Workers on offshore drilling rigs, supply boats and the various other vessels that work in the oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of the Gulf States face some of the most hazardous workplace conditions. The risk of fires, falls, explosions, and exposure to hydrocarbons and other toxic substances make the various jobs in the offshore oil-patch some of the most dangerous jobs in the Offshore and Maritime industry. If proper safety is not followed, thousands of workers’ health and even lives can be put at risk.
Unless the strictest of precautions are taken, accidents can, and will happen. When one of these accidents occurs, the consequences can include extremely serious injuries, long term disabling damage, and even death. With the potential for such significant harm, an employer must make sure that all required safety measures are taken.
Fortunately, the Jones Act and General Maritime law covers most offshore workers injured in the offshore drilling industry. The Jones Act and General Maritime law are special maritime laws that provides special protections and right to injured workers that most land-based workers are not entitled to. These laws are unique and should only be handled by experienced Maritime lawyers. The offshore drilling companies understand these laws and the unique liabilities that they have, thus they always hire lawyers that have extensive experience handling Jones Act and Maritime cases. If you are injured offshore in a drilling accident or while working in the Gulf of Mexico Oil-Patch, you need to hire an experience Jones Act and Maritime law lawyer as well. The lawyers at Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, PC have over thirty years of combined experience handling these types of case and are ready to fight for you.
Why Offshore Oil Drilling Injury Victims Should Consult An Attorney
In some instances, the employer and their insurance company may offer the injured worker a lump sum to cover some of the injured worker’s expenses. When an offshore worker is faced with mounting medical bills and no income to cover them, even the smallest offer can feel that it is too much to pass up. However, most of these offers are just pennies on the dollar, compared to the costs the injured offshore worker faces on the road to recovery. In these cases, a veteran offshore drilling accident injury attorney can help the injured worker cover expenses, recover compensation for lost income, lost future earnings, and more. Call Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, PC and we will advise you of your rights, assist you with obtaining the benefits that you are entitled to, assist you with getting the proper medical treatment that you require, and file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain the greatest recovery that are entitled to.
Causes of Offshore Oil Drilling Accidents
With so many oil drilling injury accidents each year, it can be difficult to narrow down a root cause. However, studies have shown that most accidents fall into specific categories. Each of these categories can be used as grounds to file and offshore drilling accident injury lawsuit. These categories can include:
Lack of proper safety equipment. Offshore oil rig workers count on their safety equipment to protect them from injury. When safety equipment is not maintained or replaced in a timely manner, that equipment can go from a safety measure to a safety hazard. When employers fail to provide workers with working safety equipment, they put those workers at an unnecessary risk.
Lack of proper training or supervision. Offshore oil rig work requires skill, strength, and foresight. When employers fail to give workers adequate training on the equipment, or when they fail to provide adequate supervision to ensure the workers’ safety, they place everyone involved in a dangerous position.
Poorly maintained equipment. Offshore oil rigs require lots of moving parts, lots of maintenance, and lots of effort to maintain a specific level of production. When something breaks, it can not only stop the oil from flowing, it can also cause serious injuries to workers near the malfunctioning part.
Worker fatigue. Oil rig work takes its toll on workers, both physically and mentally. They must work hard, for long hours, under stressful conditions. When workers are pushed past their limits, they can make mistakes. In a setting as hazardous as an offshore oil rig, any mistake can have tragic consequences.
A knowledgeable offshore oil rig injury lawyer can investigate these accidents, determine who is at fault, and pursue legal action to get compensation for accident victims. For instance, in the event of the failure of a critical piece of safety equipment, the investigation can determine if the equipment was inherently defective, or if the employer failed to maintain the repair or replacement schedule for that equipment.
Types of Offshore Oil Rig Accident Injuries
The dangers inherent in working on an offshore oil rig are almost too numerous to list. Workers face the risk of serious injury every single day. These injuries can include:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Hearing impairment
- Vision impairment
- Jaw injuries/teeth knocked out
- Back pain
- Spinal damage/paralysis
- Rib fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Breathing problems
- Dismemberment (losing an arm or leg)
- Fractured arms/legs
- Torn ligaments
Other types of injuries can include:
- Illness from exposure to toxic substances (e.g. crude oil)
- Mental and emotional pain (e.g. survivor guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder, exhaustion)
These injuries can be costly in a number of ways. Workers injured in offshore drilling accidents may face the high cost of recovery, including:
- Ambulance transport (by boat or helicopter)
- Emergency room care
- Imaging tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.)
- Surgical procedures
- Hospital stays
- Pain management
- …and much more.
The expenses don’t end when the accident victim leaves the hospital. Some other expenses during the recovery process can include:
- Physical therapy
- Physician’s office visits
- Prescription medications
- Assistive equipment (e.g. crutches, wheelchairs, braces, etc.)
- …and much more.
Get The Help You Need With Simon & O’Rourke
The Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C., has over thirty years of experience handling offshore oil drilling injury lawsuits. We understand the complexities of the law as it relates to injuries suffered on offshore drilling rigs and other vessels in the Gulf of Mexico Oil-Patch. We also have the resources to stand up to the insurance companies and their high-priced attorneys. We work hard to ensure that our clients get as much compensation for their injuries as the law allows.
Fill in the email form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation session with our attorneys and staff. We can meet with you to assess your case and determine how we can work together to get you the money you deserve. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win money for you.