Louisiana’s coastal waters play host to thousands of commercial fishing boats, ships, barges, oil rigs and jack-up boats. With multiple port cities, Louisiana workers fill hundreds of thousands of offshore jobs.
The offshore industry is unique. Offshore workers are in an extremely hazardous environment, doing dangerous work. Doctors and hospitals are nowhere near when things go wrong. Coast Guard response or helicopter evacuation is likely the best case scenario, but still not a quick response.
The chances of getting killed while working in the offshore oil and gas industry is 7x higher than a worker in any other industry in the United States. As the official most dangerous industry in the country, it’s not surprising offshore oil and gas workers suffer from life changing injuries.
Accidents inevitably accompany offshore work. The cause, scale and severity of the accidents are varying. Equipment failure, human error and environmental/weather conditions are the main cause of most offshore accidents.
Exposure to caustic chemicals, pressurized equipment and flammable/explosive substances are part of the everyday offshore environment. Offshore rig workers are on shift working for 12 hours a day, with seven, fourteen, twenty-eight day long hitches. They eat, sleep, work and live in danger.
The offshore industry puts a great amount of effort into ensuring the minimization of injury. Before a worker even steps onto an oil platform or the deck of a ship, they are required to complete safety training. However, no matter how much training an employee receives, offshore accidents are inevitable.
Indeed, deaths are 7x’s more likely in the offshore industry, and it’s easy to see why. Injuries can include:
Call our New Iberia, Louisiana office today. Schedule a FREE review of your case with an offshore accident attorney. We typically work on a contingent agreement basis, which means our fees are contingent upon the outcome of your case.
Don’t Delay! You may have a valid claim! Let us help you get your compensation before the statute of limitations expires!
Contact Our New Iberia Team at the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess Today!
Offshore accidents rarely occur, but when they do, they have the potential to or hurt or kill quickly. By state and federal law, offshore workers cannot file worker’s comp claims like other industry workers. However, there are laws specifically in place to ensure that offshore workers are treated fairly.
Maritime law, or admiralty law, are laws and regulations that govern offshore activities in navigable waters or on the open sea. It is often broken down into two categories. The first being the legal statutes and laws passed over the years. The second are the “common laws” developed by the history of major court decisions. They both center on providing living expenses, medical care and lost wages to seamen injured while working offshore.
Maintenance and cure is known as general maritime law. If you are injured while working at sea, you are entitled to this no matter who was at fault in your injury. Maintenance and cure are benefits that an injured seaman receives from an employer during recovery.
Expenses such as rent, utilities, food and medical costs are covered until you reach Maximum Medical Improvement.
Maximum Medical Improvement is when a worker has completely recovered from an injury or illness and has the approval from a physician to return to work.
Maintenance and cure also applies to sickness. If you are diagnosed with a disabling illness or medical condition, you are owed maintenance and cure until you reach MMI from that condition; even if it was not caused by your work.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act covers employees that work on docks. Workers include, shipbuilders and breakers, longshoremen, and harbor construction personnel. This coverage includes medical costs for injuries as well as missed income.
The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is one of the pieces of federal legislation that protects American workers injured at sea.
The Jones Act gives qualified seamen (or the surviving spouse/dependents) the right to file suit against their employer when crew members or a ship owner’s negligence cause their accident or death.
Damages permitted under the Jones Act include medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of wages, or funeral expenses.
There is a statute of limitations requiring that legal action be brought within 3 years of an offshore accident.
The Jones Act has multiple stipulations and requirements to qualify, namely you must be able to prove negligence on the part of your employer.
The Death on the High Seas Act covers lost financial support and funeral expenses should the unthinkable and worst happen. This act is in place for workers working on vessels outside of the 3 mile territorial limit. The Act covers passengers on cruise ships or other vessels as well.
The fact that you will be facing off with a company or corporation in court makes seeking quality legal counsel highly important. You might face pressure or bullying by your employer to keep quiet. They may even threaten to take your job or make sure you cannot be hired by anyone else. These kinds of tactics are illegal.
You need an attorney that will protect your rights and fight for your compensation. A lawyer well versed in maritime laws and regulations will know how to deal with corporate insurance adjusters and attorneys.
The hazards of offshore work are numerous. Maritime laws concerning such work are complex and confusing. A talented offshore accident attorney can be a huge help in such trying times.
The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess have over 20 years of experience helping real people get real results. We offer a free initial consultation to review your personal injury case and to help you understand maritime law. Having a local firm handling things for you will also give you peace of mind. After all, who better to understand how important the oilfield is than a New Iberia offshore accident lawyer?
What makes offshore accident cases different and more difficult from others are offshore laws and regulations. The Jones Act, for example, only covers seamen specifically working on a vessel at the time of the injury. Vessels include:
Whether you are a member of an oil rig maintenance crew or on a boat transporting goods, The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess has experience you can rely on. In the initial free consultation, we go over the injury itself and the events leading up to it. The maintenance records and training of crew members will be investigated as well as overall seaworthiness of the vessel.
After an injury, money is the first thing on the mind. Suffering an injury will prevent you from making a living and taking care of your family. Medical bills pile up, just like any other personal injury claim, with expensive surgeries and procedures.
Moreover, there will be stubborn insurance companies who do not want to cover your costs. They will pressure or intimidate you into settling for small amounts of money that will not be enough for your medical care. This is why it is so important to get the help of a lawyer.
If you think you cannot afford an offshore accident attorney, you absolutely CAN! Not only is the initial personal injury consultation free, but you can also take comfort in the fact that we are a no win/no pay firm. We are only compensated when we get compensation for you. It is our job to be your voice and give you peace of mind in troubling times.
The Law Office of L. Clayton Burgess are talented negotiators and fearless trial lawyers. Our staff and attorneys work tirelessly to investigate every aspect of your case. We will scrutinize your employer and find liability factors, such as:
There is no need to handle your case alone, no matter what your income. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Don’t Delay! Call Clay!