For most off-shore maritime workers, the risk of accidents and even severe injury is simply part of the job. Although off-shore work can be exciting and pretty well-paying, it tends to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the country. Many maritime workers even lose their lives in off-shore accidents. Workers that survive these accidents are often left with severe and life-changing injuries.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an off-shore accident, you might be entitled to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and the ways they’ve impacted your life. An off-shore accident lawyer serving the Ledoux area can help you find out and guide you throughout the entire process.
Are Off-shore Injuries Common?
Thousands of Americans work in the off-shore oil rig and platform construction industry. Despite being relatively lucrative, these positions take place in environments that tend to be more dangerous than the average workplace. Like drillships and barges, off-shore vessels also feature construction or industrial-like environments that can present many hazards.
The ultimate risk (that most frequently results in injury) is that of slippery decks, which increase the risk of slips, falls, and in some cases, drowning. Furthermore, the fact that these vessels often operate in remote locations means that off-shore workers have very limited access to emergency care in case of injury.
The availability of hazards coupled with little access to emergency medical care significantly increases the likelihood of off-shore workers being involved in accidents and their injuries becoming severe or fatal before medical intervention arrives.
For a free legal consultation with a off-shore accident lawyer serving Ledoux, call (337) 777-7777
Causes of Off-Shore Accidents
Why are off-shore workers more likely to get injured or even die while on the job? What makes off-shore work on water vessels more dangerous than other occupations? Here are a few factors to consider:
Oil rigs tend to be elevated tens of feet above the water. A fall from this height, especially if you don’t know how to position yourself for the least damage, can cause significant injuries and even death. The presence of water and oil on the decks also increases the chances of slips and falls, resulting in head injuries, broken bones, and lacerations.
Many off-shore workplaces require plenty of heavy and complex equipment and vehicles (like cranes and forklifts) to function. If safety procedures aren’t followed properly or the equipment malfunctions, off-shore employees can be struck or crushed by falling equipment. Even worse, they may get caught in heavy machinery and suffer severe injuries. Since these environments tend to be very loud, it can be hard to communicate warnings to an employee on the verge of injury.
Off-shore workers also tend to work with highly explosive and toxic chemicals, like petroleum and hydrogen sulfide. The latter is mainly used for off-shore drilling. In some cases, these chemicals can cause explosions and fires. Additionally, off-shore workers exposed to these chemicals can develop lung problems if they breathe in the fumes.
Did you know car accidents are also a major cause of injury and death among off-shore workers? After working long, grueling shifts for up to 14 days at a time, many workers are exhausted and fatigued.
This makes them less attentive to the road, reduces reaction time, and increases the chances of an accident occurring. There is also a risk of crashing for off-shore workers who travel to and from oil rigs on helicopters.
Ledoux Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Legal Protection for Off-Shore Workers
Unlike regular workers covered by the Workers’ Compensation Program, off-shore workers are protected by federal maritime law. If you’re injured while working off-shore in a water vessel, you could be entitled to damages under either the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act, as we explain below:
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
This policy provides coverage to off-shore workers who sustain disabling injuries at work, including their treatment costs and vocational rehabilitation. Any employee who builds, repairs, loads, or unloads a vessel that operates in U.S. waters can qualify for coverage under the LHWCA. The LHWCA also provides coverage and survivor benefits to employees who work in areas adjoining U.S. waters, like piers, docks, wharves, and terminals. A Ledoux off-shore accident lawyer can help determine exactly which legal path is right for you.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act allows any off-shore employee who qualifies as a ‘Jones Act Seaman’ to sue their employer for damages if they sustain injuries while working. You must meet certain conditions to qualify as a Jones Act Seaman.
First, you must have been employed on a single vessel and contributed to its functionality with your work. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a captain, crew member, waitress, or cook, as long as you spend at least 30 percent of your time onboard. Secondly, when you were injured, the vessel must have been in navigation (on the ocean or inland waterways).
How a Ledoux Off-Shore Accident Lawyer Can Help You
After your accident, an off-shore accident lawyer right in Ledoux can handle the legal matters on your behalf. Your lawyer can use their knowledge of local maritime laws to build you a solid personal injury case. Furthermore, an attorney can review your medical records and interview medical professionals to determine the damages you could be owed. The following are some of the damages an off-shore accident lawyer could negotiate for:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of limb
- Pain and suffering (both physical and mental)
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
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Call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Has an off-shore accident left you injured and significantly impacted your ability to do your job? Has a loved one lost their life while working an off-shore job? Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help. Our Ledoux attorneys can help you pursue compensation while you rest and heal in the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.