Having an job working offshore on the sear in open waters is a great way to make a living, bt everything great comes with but come extreme risks.
Drilling operations offshore are extremely dangerous. Hazardous and dangerous conditions are just part of the job. These conditions include inclement weather, hazardous materials, flammable products, and heavy equipment. The risk for injury is extremely high in these working conditions – and when an injury occurs, they are typically catastrophic.
One report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the fatality rate for offshore oil and gas drilling is seven times higher than the typical fatality rate for all United States workers from 2003 to 2010.
So, what is it that makes this line of work so dangerous? Why is the oil and gas sector more dangerous than others industries?
Reasons Oil and Gas Drilling Offshore is Dangerous
To fully understand what makes this industry so dangerous, you must understand the injuries commonly seen too. Even with complete compliance, injuries happen offshore. All it takes is a single mistake, even one that seems minor, to lead to a catastrophic (if not fatal) incident.
A leading cause of accidents offshore comes from the transportation. More than half of the fatal offshore incidents are transportation-related.
Helicopter and boat accidents were one of the leading causes of accidents within that category. Whether it was taking employees to and from an oil rig, or bringing equipment and supplies. Often weather was to blame for these incidents, but also poor maintenance and equipment failure contributed to the high number of deaths.
Fires and Explosions
Fires and explosions occur more frequently than people realize on offshore drilling rigs. While the incident of Deepwater Horizon is one people are familiar with, there are many explosions and catastrophic fires that occur each year that never reach the news.
Oil rigs are littered with flammable materials – in addition to the oil, they are drilling. When these operations are not extremely cautious about how they handle these materials, a serious fire can occur. Fires on oil rigs can take hours to days to stop – making it harder for rescue personnel to locate those who are injured.
Limited Access to First Responders
Offshore oil rigs are miles from shore – and many workers cannot even see the shore from where they are. That means when a serious incident occurs, it could take hours for rescue personnel to reach them and take them to the closest medical facility.
For some injuries, such as internal bleeding or a brain injury, these delays can result in permanent injury or death.
Extreme Weather Conditions
The weather far out at sea is much different than onshore. Storms bring heavy rainfall, extreme winds, and surges of ocean water. These storms can be so severe that oil rigs will evacuate several days before the storm is expected. Other times, workers are left to ride out the storm and maintain the rig during the storm.
Workers can be pushed off the oil rig into the ocean, struck by lightning, suffer serious slips and falls on wet docks, and be hit by objects blowing in the wind.
Receiving Compensation for Offshore Injuries
Offshore workers have different rights than those injured working ashore. These protections come in various forms – depending on the location of the oil rig. One common protection is the Jones Act. To file a lawsuit, however, you need a thorough knowledge of maritime law – which is a highly complex area of the law.
Sometimes your offshore injuries might qualify for protection under the Jones Act, but if you are not classified as a “seaman” then you will need to turn to other areas of the law to file your lawsuit. For example, some offshore injuries might qualify for protections under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). This act provides you with compensation for offshore injuries, such as those on an oil rig.
Do You Need a Skilled Texas Offshore Oil Rig Accident Lawyer?
While you could negotiate with insurance companies, employers, and attorneys yourself, you have serious injuries to recover from – and the last thing you need is to perform legal research or attend numerous meetings while you recover.
An offshore accident attorney or maritime injury attorney can help you with your case. When you hire an offshore accident attorney, you get an advocate who can:
- Research the facts and identify the true cause of your injury.
- Navigate through the complex legal process, including federal acts, to find which laws apply to your case.
- Talk with witnesses and obtain their testimony to strengthen your case.
- Obtain and organize evidence to prove your case if you go to trial.
- Consult with industry professionals, including doctors, engineers, and offshore experts to establish your injuries and recreate the scene of the accident for a jury.
Different federal laws can apply to a variety of cases. Some offshore injuries implicate laws which overlap – further complicating matters. Therefore, if you have suffered an offshore injury, it is in your best interest to speak with a maritime injury attorney at Rose Sanders Law Firm.
Contact Us Now To Schedule Your Free Consultation with a Texas Maritime Accident Injury Lawyer
The formidable maritime accident lawyers at Rose Sanders Injury Law Firm – proudly serving Houston, Dallas, and McAllen – take an aggressive stance in complicated maritime cases. We have a wealth of experience guiding cases like yours toward advantageous resolutions that support not only our clients’ legal rights but also their fullest recoveries. Please, call us now at 713-561-5062 or send us an email to schedule your free consultation