Offshore oil rigs are a vital source of income for many Texans. However, as anyone who has ever worked on one can attest, these rigs can also be extremely dangerous. Explosions, falls, and other accidents occur on offshore oil rigs with a frightening degree of regularity.
If you have been injured in an accident on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, you may be able to claim some financial restitution to cover your medical bills and other expenses. To do so, however, you will need the assistance of a skilled oil rig accident lawyer – like those here at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C, in Houston, TX.
How We Can Help You Pursue Compensation After Your Oil Rig Accident
At Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., we know how hard oil rig employees work every day. We believe that, when those workers are injured on the job, they should be adequately compensated. When you come to us for help with your oil rig accident case, we will:
Walk You Through the Legal Process
The process of filing for compensation after an oil rig accident can be quite complicated. The laws that govern offshore injuries were written more than 50 years ago, and the agencies that process these cases tend to move quite slowly.
When you hire the Brian White & Associates team, one of the first things we will do is sit down and walk you through this complex legal process. When we are finished, you should have a much clearer understanding of how your case is likely to play out.
Provide You with Sound Advice
As you work through your oil rig accident case, you will almost certainly need to make some difficult decisions. If you can consistently make the right moves, you may be able to boost your chances of achieving a favorable outcome to your case.
Having practiced maritime law for many years, the attorneys here at Brian White & Associates have dealt with just about all of the tricky choices you are likely to encounter during the course of your case. Whenever you aren’t sure what to do, we will be by your side to provide you with astute legal advice.
Handle Your Paperwork Load
Claiming compensation after an accident on an oil rig typically requires quite a lot of paperwork. From filing the initial claim to requesting medical records from your physician, the list of administrative work associated with such a case can sometimes seem never-ending.
Our team of experienced attorneys and paralegals have been processing oil rig accident claims for years. As such, we have the bandwidth to handle the paperwork for just about any case, no matter how complex it may be. When you work for us, we will take care of your case’s entire administrative load.
Would you like to have an Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. personal injury lawyer help you fight for the compensation you deserve? Then why not pick up the phone and give us a call to set up a free consultation at our Houston law offices? Our team would love to meet with you to discuss your case in greater detail.
Oil Rig Accident Compensation Claims – Understanding the Law
When an employee at a restaurant or on a construction site in Houston is injured on the job, they can usually pursue compensation under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. Injured offshore oil rig workers, on the other hand, are not eligible to file an injury claim under this state law.
They must instead fight for compensation under the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts:
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Merchant Marine Act (otherwise known as the Jones Act) into law. This statute allows seamen who work on shipping vessels in U.S. navigable waters to sue their employers if they are injured on the job.
To be classified as a seaman under the Jones Act, a maritime worker must:
- Play an important role in operating a vessel
- Have a direct and substantial connection to a vessel
- Spend more than 30 percent of their time aboard the vessel contributing to its operation
Seeing that the Jones Act only offered protection to a small portion of maritime workers, President Calvin Coolidge signed the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act into law in 1927. This statute allows marine workers who are not classified as seamen under the Jones Act to pursue compensation for their on-the-job injuries.
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, an accident victim may receive financial restitution for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Generally speaking, the size of an accident victim’s compensation check is closely tied to the severity of their injury.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
To be eligible for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, a marine worker must sustain their injury in one of the following locations:
- The navigable waters of the United States
- A terminal
- A wharf
- A dock
- A pier, or
- Any other adjoining shipping area
Because oil rigs are not typically located in any of these places, workers injured on such structures could not pursue compensation for their injuries until 1953. In that year, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
This statute essentially extends the protections of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to individuals who work on “submerged lands lying seaward of state coastal waters (3 miles offshore) which are under U.S. jurisdiction” – the location of most offshore oil rigs.
Oil rig workers that pursue compensation under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act are typically entitled to payment for the same damages as maritime workers who file under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. When oil companies are found to have violated safety regulations, workers are sometimes entitled to punitive damages, too.
The oil rig accident lawyers here at the law firm of Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. in Houston, TX, are experts in all areas of maritime personal injury law. If you have been injured in an offshore accident and would like us to help you fight for compensation, just give us a call and set up a free consultation with a member of our experienced legal team.
Common Injuries Sustained in Oil Rig Accidents
Oil rig explosions, falls from elevated platforms, and other accidents can cause workers to suffer a wide range of different injuries.
A brief list of some of the most commonly sustained injuries in oil rig accidents would include:
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Eye injuries
- Ear injuries
Have you sustained one of these injuries on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico? Then the team here at the law firm of Brian White & Associates may be able to help you recover some compensation. To set up an initial consultation and take the first step toward building a strong attorney-client relationship, just give us a call or contact us online.
Statute of Limitations for Oil Rig Accident Compensation Claims
Like most personal injury matters, oil rig accident compensation claims are extremely time-sensitive. Should the accident victim wait too long to begin the process of fighting for financial restitution, they may become ineligible for compensation.
To find out when an injured worker must begin their legal journey, one must look at the statute of limitations outlined in the federal law that they will be filing under:
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
The fact that very few oil rigs are located in U.S. navigable waters means that oil rig workers are unlikely to file for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. However, if the circumstances of their accident make them eligible to file under this statute, they generally have to do so within a year.
If they are seeking compensation for an occupational disease, this filing window is extended to two years.
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act is the law that most injured oil rig workers will use to file their compensation claims. The statute of limitations for the OCSLA is determined by the state that is adjacent to the oil rig on which the worker was injured. If this state is Texas, the accident victim has two years to file their claim.
Would you like to have a Brian White & Associates personal injury and wrongful death attorney review your oil rig accident case and let you know your filing deadline? If so, just shoot us a message online and set up a free consultation at our Houston law offices. We are ready, willing, and able to assist!
Your Trusted Texas Oil Rig Accident Lawyer
The legal team here at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. has been helping oil rig workers fight for compensation for their on-the-job accidents for years. During that time, we achieved countless favorable outcomes for our clients. If you would like to have one of our attorneys on your side as you battle for financial restitution, just give us a call today for a free consultation.