Do you work in an offshore company and got injured on the job? Are you looking to hire a maritime attorney to represent you for an offshore injury?
In 2019, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in the US private industry. Because of the risks involved, offshore injuries are different from common workplace injuries.
See below to learn more about personal injury lawsuits for offshore workers.
Common Accidents in Offshore Facilities
There is money in offshore facilities like oil rigs and drilling ships. If the government allows it more, US laborers can find and get 730,000 more jobs over the next two decades. However, offshore work is also risky and can even result in death.
This is why offshore companies need to give extra care and attention to their operations. Still, this won’t stop accidents from happening when they do. If you’re working in a maritime company, you’ll see a pattern of common injuries and accidents.
These injuries often occur in oil rigs, drilling ships, and lay barges. You can also get injuries on production platforms, helicopters, and service and supply boats. Often, these injuries occur when the company doesn’t meet standard safety regulations.
The most common causes of injuries in oil rigs include:
- Transportation accidents
- Contact with objects or equipment
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments
- Falls, slips, and trips
- Fires and explosions
The injuries from these accidents can range from minor burns to broken backs. Some non-fatal offshore labor injuries include amputation, chemical poisoning, crushing injuries, and more. Whether you got brain injuries from slipping or got spinal cord damage, you can file a claim.
What to Do After an Offshore Injury
Is it your first time to suffer a maritime injury? During the injury, it can be difficult to do the logical thing. The first thing you’d want to do is to seek medical attention right after any maritime injury.
Always go to a doctor to get the injury documented on your medical records. Often, common maritime injuries are internal or illnesses. Don’t wait for the lack of proper treatment to make it worse. When you see your doctor, include every detail about the accident and the injury or illness.
The next step is to inform your employer of the injury. Depending on what the illness or injury is, your employer may learn about it as soon as it happens. In case he or she doesn’t get notified about it, notify your employer through direct contact. If you have medical records, send your employer a copy of them.
After you notify your boss of the workplace injury or illness, gather information. You’ll need it to receive compensation later. Also, your insurance company and employer will ask for proof later.
Gather photos of the accident scene and the equipment involved in the injury. If there were witnesses, get their contact information. Finally, collect photos of your injuries and your medical records.
Don’t Submit Statements or Sign Documents
If your employer or insurance company asks you to submit a statement after a maritime injury, hold off on it. Others will ask you to sign documents. Do not submit any statements or sign any papers until you’ve consulted an injury attorney.
Remember that the company can use what you say or write against you. If you were careless with your words, you may lose your compensation claim. Always consult a lawyer first before you do anything that can remove your right to an injury claim.
If possible, avoid discussing the case with anybody else. Sometimes, the company will offer you a settlement offer. In the same vein, do not accept without speaking to an offshore injury lawyer first.
Offshore Laws You Should Know for Filing Claims and Injury Lawsuits
Maritime laws are different from land-based employment laws. They’re more complex you’re your employment laws that apply to land-based workplaces. Different maritime laws may apply to your claim, depending on the conditions of the case.
Below are some offshore laws that you can use for your claim or injury lawsuits.
The Jones Act or 1920 Merchant Marine Act
This act has already had many revisions over time since it became a part of federal law. It covers the rights of seamen and other maritime workers that meet the definition of a seaman. This means you must spend 30% or more of work hours on a vessel in navigable waters and contribute to its mission.
If you’ll refer to the Jones Act for your claim, you need to prove that your employer was at fault for your injuries. Even partial negligence is enough, like not providing a safe work environment. If this negligence contributed to your injury and caused damages, you can make a claim.
Maritime Common Law
The maritime common law gives offshore works protection from job-related injuries and illnesses.
Under this law, you’re entitled to maintenance and cure if you got injured. This means you’ll get medical care and still earn a reduced wage while you recover from the offshore injury. You can still claim under maritime common law, even if no one is at fault.
Outer Continental Shelf Act
Through the Office of Worker’s Compensation Program, this act provides compensation to injured workers. It covers losses and expenses, like lost wages and medical bills for offshore workers. You can sue employers for medical costs, lost wages, pain, and reduced earning capacity.
If your employer is negligent, you can file a claim for your offshore injury. Before you do, seek legal counsel from an expert. Picking the best lawyers for a workplace injury is best to ensure appropriate compensation.
A basic tip for finding the right offshore injury attorney is to look for recommendations. You can also go online to check review sites for what past clients have to say about a firm. Assess the accident lawyer and try to learn more about the law firm before you decide.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
We hope you enjoyed reading this informative guide to maritime injury lawsuits. If you want to learn more about finding the best workplace injury attorneys, see our other guides.
Do you need a lawyer to represent your lawsuit? Contact us here and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can!