Best Offshore Accident Lawyer: Crew members have the right to be safe onboard ships and rigs. Accidents can occur when they fail to do this. Victims may be eligible for an offshore injury claim if the accident was caused by the operator or owner’s negligence.
Anybody who is injured or has been hurt while on the vessel or rig can contact an offshore accident lawyer for advice. Your family and you have certain rights under maritime law. Contact us today to discuss your offshore accident and get advice from one of our offshore accident lawyers.
What Kind of Offshore Accidents Could Occur?
There are many types of accidents that could occur depending on where you live. Some accidents can be caused by fire and explosions. People who work on platforms, vessels, or rigs are often surrounded with flammable and explosive materials.
Explosions and fire can occur if a ventilation system fails, fuel is not stored correctly, or vessels collide into each other. These accidents can cause severe and sometimes fatal injuries.
Falling objects can also cause accidents. Being hit by a falling or flying object on an oil rig or other vessel is one of the most common injuries. People who are on deck can be injured by support structures and heavy machinery that isn’t properly secured.
Slip and fall is another type of accident that could occur. Slip and fall can also occur in unfavorable weather conditions. Slipping and falling onboard can be caused by wet surfaces. Slips and falls can also be caused by bad weather. Workers can be injured by faulty stairway welding, corroded walkways, or ledges without handrails.
Offshore accidents can cause injuries
An offshore worker may sustain burns, brain and spinal injuries, back or orthopedic injuries, eye injuries and crush injuries. The consequences of burn injuries can cause severe emotional and physical scarring that can last a lifetime. SCI, or spinal cord injury, can result in paralysis or temporary loss of function in one or more limbs.
TBI (traumatic brain injury) is a type of injury that workers may sustain in extremely stressful situations. An individual may experience neurological dysfunction and long-term cognitive problems if he or she is subject to such injuries.
Workers can be affected by back and orthopedic injuries that could impact their ability to perform their job.
Workers can also suffer from joint, tissue or bone injuries that can last for a short or long time. These injuries can vary in severity, from very minor to very severe.
As with back injuries, eye injuries can significantly impact a worker’s ability perform their job. Any type of injury to the eyes can cause vision impairment or loss. Worker can also sustain crush injuries to one or more digits, or their entire body, especially if they are trapped under or between heavy objects.
Information about Offshore Injuries
Here is a list of facts about offshore accidents according to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) report. This report lists all accidents reported to HSE between April 2012 and March 2013.
- As compared to 36 in the previous year, 47 serious offshore injuries were reported by the HSE.
- Most injuries occur from lifting, carrying, and handling.
- The most common injuries are from being struck by moving objects, falling from heights, or slipping and tripping.
- 90% of injuries are caused by handling, lifting, and carrying.
- Other leading causes of injury include fire, electroshock, poisoning, and injuries resulting from machinery use.
- Nearly 91 per cent of all major injuries involved limbs.
- Construction and maintenance work continue to be dangerous and result in the most injuries.
- Desk operations are the second-most dangerous work environment. They have the highest number of major injuries.
- Diverse, drilling, management and production are all examples of dangerous work environments.
What to do after an offshore accident
After an accident, there are several steps offshore workers who have been injured should follow. Workers may feel scared and shaken by the accident, but it is important that they are aware of these steps so they can follow them as best as possible.
Get medical attention
If you are injured on land, there is much greater support. Victims on a vessel are more isolated. Emergency crews might not reach them until several hours later because the telephone and other communication systems may not work.
Even if emergency crews are able to reach them quickly, it is possible for a vessel to be at sea in the middle nowhere and it may take several hours before they can reach the victim.
Not all vessels have onboard medical facilities. While victims of injuries can be transported to several hospitals and clinics on the ground, this is not possible at sea.
No matter where or when you sustain an injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Although your health and well-being are paramount, some people attempt to self-medicate their injuries or ignore them altogether.
Our lawyers advise against this, and urge accident victims not to delay in seeking medical attention at their local hospital emergency department or their doctor.
Inform your employer about the injury
Offshore workers who are injured should inform their employers as soon as possible. This means that the injured worker should inform his/her immediate supervisor or superior as soon as possible.
Dependent on the severity of the injuries, coworkers might decide to notify the employer. However, victims of accidents should not rely solely on these workers to do so. Accident victims should write down the details and give an employer a copy as soon as possible.
Collect all necessary information
Some employers will try to deny compensation for accident victims. It is important that injured offshore workers keep all documentation of what happened after the accident. Documents should contain contact information for witnesses, photos of the accident site and any equipment that could have caused the injury.
Keep quiet and never sign anything
Offshore workers must report any injuries to their employers. However, they should not tell anyone about the details of the incident.
If you have to sue your employer, simple comments to co-workers or friends at work could be used against. Victims should not sign any documents or accept settlement offers from their employers without consulting with a lawyer.
Get legal guidance
Offshore workers have very specific laws that can be complex. In order to obtain legal advice, workers who have been injured should consult lawyers who are experts in offshore and maritime injury law.
These attorneys can help victims get just compensation for their injuries. Employers are subject to specific legal obligations and rules. If they don’t follow these rules, they could be held legally liable.
Types of Offshore Claims
There are generally four ways that most offshore workers can be treated. Individuals should be aware that there are many factors that must be taken into consideration when deciding which method to use depending on the facts of each case.
One must take into account the type of work performed at the time of the injury or illness and the location of the incident.
An offshore worker may be entitled to compensation if he or she is injured or killed in a maritime-related accident.
Recoveries under Maritime Law
Maritime law has evolved over the years through both common law and court decisions. The laws provide protections and benefits for certain maritime workers today. The law’s most significant changes include the obligation of shipowners to provide seaworthy vessels and maintenance and cure.
The duty of vessel owners to maintain and properly equip their vessels is called “Vessel Seaworthiness”.
The vessel’s owner can be held responsible for any injuries or illnesses sustained by an offshore worker, or other type of seaman, if the vessel is deemed unseaworthy. Let Lipcon Margulies & Winkleman P.A. know if you think you have been injured or sickened by a vessel’s unseaworthiness. Protect your rights with a lawyer
The Jones Act
Many maritime workers are exposed to high-risk jobs, which can lead to serious injury. If a vessel owner or crew member is found to have caused the injury or death of a seamen, they can sue the employer. A knowledgeable attorney can assist victims of injury and their loved ones in obtaining the right compensation.
Death at the High Seas
In 1920, the Death on the High Seas Act was passed to protect the legal rights of the families of seamen who have died in international waters because of negligence or unseaworthiness.
The Act allows a seaman’s spouse, children and other dependents to seek damages for burial costs, medical bills and loss support.
These individuals are called dependant survivors. Personal representative of the estate must bring the claims for wrongful deaths. The court can appoint this person in accordance to state law or it can be chosen in a will.
The Longshore and Harbour Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA).
Workers have certain protections under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation act. This includes occupational diseases and injuries. The law provides compensation and medical care to people who have been injured while working in U.S. navigable waterways or adjacent areas.
These areas are used to unload, repair, and build certain types and types of vessels. The Act covers longshoremen, harbor workers and shipbuilders. LHWCA does not cover seamen who are covered by the Jones Act. Alternatives include state workers compensation. This area of law is known as the “twilight zone”.
Get in touch with a maritime law firm that has recovered over $200 million dollars for clients Contact Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. if you have been injured in an accident. Learn more about your rights.
Common Causes of Offshore Unsafety
Many offshore and oilfield accidents can be avoided. These accidents can occur during line handling, basket transfers, vessel collisions, diving operations, and line handling.
Accidents can occur in the same way as at work, including equipment failures or slip-and falls. However, working offshore can be more dangerous than in other workplaces. An injury could also occur from a fire and explosion.
Even with large budgets, oil rigs often have very little oversight and training. This negligence by employers can lead to unsafe work environments that result in employees who aren’t qualified performing dangerous tasks, which can cause serious injury.
Head trauma, spinal injuries and severed limbs are common outcomes of offshore accidents. These injuries are often caused by:
Oil rig injuries
Oil rig workers use complicated and cumbersome equipment to drill wells and do other tasks. Many workers don’t have the proper training to use the equipment. This increases the chance of human error causing offshore accidents.
Workers must be alert and on the lookout for dangers when working on an oil rig deck. Trip hazards, electric hazards, pinch hazards, and electrical hazards are all present to workers. Workers can be easily struck by heavy equipment or slip on wet surfaces. They also may fall if the vessel’s sudden lurch causes them to lose balance.
A number of serious injuries can occur when equipment fails on an offshore vessel. Workers could be electrocuted or burned, crushed or even lost limbs. To prevent injury, it is important to use extreme caution when operating machinery on an oil rig.
Explosions and fires
Although not very common, explosions and fires can be deadly in offshore accidents. These can be caused by improperly stored fuel, poorly maintained pipes, or collisions between ships.
Workers may need to leap from the rig onto the ocean if there is a fire. This can often happen at a height of 100 feet. Although workers are trained to jump correctly, stress can cause serious injury or drowning.
Fire and injury accidents can cause life-threatening injuries, and even the destruction of entire vessels and the lives of those who are in them.
Tuggboats and barges are also prone to injury. These injuries include falls overboard, lifting heavy loads, and tow line separation. A helicopter crash can cause injury if it is used to transport workers overseas.
Any type of offshore accident can cause emotional and physical trauma. It is possible that you are trying to recover from your injuries and figuring out how to cope with losing a regular, substantial paycheck that provides support for your family.
Our Austin, Texas offshore accident lawyers can help you find the root cause of your accident, and how to get you back on your feet financially.
In an Offshore Accident Case: Damages
A catastrophic offshore accident can cause severe damage to your family. There are many injuries that will require ongoing and extensive medical attention, as well as rehabilitation.
This can lead to high medical bills. A family might have suffered a devastating accident that caused them endless pain and suffering. It can be difficult to find relief when you have lost your main source income.
An offshore accident lawyer will help you calculate the damages you are entitled to and can negotiate for you to ensure you receive the maximum recovery. You may be entitled to damages for lost wages, medical expenses and disfigurement depending on the facts of your case.
Your attorney will ensure that you have all necessary documentation and medical records to prove the tangible costs of your injury. Your attorney will show you how loss of earnings (both now and in the future), and hold any negligent parties accountable.
What factors can affect your case in an offshore accident?
It can be difficult to bring a claim against an offshore accident victim. It is important to know who you can sue, what workers’ compensation effects your claim, how much coverage you have, and where you can file your case. You have many factors that could affect your case, particularly if you are trying to prove negligence on the employer’s part.
The level of Risk
It is very risky to work offshore or in oilfields. You may need to go through steps to extract oil and gas from the ground. This may not be allowed in other industries.
Because of the lucrative nature of finding oil and gas pockets, your employer may pressure you to take greater risks or engage in unsafe activities to keep your job. These are commonplace practices. Your employer might try to reduce the perception of negligence by proving that you weren’t required to engage in these high-risk behavior.
A lot of equipment and structures on a rig are built by individuals who have had experience and not from formal training. Accidents are inevitable when you’re drilling and running high-pressure lines of fracking on your own without any technical guidance.
Many employees use machinery on an oil-rig without training. This can lead to injury. Employees may be doing tasks that are not part of their normal duties, such acting as firefighter, which can also put other employees at risk.
An offshore worker typically works 12 hours per day for several weeks and is often awakened in the middle night to unload or receive a ship. Even if there is a night crew there might be additional crew needed. Employers want their employees to be as productive as possible, and this is often due to the potential loss of profits.
What insurance coverage will pay
Oil companies can be self-insured to a certain extent. The rest is paid out by an insurance company. The insurance company may adjust their claim, or try to make sure that the oil company settles the claim fairly so that they don’t have any to pay.
Because it is cheaper than training employees properly, oil companies will often use shortcuts in the operation of their oil rigs. This may seem like the best practice in the industry but it can cause many injuries.
How an Offshore Accident Lawyer can Help
Employers often deny responsibility for injuries sustained by their workers on offshore oilfields or rigs. This is a common tactic to avoid having to pay damages.
They often try to shift the blame onto their employees, claiming that they are responsible for the offshore accident. If an employee sees something unsafe, or needs more sleep, they may argue that the employee was entitled to intervene and stop the entire vessel from moving. Employers may try to make it harder for employees to find work in other industries if they bring a suit.
It can be hard to decide whether you want to file a lawsuit. An offshore accident lawyer can help to ensure this does not happen and that all facts about your injury are presented.
An offshore accident lawyer is familiar with these tactics and can ensure that the evidence does not get distorted to suit the employer’s version. You can also get statements from witnesses and gather information about the offshore accident.
In addition to being familiar with maritime law, offshore accident lawyers are also well-versed in it. This law was designed to protect workers from injuries, accidents, or illnesses. Only people working offshore are covered by maritime law.
To be able to pursue a claim under the law, you must meet specific requirements. An experienced attorney can help you make maritime law and other applicable laws work for your benefit.
FVF can help you with your offshore accident case.
FVF’s offshore accident lawyers are available to assist you in getting your life back on track after an injury or wrongful loss on an oil rig.
These types of injuries have been litigated in Texas, and we frequently travel to Texas to pursue offshore accident claims. We are dedicated to representing you.
We interview witnesses, consult with medical and offshore experts, and conduct any necessary investigations into your injury.
We are here to help you and your family get the best financial recovery. Call us today for a free consultation.