Oil Rig Accident Attorney in Louisiana
Oil rig workers have one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, as they operate heavy machinery and are in constant exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials. While offshore incident fatalities have been steadily increasing over the last 15 years, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recorded the highest number of offshore incident fatalities yet in 2020, at 7,776. While it is evident that oil rig workers are more predisposed to dangers than other professions, most accidents and injuries are preventable.
If you are suffering from physical and mental distress after being injured in an accident while working offshore on an oil rig, contact the personal injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan! We are experienced and well-versed in dealing with major corporations and when you seek support from us, we will work attentively with you and fight to get the compensation you deserve!
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Common Types of Offshore Oil Rig Accidents and Injuries
Offshore workers are in constant danger of sustaining minor and life-threatening injuries when working on oil rigs. Legally, oil companies are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for every employee on the rig. Despite the law, workers on these rigs are, unfortunately, regular victims of various types of accidents including:
- Accidents caused by defective drill rigs
- Gas leaks and toxic chemical exposure
- Explosions and fires
- Accidents involving faulty equipment
- Slips, trips, and falls
- And more
And as is the case with any type of accident, let alone oil rig accidents that involve complex heavy machinery, injuries sustained while working offshore can come in a variety of forms. Common injuries that oil rig workers can experience include:
- Scrapes, cuts, and other lacerations
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries that can lead to paralysis
- Hearing loss caused by loud machinery or improper ear protection
- Broken bones
- Head injuries such as tramautic brain injuries
- Eye injuries that could lead to vision loss
- Catastrophic injuries such as the loss of a limb
- Medical conditions or diseases caused by exposure to toxic materials
- And many more
These accidents and injuries also negatively affect the workers’ families, as they lose financial income, worry over their loved ones, and in the worst cases, experience grief that causes immense distress and a decline in mental health. Therefore, people reeling from the aftermath of oil rig accidents should also receive compensation for their traumatic experiences.
Explaining the Jones Act
A separate set of laws apply to oil rig workers as they do not classify as traditional workplace accidents. The Jones Act is federal legislation that lays out the compensatory requirements owed to seamen who experience an injury while working offshore.
Who Classifies as a Seaman?
A seaman is an individual working in an ocean or intracoastal waterways who works on a boat or another type of vessel. Oil rig workers fall under the classification of seaman, meaning that any workplace personal injury case will adhere to the Jones Act.
Two Rights Given to Seamen Under the Jones Act
1. Financial coverage for medical treatment and costs for your stay at sea after injury.
2. An oil rig worker is given the right to take legal action against an employer if negligence was the cause of their accident. The oil rig company meets the definition of “negligent” if they fail to provide a safe work environment or if the rig is declared unsuitable for the sea.
Schedule a free consultation with a maritime lawyer in Louisiana if you need further clarification on the rights provided under the Jones Act or think you may be eligible to file a claim. There is a high likelihood that your employer will contest a claim and try to avoid compensating for your injuries, so it is best to have a solid legal support system.
How Long Do I Have to File My Oil Rig Accident Claim?
The time frame an individual has to file a claim for compensation after an oil rig accident varies from state to state. If someone sustains an injury off the coast of Louisiana, they will have to file their claim one year after the injured date. However, the limitation extends to six years in North Dakota and two years in Texas. If you are a victim of this type of accident, you must figure out how much time you have to file your claim in your state before it’s too late. The best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve is to reach out to an experienced oil rig injury attorney as soon as possible.
Consult with an Oil Rig Injury Lawyer in Louisiana
If you experienced an injury while working on an oil rig or somewhere else offshore, contact Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys. With our expertise and expansive knowledge of maritime law, we are confident that we can offer the legal guidance you require during this difficult time. In addition, we always put forth our best effort to fight for your case in hopes that you will get the financial compensation you need through the recovery process.
We proudly serve Louisiana and have locations in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Shreveport, Ascension, Denham Springs, Zachary, Hammond, Lake Charles, and Monroe! Give us a call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your oil rig accident today.
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