Every year, offshore oil rig and gas platform workers, shrimpers, commercial fishermen, cruise ship seamen, tankermen, divers, barge workers, offshore utility workers, deckhands and other maritime workers are seriously or fatally injured in maritime accidents.
Injuries from jack-up rig accidents, vessel collisions, explosions, falls and equipment failures often require long-term medical care and the excessive medical expenses that go with it.
Obtaining full financial recovery and support for offshore injuries can be complicated.
Offshore injury claims are covered by maritime laws like the Jones Act and Longshoremen and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Many personal injury and workers’ compensation rules don’t apply.
Maritime employers will offer only a small portion of your rightful maintenance and cure (financial recovery for maritime injuries). Offshore companies will try to deny any responsibility for your accident. Proving negligence gets tricky with potential investigative snags and aggressive offshore company defense tactics.
But it IS possible to obtain the maximum financial compensation for your offshore injury.
With an aggressive legal and investigative team and decades of experience in the intricacies of maritime law, our experienced Corpus Christi -based offshore injury lawyers are uniquely positioned to maximize financial recovery for injured maritime workers.
At Williams Attorneys PLLC, we continually succeed in obtaining full medical expenses, lost wages and other substantial financial recovery for our clients. Better yet, you don’t pay a penny unless we win your case.
We represent offshore workers along coastal Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and across the Gulf of Mexico.
Contact Williams Attorneys PLLC maritime lawyers today for a free, confidential, no obligation case consultation.
What Financial Compensation Can Injured Maritime Workers Collect?
Crew members injured or fatally wounded on offshore drilling rigs, platforms, semi-submersibles, fishing boats, tankers, cruise ships, tugs, oilers, derrick barges or other maritime vessels are offered certain rights and protections under the Jones Act and federal maritime law.
These rights include the right to financial compensation for injuries obtained while working on an offshore vessel.
For one, injured seamen are automatically entitled to “maintenance and cure,” regardless of whose fault the accident was. Maintenance and cure covers all injury related medical expenses, housing expenses, food costs, household utilities and other necessary maintenance expenses.
But this is rarely enough to put an injured maritime worker back in the financial position he or she was before the injury, especially when physical or mental injuries prevent future employment in that same position, or an offshore worker’s death robs a family of much needed income and companionship.
Therefore, under federal maritime law and the Jones Act, injured offshore workers can also file a claim for:
- Past and future lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Disability / disfigurement
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of surviving spouse support
To obtain full compensation for your offshore injury, it is crucial to retain an experienced Jones Act attorney whose maritime law insight, offshore investigative resources and aggressive legal strategy can ensure you achieve success against even the most powerful company.
What Types of Offshore Injuries Qualify for Compensation?
Offshore job sites are some of the world’s most dangerous. Offshore workers frequently work long hours in unpredictable environments around massive, often poorly maintained equipment.
When an accident does happen, its can take hours for an injured worker to be life flighted into an emergency hospital for proper medical care – giving relatively minor injuries ample opportunity to become much more serious.
Common commercial fishing injuries, deepwater drilling accidents, oil rig explosions, jack-up rig mishaps, platform accidents, cruise ship injuries and other offshore disasters are caused by:
- Capsizing vessels
- Chemical leaks, explosions and offshore fires
- Crane collapses
- Equipment malfunctions
- Falling debris
- Inadequate safety policies
- Untrained crew
- Slippery decks and ladders
- Sudden storms and rough seas
- Vessel collisions
Unfortunately, negligence is almost always a major factor in offshore accidents and worker injuries.
Poor crew member training, inadequate offshore workplace safety policies, faulty equipment maintenance, improper chemical storage, and other safety violations are inexcusable at dangerous offshore job sites, causing severe, often permanent injuries, including:
- Electrocution / shock
- First, second, third-degree burns
- Hearing loss
- Neck injury
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Vision loss
- Wrongful death
Recovery from offshore injuries can take months to years, during which time you may not be able to earn a living, much less pay the substantial medical expenses.
In most cases, the only way to fully financially recover from an offshore workplace injury is to file a maritime injury lawsuit with an experienced offshore injury attorney.
Am I Eligible to File an Offshore Injury Lawsuit?
Seamen and maritime workers have the right to seek compensation when the negligence of another causes their injuries. The presence of negligence may not always be obvious, and rarely will any employer admit to it.
An experienced maritime accident lawyer and offshore injury attorney will use highly-qualified maritime investigators to inspect the circumstances surrounding your injury for signs of negligence, including
- Inadequate safety training or emergency drills
- Outdated machinery or poor equipment maintenance
- Faulty equipment design
- Insufficient safety gear or damaged personal protective equipment
- Overscheduling or insufficient break periods
- Unsafe, hazardous or cluttered working conditions
- Faulty fire alarm or warning systems
Our Williams Attorneys PLLC offshore injury lawyers pursue full financial compensation for injured maritime workers under the following federal maritime laws:
The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act) provides those who qualify as “seamen” with the right to claim full financial compensation for on-the-job injury or death in cases of employer or owner negligence. In legal terms, a seaman is one who works on ships either at sea or port of one maritime owner for more than 30% of their time, including masters, officers, crew members and captains.
Longshore Act and Harbor Workers Compensation (LHWCA)
Injured maritime workers who don’t qualify as a Jones Act “seaman” may file a claim for full financial compensation under the federal Longshore Act and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. The LHWCA covers offshore oil rig workers, gas platform workers, harbor workers and other dry land maritime workers involved in loading, unloading, building or repairing maritime vessels.
Our Williams Attorneys PLLC offshore injury lawyers also represent injured parties in “905(b)” cases. These land-based negligence cases apply to offshore platform workers and other oil and gas workers on semi-submersible jack-up rigs.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)
Those seamen injured while working in the Outer Continental Shelf in U.S. jurisdiction, including anyone injured while working on a fixed platform, can file a lawsuit for financial compensation for their offshore injuries under the OCSLA.
Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA)
Those spouses and other dependents who have lost a loved one to a maritime accident on the international high seas (over three nautical miles from shore) in are eligible to file a claim for financial compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act.
Because offshore injury claims are subject to maritime law rather than traditional personal injury law, your ability to collect financial compensation depends heavily on choosing an experienced maritime injury lawyer with specialized expertise in maritime and admiralty law.
Williams Attorneys PLLC Texas Based Offshore Injury Attorneys Fight for Maximum Compensation
At Williams Attorneys PLLC, our offshore injury attorneys are dedicated to ensuring our clients collect the maximum possible compensation for their injuries. We refuse to settle for less. Out team of offshore injury lawyers, renown maritime investigators and medical experts work diligently to gather proof of negligence and its contribution to your injuries.
We operate on contingency, meaning we do not charge any fees or costs unless and until we recover money on your behalf. All consultations are completely confidential.
Our Corpus Christi -based firm handles maritime worker injury claims along inland and coastal Texas, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and across the Gulf of Mexico.