s maritime industry encounter tremendous dangers on a daily basis. From slip and falls on wet and unsafe decks to injuries sustained in vessel collisions, oil rig accidents, equipment malfunctions and other mishaps, accidents in the maritime industry can have serious consequences. Recoveries generally involve high-cost, long-term medical care and injured individuals are often off from work for an extended period of time. In some situations, a full recovery may be impossible and the worker may never be able to return to his or her prior occupation.
Unfortunately, when a serious accident occurs, employers in the industry do not always live up to their responsibilities. It is not uncommon for large maritime companies to refuse to pay injured employees the compensation and benefits they are due. When this happens, Brais Law firm is fully prepared to help individuals who have been injured at the Port of Beaumont and nearby areas get the maximum recovery to which they are entitled. Our Texas maritime attorneys thoroughly investigate each case that we handle, and we aggressively pursue all available legal remedies on behalf of maritime accident victims and their families.
Whether you have been injured in an offshore oil drilling accident or on a cruise ship, ferry, pleasure boat or any other vessel, the Texas maritime attorneys at Brais Law Firm can handle your case. These claims are generally governed by maritime law, which is a highly specialized field of practice. The lawyers at our firm have a full understanding of the complex federal and state laws governing maritime cases. We routinely represent offshore workers, crew members, Jones Act seamen, port and harbor workers and other individuals who have been injured or killed in maritime industry accidents. We also have substantial experience representing people who have suffered injuries or wrongful deaths on cruise ships, as well as yachts, powerboats, Jet Skis and other recreational watercraft in the Texas Gulf Coast.
At Brais Law Firm, we handle all types of maritime and offshore accidents, including cases involving:
It is a sad reality that many of these and other maritime accidents are caused by the carelessness and recklessness of others. Drilling and exploration companies, cruise line operators and other entities in the maritime industry often put profits ahead of safety. When an accident occurs, they will turn to their insurance companies to protect them from liability. In these situations, our firm is prepared to build a powerful case that holds all responsible parties financially accountable for the injuries sustained.
When you hire our firm, our maritime injury attorneys will carefully evaluate your case to identify all potential courses of action. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding your accident, there may be different remedies available to you under federal and state laws. Our team will carefully explain your options, and we will work with you to develop a legal plan that helps you recover maximum financial compensation for your losses and damages.
At Brais Law Firm, our mission statement is “Protecting Rights” and “Restoring Lives.” These are more than just words to us and we are committed to fulfilling our mission in every case that we handle. This means that if you have been hurt in an offshore drilling, harbor or dock, cruise ship, boating, personal watercraft or other maritime accident in Texas, we will do everything we can to help you get the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life. When you are injured in these types of incidents, it is important to seek legal guidance as soon as you are physically able to do so. The experienced Texas maritime attorneys at our firm will aggressively investigate your claim to identify all responsible parties and determine which maritime laws apply to your case. To schedule a free case evaluation with a maritime injury lawyer at our firm, call our Houston, Texas office today at 800-499-0551 or complete our online contact form.