Offshore oil rig jobs are often dangerous and put workers at risk of catastrophic or even fatal injuries. They work with dangerous machinery and highly volatile chemicals, including the oil they are drilling. Employer negligence can play a big part in why oil rig workers get hurt. When that is the case, you have rights that deserve to be protected and potential compensation available to you.
Let a dedicated Pearland offshore oil rig injury lawyer fight for the restitution you deserve. Our attorneys have the know-how to pursue maritime injury cases and are here to help with yours.
How do Oil Rig Accidents Happen?
Many types of harmful accidents can occur on an oil rig. These large vessels are inherently dangerous, and an employer’s negligence can make them even more so. Common causes of offshore oil rig accidents commonly include, but are not limited to:
- Unsafe working conditions
- Negligence when operating equipment
- Catheads slipping or improper placement
- Pipe tongs malfunction
- Cable or block breaks
- Falling objects
- Slip and fall accidents
- Burns and electrical shock
These and countless other hazards may be the reason an oil rig worker suffers a debilitating injury. An injured oil rig worker has the right to seek financial compensation in many cases. An experienced Pearland lawyer knows how to help after an accident on an offshore oil rig.
Federal Protections for Offshore Oil Rig Workers
Two federal laws provide protections for offshore oil rig workers in and around Pearland:
The Jones Act
Under United States Code §30104, the Jones Act allows oil rig workers and seaman who spend at least 30 percent of their time in navigable waters or on nearby shores to pursue compensation for injuries suffered while working on jack-ups, oil platforms, and vessels. This is a type of personal injury claim that requires the injured oil rig worker and their attorney to prove that their employer or a third party was negligent and therefore responsible causing an otherwise avoidable accident.
Offshore oil rig accident cases can only be filed under the Jones Act if the injury occurred while the worker was acting within the scope of their employment. Proving these claims can be tricky without qualified legal guidance. It is important to have a well-versed Pearland attorney assist in the legal aftermath of an offshore oil rig accident.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) covers offshore oil rig workers and other maritime employees who may be excluded from the Jones Act. The OCSLA defines the Outer Continental Shelf as all the submerged lands that are seaward of state submerged waters and lands. This starts about three nautical miles offshore.
When an offshore facility such as an oil rig is permanently or temporarily connected to this seabed, it is likely subject to the OCSLA. Under this Act, an injured oil rig worker may apply for benefits such as:
- Medical costs
- Disability payment
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Survivor benefits
This Act is similar to workers’ compensation laws and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Whether it applies in a specific case can be determined by a qualified oil rig accident attorney serving the Pearland area.
Work with an Offshore Oil Rig Injury Attorney in Pearland
Oil rigs may be dangerous, but your injuries could be compensable through a properly filed claim. Determining the right lawsuit to file could be made easier with the professional help and guidance of an attorney who understands maritime law. Get your case started by contacting a Pearland offshore oil rig injury lawyer today.