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Houston Cargo Ship Accident Lawyers

The maritime industry, particularly cargo ship operations, presents a host of dangers that can lead to serious accidents, impacting lives in an instant. From the heavy machinery and complex logistics to the unpredictable nature of the sea, cargo ship workers face unique and often hazardous working conditions. In such a high-risk environment, accidents are not just possibilities — they’re unfortunate realities.

At Johnson Garcia, we understand cargo ship accidents’ severity and life-altering impact. Our team of Houston-based maritime lawyers is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support, combining our deep knowledge of maritime law with a compassionate approach to each case. We stand ready to advocate for those affected by cargo ship accidents, providing an avenue of recovery to move forward.

Houston Cargo Ship Accident Lawyers

Call us today at 832-844-6700 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Houston work injury lawyer.

Common Causes of Cargo Ship Accidents in Houston

Cargo ship accidents may stem from a range of complex causes, crucial for legal claims seeking compensation. Some common causes include:

Equipment and Mechanical Failures

Failures in equipment, from engine breakdowns to malfunctioning safety gear, can lead to catastrophic accidents, raising questions about maintenance and oversight.

Crew Errors and Misjudgments

Errors made by crew members, including navigational mistakes or mishandling of hazardous materials, often lead to incidents, highlighting potential training or supervision gaps.

Severe Weather and Navigational Challenges

Harsh maritime weather and navigational challenges in treacherous waters can result in accidents, where the preparedness and response of the crew can be critical.

Collision and Communication Failures

Collisions with other vessels or stationary objects are often caused by communication breakdowns, either within the ship’s crew or with external entities like port authorities.

Identifying the specific causes of cargo ship accidents is crucial for those affected. At Johnson Garcia, we specialize in identifying these complex causes, offering legal expertise to those impacted by cargo ship accidents.

Common Houston Cargo Ship Accident Injuries

Maritime injuries can vary just as much as the vessels they occur on. From the large ocean liner vessels to rigs and small tug boats, injuries can occur at any moment due to an accident or negligence. Here are some of the most common and severe cargo ship injuries we’ve seen seamen encounter:

Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injuries on cargo ships, often occurring on wet or slippery decks, are a significant hazard. These incidents can result in a range of injuries, from simple bruises to more serious conditions like fractures or concussions.

The impact of such injuries can extend beyond immediate physical harm, potentially leading to long-term mobility issues and affecting the victim’s ability to work or perform daily activities. The recovery process can be prolonged and may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, underscoring the need for careful attention to safety on board.

Ladder and Stair Injuries

Falls from ladders or stairs on cargo ships can lead to serious injuries like bone fractures and head traumas. These incidents are not only painful but can significantly disrupt the victim’s daily life and work. Recovery may involve lengthy medical treatment and rehabilitation, impacting the individual’s ability to perform regular activities and potentially leading to long-term health complications. These injuries underscore the importance of maintaining safety standards on ships to prevent such accidents.

Loading or Unloading Accidents

Loading and unloading accidents on cargo ships can be particularly hazardous, often resulting in crush injuries or fractures. These incidents occur when handling heavy cargo and can have lasting physical and mental impacts. Victims may face a long road to recovery, dealing with the physical pain of their injuries and the psychological effects of the accident. Such incidents highlight the critical need for stringent safety protocols during cargo handling to prevent these serious accidents.

Back and Spinal Injuries from Lifting

Heavy lifting on cargo ships frequently results in back and spinal injuries. These injuries can range from temporary strain to more serious conditions like herniated discs, often leading to chronic pain. In some cases, they can even cause long-term disabilities, impacting a worker’s ability to perform their duties and affecting their overall quality of life.

Poor Visibility or Inadequate Lighting

Inadequate lighting or poor visibility on cargo ships significantly raises the risk of accidents. Limited visibility can lead to falls, collisions, or misjudging distances, often resulting in injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to more severe trauma. This highlights the importance of proper lighting and clear visibility on ships to ensure the safety of all crew members and prevent potential accidents.

Repetitive Trauma Injuries

Repetitive trauma injuries, a result of poor ergonomics in cargo ship environments, often manifest as chronic conditions like tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome. These injuries stem from the continual repetition of tasks and can significantly impact a worker’s ability to perform their duties effectively. Over time, the strain on muscles, tendons, and nerves can lead to long-term health issues, emphasizing the need for ergonomic assessments and interventions in maritime work settings to prevent such injuries.

Death of the High Seas

Fatalities at sea, governed by the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), bring profound emotional and financial burdens to the victims’ families. These tragic incidents not only cause immense grief but also lead to significant financial challenges, underscoring the need for legal support in navigating the complexities of DOHSA claims.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) from cargo ship accidents can lead to severe cognitive and motor impairments. These injuries, ranging from mild concussions to severe brain damage, can profoundly impact a person’s independence and overall quality of life. TBIs often require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, and the long-term effects can affect an individual’s ability to work and engage in everyday activities, making them some of the most life-altering injuries encountered in maritime accidents.

Limb Amputation

In severe cargo ship accidents, limb amputation can be a devastating outcome, drastically altering an individual’s lifestyle. Such injuries often necessitate extensive, long-term rehabilitation and can profoundly affect a person’s ability to work and engage in daily activities, requiring significant adjustments to their living environment and lifestyle.


Crushing injuries in cargo ship incidents can be extremely severe, often leading to long-term or even permanent disabilities. These injuries, caused by being compressed or pinned by heavy objects, can result in extensive damage to bones, muscles, and internal organs, necessitating prolonged medical treatment and rehabilitation.


Burn injuries on cargo ships caused by fires or chemical exposures can be particularly severe. They often result in intense pain, potential disfigurement, and a need for long-term medical care. Burns can range from minor to life-threatening and may require extensive treatment, including surgeries and rehabilitation, to manage both physical and psychological impacts, significantly affecting a person’s quality of life and ability to work.


Paralysis from cargo ship accidents, including quadriplegia and paraplegia, can result from severe spinal injuries, leading to chronic pain and significantly reduced mobility. These conditions, involving partial or total loss of limb function, drastically alter one’s life, requiring extensive medical care and long-term rehabilitation. The impact on daily life and work capabilities is profound, often necessitating significant lifestyle adjustments and ongoing support for the individuals affected.

Acknowledging both the high risk and the lasting impact of injuries in cargo ship accidents, it’s essential to have proficient legal support. Johnson Garcia Law provides the expertise and commitment needed to address these significant challenges, helping you secure rightful compensation and aid in your recovery journey.

Determining Liability in Cargo Ship Injuries in Houston

Determining liability in cargo ship injuries involves the Jones Act and broader maritime laws. Under the Jones Act, injured seamen can seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Investigations also consider claims of ship unseaworthiness and unsafe conditions. Working with medical experts, these claims are thoroughly documented, ensuring a comprehensive approach to establishing liability and securing rightful compensation for the injured seamen. Investigating liability involves scrutinizing various parties:

  • The ship owner or operator
  • Crew members
  • Maintenance teams
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Third-party contractors

Each party’s role and actions are closely examined to establish accountability in the event of an accident. Establishing liability in cargo ship injuries is complex, requiring a thorough investigation of all involved parties, from ship owners to equipment manufacturers. At Johnson Garcia, we meticulously examine every aspect of every case and advocate fearlessly for the rights and compensation of those injured.

Compensation and Recovery for Cargo Ship Injuries in Houston

When injured in a cargo ship accident, victims may face a range of physical and emotional challenges. From severe injuries requiring long-term medical care to psychological trauma impacting daily life, compensation can be a rough sea to navigate alone. The financial burden of such incidents can be overwhelming, with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and potential long-term disability.

Understanding maritime law, including the nuances of the Jones Act, is a crucial part of securing just compensation. This process is not just about financial recovery but also about ensuring victims receive the support needed for a full recovery based on the following:

  • Medical expenses, including ongoing treatment costs.
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering compensation for physical and emotional trauma.
  • Maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act.
  • Disability compensation for long-term impairments.
  • Wrongful death claims in fatal accident cases.

Familiarity with the Jones Act and maritime law intricacies is essential for maximizing the various types of compensation in cargo ship injury cases. This knowledge ensures victims can effectively claim for their immediate and long-term needs, from medical expenses to the emotional and physical aftermath of such accidents. Seek expert legal assistance to effectively manage your compensation claim for cargo ship injuries with the maritime lawyers at Johnson Garcia.

What Should I Do After a Cargo Ship Accident in Houston?

In the aftermath of  a cargo ship accident, taking the right steps is crucial. First, ensure your immediate safety and seek medical attention. Document the incident, including injuries and potential witnesses, and file a necessary report with the authorities. Avoid discussing details publicly, especially on social media, as it can affect your legal claim.

When faced with the physical and emotional toll of a cargo ship injury, navigating the legal path to compensation can be overwhelming. Johnson Garcia’s team has over 35 years of experience specializing in addressing the complexities of maritime injury cases. With our comprehensive understanding of maritime law and commitment to client advocacy, we are equipped to guide you through seeking justice and fair compensation for your injuries.

For dedicated legal guidance, contact Johnson Garcia Law for a free online consultation or by phone at 832-844-6700. We specialize in maritime injury cases, offering expert assistance to navigate your claim and secure fair compensation.

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