While some people work in air-conditioned offices away from danger, others must battle the elements and multiple hazards every day. This is the reality for off-shore workers out on water vessels that extract natural resources, like oil and gas.
If you lost a loved one or are severely injured due to such an accident, you could be entitled to financial damages. A Mandeville off-shore accident lawyer can help you with every aspect of the claim process, offering counsel and advice every step of the way.
Why Are Off-Shore Accidents So Dangerous?
The average off-shore workplace often features an industrial-like setting with plenty of heavy machinery and vehicles, dangerous flammable liquids, and a high risk of slips and falls. While these machines are designed to run efficiently, malfunctions or lapses in safety and security procedures can cause accidents that result in severe injuries.
Oil rigs can be suspended up to hundreds of feet above sea level. A fall from this height is enough to cause significant injury or even kill you. Exposure to extreme weather conditions over long working hours also increases the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. The presence of oil and water on the deck increases the likelihood of employees slipping and either or injuring themselves onboard or falling over the edge.
Furthermore, it can be difficult to get off-shore workers emergency treatment when they’re injured due to the distance from the shore. This means that injuries that could have been treated easily have a chance to snowball and become severe. When a helicopter or boat arrives at the rig, the employee may have even succumbed to their injuries.
Laborde Earles injury was great for me they took care of me very fast and professional. If for any reason I need legal help they will be who I use.Client
Common Off-Shore Injuries
Off-shore workplaces have a significantly higher percentage of hazards than the average workplace. Equipment failures, breaches in safety protocols, and momentary lapses in concentration can lead to the following injuries:
- Crushing Injuries and Broken Bones: These injuries usually occur when off-shore workers are hit by or caught in the mechanisms of heavy machinery. Off-shore workers can also suffer broken bones if they slip and fall.
- Loss of Limb: In extreme cases, an off-shore worker could lose their limb if it’s caught in or crushed by heavy industrial equipment.
- Head Injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when off-shore workers suffer heavy blows to the head from heavy equipment or unsecured cargo. These injuries can lead to permanent disability or even death.
- Hearing Loss: Like most industrial environments filled with large equipment, off-shore workplaces tend to be incredibly loud. Continued exposure to this noise can damage an off-shore worker’s ears and even cause hearing loss.
- Lung Damage: Oil-rigs and barges usually have toxic chemicals. These chemicals can cause severe and even permanent damage to the lungs when inhaled.
- Back and Spinal Injuries: These can be caused by slips and falls or impacts with on-board machinery. The risk of back injury is also exacerbated because off-shore workers usually do very physically demanding work that puts their necks and backs under excess strain.
- Hypothermia and Frostbite: This kind of injury is prevalent among off-shore workers who spend a lot of time outdoors in extreme weather conditions.
- Burns: The presence of chemicals and petroleum oil increases the chances of fires and explosions in off-shore work settings.
I thank God for Digger & David. I don’t know what we would have done if it hadn’t have been for them.Rick Smith | Client
How Can a Mandeville Off-shore Accident Lawyer Help You?
Federal law requires that maritime employers provide injury compensation to employees who are hurt while on the job. However, getting this compensation can be a hassle, especially if the employee is injured and tries to handle the process alone. Claims require an intimate understanding of local maritime and insurance laws coupled with the ability to collect evidence, interview medical professionals, and negotiate with insurance providers.
The reality is that all these activities will be difficult for people without any legal training. An off-shore accident attorney in Mandeville can handle all the complex legal work on your behalf while you rest and recover at home. Your lawyer can file all the relevant paperwork, collect evidence, and ensure your case is filed before the Louisiana deadlines expire. Ideally, your attorney could negotiate for a combination of the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Rehab and therapy
- Past and future medical expenses
- Wrongful death
- Lost income and earning potential
The reassurance from Digger and his staff gave me that renewed hope that it’s going to be okay down the road.Client
Maritime Safety Laws
Two main maritime safety laws offer off-shore workers coverage for off-shore accident injuries:
The Jones Act
Under the Jones Act, employees injured while working off-shore jobs can sue their employers for compensation. Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law provides coverage for seamen aboard vessels on navigable waters.
An off-shore worker must have been stationed on a single water vessel or a fleet under single ownership in navigation at the time of injury to qualify for coverage under the Jones Act. Your Mandeville off-shore accident lawyer can tell you more and determine which legal route would be best for your situation.
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Off-shore workers who sustain disabling injuries while on the job are covered under The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA provides coverage to employees involved in the building, repairing, loading, and unloading of sea vessels.
They treated us like no other people would. Whenever we needed something they were there for us. I put my trust in them and I don’t regret it.Client
Contact Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
Has an off-shore accident left you with serious injuries, unable to work, and facing mounting medical bills in Mandeville? Have you lost a loved one in an off-shore accident and are left with thousands of dollars in medical, burial, and funeral expenses? Our attorneys are here to help. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, our off-shore attorneys are ready to take on your case and are honored to serve the Mandeville area. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation. We require no upfront fees or costs to start working on your case.