Oil Rigs

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Reputable Oil Rig Injury Lawyer Serving Louisiana Victims

oil rig in Gulf of MexicoIf you work on an oil rig, you have one of the world’s most dangerous jobs. The fatality rate for offshore oil rig workers is seven times the U.S. average, and the rate of injuries is no more encouraging. If you are injured in an oil rig accident, special laws apply to your compensation claim that would not apply if, for example, you were injured in an automobile accident.

Oil Rig Injuries

The most common types of oil rig injuries are:

  • Amputations and lacerations caused by falling objects
  • Back injuries caused by heavy lifting
  • Burn injuries caused by explosions and fires
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, especially fumes
  • Hand injuries, (by far the  most common type of oil rig injury)
  • Head injuries caused by falling objects, or explosion debris

Many if not most of these accidents are avoidable through the consistent application of basic safety precautions.

Federal Maritime Law

Compensation for injuries at sea is governed primarily by federal maritime law, including the Jones Act. Should your oil rig injury claim be established, maritime law provides for the following types of compensation (depending on several factors including the nature and severity of your injury):

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses
  • Lost earnings and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability

In many cases, compensation for intangible losses (such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc.) can greatly exceed compensation for medical expenses.

Many oil rig workers do not qualify to claim compensation under the Jones Act, and therefore must rely on other maritime law instead. It is to your advantage to qualify under the Jones Act, because it is a particularly employee-friendly law.  An experienced maritime lawyer might be able to help you qualify.

Testimonial From a Client

I was seriously injured while working on a tugboat on the Mississippi River. From my initial contact with Tom, he gave my family and I confidence that he and his firm could handle the case. The defense attorney’s put up a hard fight, but they were no match for Tom and his team. I strongly recommend Tom and the Shlosman Law Firm in any type of maritime case. – Aaron O.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the main advantage of qualifying under the Jones Act?

Proving that your employer was negligent will not win your case for you unless you can also establish that this negligence actually caused your injury. Many accidents, however, spring from more than one cause. Normally, the negligence must be a substantial cause of the accident for you to win. Under the Jones Act, you can win even if the negligence played only a minor role.

What are the standards for qualifying under the Jones Act?

Although the Jones Act is complex, below is a bare-bones summary:

  • You must be a “Jones Act” seaman – you must spend a substantial amount of time on a particular “Jones Act vessel” or fleet of vessels

  • You must have been injured on a Jones Act vessel. A Jones Act vessel must be American-owned. A problem may arise when trying to classify an oil rig as a “vessel”; nevertheless, injured oil rig workers sometimes win Jones Act claims.

What is 'maximum medical improvement'?

After you are injured, “maximum medical improvement” is the point at which you have recovered as much as you are ever going to, even if you remain permanently disfigured. Once you reach maximum medical improvement, your employer will no longer be obligated to pay your medical expenses..

Am I required to see a company doctor if I am injured at sea?

No, you are not – and you should not. Since your employer may be liable for paying your medical expenses, the company doctor should be treated as the opposing party.

Maritime Law Claims Are Very Different From Workers’ Compensation Claims and Ordinary Personal Injury Claims

Maritime law is generally more favorable to injury victims than ordinary personal injury law, and in certain ways it is advantageous compared to workers compensation law. Maritime Law is a world all its own, and a personal injury lawyer without significant experience handling maritime claims would not be your best choice when you seek legal representation.

As a proven New Orleans Maritime Attorney, I have years of experience handling many different types of maritime injury claims. I am also licensed to practice before the following courts:

  • The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The federal courts of the Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana
  • The Louisiana Supreme Court and all lower state courts

The Sooner You Act the Better in Your Oil Rig Injury Claim

The sooner you contact me after an oil rig injury, the sooner I can begin preparing a winning strategy for you, and the greater your chances of receiving full compensation. Fill out my my online contact form, call me at (504) 826-9427, or email me at info@shlosmanlaw.com a dedicated Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney, so that we can schedule an initial case consultation.