Whether you’re employed on an oil rig or one of the many vessels that carry goods across the Gulf of Mexico, your company has a duty to provide you with the safest possible working environment. This includes following all safety rules and regulations to keep their workforce safe. Unfortunately, not all owners act responsibly. When they don’t, traumatic accidents can occur that forever change people’s lives.
The offshore industry is dangerous even when owners, managers, and employees follow all rules. When someone else’s negligence or carelessness results in injury or death, the injured party or parties have a right to compensation, but knowing where to begin can be difficult. You can start by contacting a personal injury lawyer with experience in Austin oil field accident claims. At the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, our offshore injury lawyers are ready to take your call.
As your legal team, we will work tirelessly for you by:
When you are facing difficult circumstances after an offshore accident, our goal is to get you the best financial recovery possible. Talk to one of our offshore accident lawyers today.
Offshore accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, practically all of which are preventable. Anyone can be seriously injured when they occur, including oil rig workers and crew members on the barges, tugboats, and other vessels that operate in the waterways around Texas.
Although most oil companies have large budgets, they sometimes cut corners on training their employees. The equipment used on these vessels is often complicated and unwieldy, so a lack of training can have deadly consequences. In addition, some rigs fail to properly train and oversee their workforces, resulting in untrained workers injuring themselves or others.
When slippery substances are allowed to accumulate on floors or ladders and scaffolds aren’t properly secured, slip and fall accidents can occur. As part of maintaining a safe work environment, employers are required to ensure floors are regularly cleaned, fall protection is present, and walkways are cleared to eliminate trip hazards. When they fail to do so, injury or death can occur.
It is common for offshore oil rig workers to come in contact with potentially harmful substances such as crude oil, solvents, drilling fluids, and production chemicals. A worker exposed to toxic chemicals or fumes may suffer allergic reactions, chemical burns, rashes, and respiratory problems.
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon disaster left 11 crew members dead, highlighting the dangers of oil and gas rig fires and explosions. Oil rigs are particularly susceptible to these incidents because of flammable materials, leaks, and harsh environments. Fires and explosions on oil rigs are commonly caused by blowouts, equipment failures, and employee or employer negligence.
Workers on oil rigs and platforms deal with heavy machinery every day. When crew members operate equipment incorrectly, or when they have not been properly trained in safe equipment operation, workers can be struck by falling objects and crushed between equipment. The CDC reports that in 2017, several offshore oil and gas fatalities were caused by contact with objects or equipment.
The CDC reports that transportation accidents were a leading cause of fatalities in the oil and gas industry in 2017. In offshore oil and gas work, helicopters and water vehicles are typically used to transport workers to the rigs. When these vehicles are operated in an unsafe manner or are poorly maintained, they can cause fatal accidents.
According to the CDC, offshore oil and gas workers are seven times more likely to die on the job than the average worker in the U.S. Nonfatal injuries associated with offshore oil rigs include:
Those who have been injured in an oil rig accident should speak to an experienced Austin offshore injury lawyer who can help them put together the strongest possible case.
You can file a lawsuit as soon as a medical examination confirms that you have suffered compensable injuries. In this situation, compensable means that you’ve been impacted physically, emotionally, and financially by an accident attributable to someone else’s negligence.
To protect your right to compensation, take the following steps after an offshore injury incident:
In the maritime industry, accidents and injuries are quite common due to their high-risk nature. However, just because they’re common doesn’t mean they can’t be prevented. Providing a safe work environment is the employer’s responsibility, and if they fail to do so, they will be held responsible for any injuries.
If you’ve been injured in an offshore accident, you want to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. While Texas law gives you up to two years to file a personal injury claim, an oil rig accident could also be covered by the Jones Act, depending on the type of rig you work on. If it is a mobile type of vessel like a jack-up rig, the Jones Act will often cover your injuries, as this site would be considered a sea-going vessel.
As maritime laws differ from land laws, you should work with offshore injury lawyers who understand them. They will know how to interpret the evidence, verify liability, and argue for the compensation you need and deserve.
Most damages awarded in offshore accident lawsuits are compensatory, meaning that they are intended to compensate you for your financial losses. These types of damages include:
Medical expenses and wage loss are easier to quantify than intangible losses like pain and suffering, but with the right Austin offshore accident lawyer on your side, you can put an accurate dollar value on all of your damages, enabling you to recover a substantial amount of compensation.
In many cases, when an offshore worker is injured on the job, the employer and its insurance company will try to deny liability or offer a low settlement. You deserve an aggressive advocate who will deter any attempt to ignore or downplay your right.
The offshore accident lawyers at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, have decades of experience handling oil rig and other maritime injuries and accidents. We are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and pursuing the maximum compensation for your injuries. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, call (512) 800-0000 or contact us online.