Offshore Accidents

Some of the most challenging types of accidents and injuries to get properly compensated for happen on the water or overseas. Just because an accident occurred offshore, doesn’t mean the negligent person or company is off the hook for their actions. There are many attorneys dedicated to helping victims of offshore accidents get the justice they deserve.

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Why Offshore Accidents Are Complicated

Before a court can hear a case, the plaintiff, the party suing, most show that the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. Jurisdiction means that the court has the authority to hear the case and make a ruling. Jurisdiction is complex. Usually, a court has jurisdiction to hear cases that happen within a certain geographical boundary, such as within a county or state.

offshore-accidentBecause offshore cases, be definition, do not happen in the geographical boundaries of any American courts, finding the right court to hear cases for offshore accidents takes knowledge and skill.

Another issue that makes offshore accidents complicated is that many cases involve employers who are self-insured, meaning there is no insurance company used to dealing with claims, or there may be a special law that governs how claims work. One example is that workers who work on and around boats and navigable waterways usually have to make a claim under the Jones Act for offshore injuries.

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Jones Act Issues

The Jones Act is a federal law that gives what the law calls “seamen” the right to sue their employer for injures caused by the employer or the employer’s other employees. Unlike most workers on land, worker’s compensation laws do not usually cover people who work in the maritime industry. Additionally, the maritime industry is a dangerous line of work.

The Jones Act has special rules as to who qualifies to even bring a claim as a seaman. One of the requirements is that the worker spends at least 30% of their time working on a vessel. While that may sound straight forward, in Jones Act cases much of the argument is over if the worker meets that 30% requirement.

Click here to learn more about the Jones Act.

Types of Offshore Accidents

There are many different types of offshore accidents. Most involve a company that is either an American company doing business overseas, or a foreign company, that has a significant presence in the United States. Some common offshore accidents are:

This is not a complete list, but a sample of some of the more common types of cases. Injuries can be anything from food poising on a cruise ship to severe crush injuries on an oil rig or in an oil field. Many offshore jobs are difficult and dangerous. Not all companies are as diligent as they should be in keeping ships and facilities clean and safe.

Cruise Ship Accidents

cruise-ship-accidentCruise ship accidents may involve passengers and or the crew of the ship. The Jones Act may cover the ship’s crew. However, the passengers do not have a special federal law that governs their injury claims. Most cruise ships sail under what is called a “flag of convenience”. That is the ship may sail from Florida, but it sails under the flag of another country, often one located in Africa or South America.

However, claims can often be filed against the cruise ship company in the United States because of their large presence here.

Oil Rig Accidents

Working on an oil rig is not only physically demanding, but mentally demanding as well. Many oil rigs are located in areas with harsh weather, and the workers are often isolated for long period so of time. Like a ship, the constant battering from the sea can create unsafe conditions.

Oil rig workers have some of the highest injury rates of any occupation. Some oil rig workers are covered by complex worker’s compensation plans; others may have an even harder time making a claim for compensation.

We can help you! There are many attorneys dedicated to helping victims of offshore accidents get the justice they deserve.

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Oil Field Accidents

Like oil rigs, drilling for oil on land is dangerous business. Many oil field injures happen far from the United States, where inadequate medical care may even make injuries worse. Working safely in and around oil wells and heavy equipment requires concentration, well maintained equipment, and training. Sometimes oil companies fail to create safe work environments.

Commercial Fishing Vessel Accidents

Life at sea can be perilous no matter what your job is, but commercial fishing vessels are among the most dangerous in the entire maritime industry. Injures like finger, hand, and foot amputations are not uncommon. Often vessels are operated in rough sea and far from advanced medical help.

Many fishermen also struggle to meet the Jones Act requirements because so much of the work is seasonal. 

We can help you! There are many attorneys dedicated to helping victims of offshore accidents get the justice they deserve.

Free Case Evaluation

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