According to the Bureau of Security and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), over the past decade, 23 people have died and over 2,000 individuals have been injured on drilling rigs and other offshore structures.
Offshore structures, such as drillings rigs, can be an exceptionally hazardous workplace for oil and gas employees. Over time, the increased production activity has resulted in more individuals operating in close quarters with others as a way to maximize profits. The more individuals that are on these offshore sites, the more likely a severe accident is to happen.
A few of the most common offshore structure dangers include:
Offshore work is both physically demanding and dangerous, and serious injuries are all too common. Injuries that offshore employees face include head injuries, fractures, and electrical shock and, sometimes, can be deadly. Maritime employees can face various types of offshore injuries, including:
If you find yourself in a maritime accident, it is vital that you act rapidly to protect your rights. Below you will find a short guide on what to do if you are injured at sea. The following actions are crucial for maritime accidents:
Many maritime accidents are preventable by adequate maintenance, training, and procedures. Maritime and sea laws are in place to ensure that injured individuals have a way to recuperate damages from the responsible parties when injuries are the result of carelessness, neglect, incorrect procedures, faulty devices, or unseaworthiness. It is important that you maintain legal representation if you feel any of your rights have been overlooked or violated.
Maritime law, Admiralty law, and Jones Act laws are intricate, and it can be hard to figure out which laws apply to your specific case. If you are not sure of which law your accident will fall under, call an experienced maritime injury lawyer today.
Depending upon the conditions of your overseas accident, you might be awarded compensation under either federal maritime law or state personal injury law. Knowledgeable maritime lawyers will be able to guide you through this difficult process and assist you in determining what rights you have specific to the conditions of your offshore injury.
The four techniques of compensation are:
The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also referred to as the Jones Act, is a federal statute that extends the Federal Employer's Liability Act (FELA) to seamen. The Jones Act makes it possible for seamen that have been hurt while working at sea to bring a personal injury claim against their employers. Under this act, the hurt worker can bring an action in either federal or state court. While basic maritime law does not include the right to trial by jury, the Jones Act does. Although some claims can be settled in the course of pre-litigation negotiation, the only way you can maintain your rights to pursue a claim is to submit a lawsuit.
The Death on High Seas Act (DOHSA) specifies that when someone passes away because of either a wrongful act, negligence, or default that took place while on high seas beyond three nautical miles from the coast of the United States, a civil suit can be brought against the individual or vessel responsible. The action will solely benefit the deceased's partner, parent, child, or dependent relative.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that offers the payment of compensation, medical care, and professional rehab services to employees disabled from on the job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in nearby areas customarily used in the loading, unloading, fixing or building of a vessel. The LHWCA also provides payment of survivor benefits to dependents if the work injury causes or contributes to the death of the worker. These benefits are usually paid by the self-insured employer or by a private insurance provider on behalf of the company. The term "injury" includes occupational diseases, hearing loss, and illnesses taking place out of employment. The LHWCA covers all workers that hold conventional maritime positions, like ship-repairs, shipbuilders, ship-breakers, harbor construction employees, and longshore workers.
General maritime laws were originally developed to establish the rights of maritime employees prior to the Jones Act or the Longshore and Harbor Employees' Compensation Act were developed. Its fundamental arrangements ensure that maritime employees are offered general living expenses and medical costs after suffering an injury and that the shipowners provide a safe workplace.
General maritime law does not just cover injuries but also illnesses you may get while on the job. Unlike the Jones Act, which states your injury must be the result of unseaworthiness or negligence, under general maritime law, the accident could be your fault or no one's fault, and you may still be entitled to Maintenance and Cure.
Under general maritime law, an employer is required to provide an injured maritime employee with Maintenance and Cure benefits till they are able to work again or have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI).
"Maintenance" describes an employer's duty to provide an injured employee with food and lodging while the seaman is off the vessel and not able to work due to the injury or disease. "Cure" describes medical professionals and hospital bills, diagnostic tests and scans, prescriptions, and rehabilitation and therapy.
You do not need to show fault to recuperate Maintenance and Cure. When filing a claim, the exact same restriction periods apply as a Jones Act negligence claim.
The word "unseaworthiness" is a term in the realm of maritime law, and its significance in maritime law somewhat varies from its significance in the marine industry.
Under maritime law, a seaworthy vessel is a ship whose hull, equipment, and crew are fairly appropriate in design, maintenance, and character to perform their intended functions in the operation of the ship.
Unseaworthiness does not imply that the vessel is unable to be sailed or navigated. A vessel is unseaworthy in regards to a seaman if it does not supply him with safe and suitable appliances with which to perform his work and if it does not provide him a safe place in which to work.
The injured maritime worker does not need to prove that the whole vessel was unseaworthy or that it remained in threat of sinking. All that the hurt worker needs to show is that some condition or element of the vessel, equipment, or crew was not fairly suitable for its intended function, and they were injured as a result. For example, if the engine breaks down and the vessel is sitting in the water until the engine can be repaired, the captain might think that it is unseaworthy, but that does not make the vessel unseaworthy for maritime law purposes.
If a seaman is injured or passes away because of an unseaworthy condition, the seaman (or his surviving family) will be entitled to compensation from the owner of the vessel. The kinds of damages that will be offered in an unseaworthiness claim consist of pain and suffering, medical bills, lost earnings (present and future), compensation for disability, and other damages under maritime law.
There are many different kinds of damages that may be covered under your maritime injury case. These damages differ for each individual case; however, a lot of compensation for maritime injuries consists of:
Maritime injury law is extremely complicated. It remains in your best interest to consult a knowledgeable maritime lawyer in order to receive the maximum compensation for your injury.
As soon as you've been hurt on the job, insurance adjusters and even your employer will begin the process of attempting to pay the least amount possible for your injuries. It's important to take your time when signing and filling out documents, as you can be misinformed to sign something that prevents you from getting what you are entitled to. For instance, if you have been hurt on the job, you have the right to maintenance and cure regardless of the way the accident took place and who is at fault. In addition, you may also have rights under general maritime law for pain, suffering, lost income, living expenditures, and more.
Insurance companies, even in the maritime industry, are known for attempting to settle low with injured workers and save as much money as they can. A knowledgeable maritime injury lawyer knows these strategies and will ensure that all your rights are being fulfilled before you sign any paperwork. Furthermore, there is a possibility that your injuries may get blamed on pre-existing conditions or because of fault of your own, which usually gets companies off the hook for liability. These circumstances are among a few of the approaches that employers and insurance companies perform in order to get out of paying you what you deserve. As a result, you must fully understand how general maritime law works and what you are rightfully entitled to prior to signing any documents. In fact, it is in your best interest to have your attorney look over all of your documents prior to signing anything in order to even the playing field against your employer and the insurance company.
The attorneys at The Cochran Firm have secured over $35 billion in verdicts, settlements, and judgments for our clients. While no claim is guaranteed to result in millions of dollars, we can guarantee that our attorneys will do whatever it takes to make sure you are compensated for every cent you are due. We have helped clients across the country receive the justice they deserve: