Working overseas might be thrilling, but it’s also risky. Accidents and injuries are regular — and sometimes tragic — no matter how many safety precautions you take. Dangerous circumstances on offshore platforms, crew boats, jack-up rigs, and tankers, as well as in the water itself, can cause devastating casualties to offshore workers. Workers are frequently under-trained and perform long shifts with limited breaks, increasing the risk of injury.
Offshore Injury and Accident Lawyer – How to choose the best Attorney.
An offshore accident that results in a serious injury can be emotionally and financially devastating for the victim. When it comes to recovering damages from a personal injury or wrongful death, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Contacting an offshore accident lawyer with knowledge in personal injury and maritime law who can wade through the intricate aspects of your case and assist you in obtaining the greatest possible recovery is a smart place to start.
Types of Offshore Injury and Accident
When an offshore worker accepts a position in the marine industry, he or she understands that the job is physically demanding and that the inherent hazards are significantly greater than those of land-based jobs. Injuries are prevalent and can range from minor to severe, including death. Minor injuries, in many circumstances, can become considerably more serious over time.
- Traumatic brain injury – TBIs can be sustained in any number of ways. Offshore workers are consistently putting themselves in construction and industrial-like environments. A blow to the head from a slip or fall, or being struck by a swinging or unsecured cargo, can cause traumatic brain injury. This can result in permanent cognitive or personality changes.
- Spinal and back injuries – Operating equipment, carrying heavy loads, and hard labour can be back-breaking work, requiring many hours of standing, lifting, twisting, and pulling. Offshore workers can sustain injuries from falls or be struck by vehicles or unstable loads. A back or neck injury can result in chronic pain, limited mobility, and in the most severe cases can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. Even when medical attention is administered promptly, there can be long term disabilities associated with spinal and back injuries
- Hypothermia and frostbite – Offshore and maritime employees often work in extreme environments and at all times of the day and night. This means that offshore workers are often exposed to extremely cold conditions, which can cause hypothermia or frostbite. These dangers are exacerbated by exposure to the water, either through harsh conditions or a fall overboard.
- Drowning – A fall overboard can quickly escalate into a life-threatening injury, especially if recovery is not immediate. Additionally, hypothermia can become an issue even in relatively warm waters.
- Lung damage – When safety procedures are not followed or not enforced, or when accidents cause spills, workers can suffer serious chemical injuries. When these chemicals are inhaled, severe and long-term lung damage can occur. In certain cases, exposure to high quantities of these chemicals can become immediately life-threatening. In other cases, smaller exposures can result in smaller injuries that can become chronic or cumulative
Damages in an Offshore Accident Case – Offshore Injury and Accident Lawyer – How to choose the best Attorney.
Damages you may be entitled to fall into two main categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are pretty straightforward. They may include:
- Money for medical expenses: hospital bills, medical devices, and mobility aids, medication copays, therapy, and rehabilitation costs
- Money for expected future medical expenses
- Wages lost due to your recovery
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Loss of earning capacity, if your injuries will impact your ability to work over the long term or permanently.
Not all losses are clear-cut or obvious, of course. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for emotional pain and suffering, anxiety, and lower quality of life.
In some cases of extreme negligence, you may have the right to punitive damages. These are designed to punish the plaintiff.
If you qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, you may be eligible for benefits called “maintenance” and “cure.” Maintenance compensates the worker for the cost of room and board as they recover. The cure is the cost of the injured seaman’s medical expenses, along with the transportation required to get to treatments. Once the seaman reaches “maximum medical improvement” maintenance and cures benefits end. Maximum medical improvement means the person is as healthy as they are going to get, even if not fully cured.
Offshore accident cases can be difficult to navigate. You’ll need to figure out who you can legally sue, how workers’ compensation will affect your claim, how much insurance coverage is available, and where you can file your lawsuit. Several elements can influence your case, particularly if you are attempting to prove the employer’s negligence, including the following:
- Amount of Risk Taken: Working offshore and in oilfields has a significant level of risk. Many other industries would not allow you to take the efforts you may be obliged to take to obtain oil and gas out of the ground. However, because of how profitable the results can be when you hit pockets of oil or gas, you may be pressured by your boss or coworkers to engage in risky techniques or take more risks to complete your job.
- Lack of Oversight: On a rig, there is frequently no engineering oversight, which means that equipment and structures are improvised and put together by people who learnt via experience rather than formal training. Accidents are going to happen when performing things like drilling or running high-pressure fracking lines on the fly without technical assistance.
- How Much Insurance Will Pay Out: Up to a point, most oil companies are self-insured. They then have an insurance company pay the rest of the money. Insurance companies may strive to alter their portion of the claim or ensure that the oil company makes a reasonable effort to resolve the claim so that they do not have to pay any money.
- Poor training. Employees on an oil rig frequently operate machinery without proper training, which can lead to damage. They may also be performing jobs that are outside of their normal responsibilities, such as serving in a fire department, putting all other employees at risk.
Why You Need an Offshore Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured while working overseas, your employer or their insurance company may approach you with a monetary offer. You may be trying to heal and worried about medical and household expenditures during this stressful period. Accepting this initial payment can be enticing. However, while it may be beneficial in the short term, you are relinquishing your right to pursue further action. You are unlikely to receive the whole sum due to your injuries.
Only an offshore accident lawyer is familiar with the laws in these situations. Offshore accident lawyers are also well-versed in maritime law, which was established to safeguard workers from injuries, accidents, and illnesses. Maritime law only protects those who work offshore, and there are specific requirements that must be met to recover in legal action. A skilled attorney will know how to use maritime law, as well as any other applicable legislation, to your advantage.
Offshore Injury and Accident Lawyer – How to choose the best Attorney.
How to choose the best offshore accident lawyer?
If you’ve been wounded in an offshore accident, you’ll need an experienced maritime or offshore accident and injury lawyer on your side who will fight for your legal rights aggressively. Maritime attorneys are experienced litigators who are familiar with federal and state maritime laws, as well as international agreements and have sound judgment when it comes to assisting you in winning your case and receiving the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Maritime law is a highly competent and specialized area of law, and there aren’t many lawyers who can properly practice it.