Working on an oil platform is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. However, just because it is dangerous does not mean that injuries and accidents should be accepted. If you have been injured in an oil platform accident, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries. However, the claims process is often difficult and demanding. You need the help of an experienced maritime injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.
Types and Causes of Oil Platform Accidents
Almost all oil platform accidents are the result of negligence. Understanding the cause of an oil platform accident is important because it may change the types and amounts of compensation you are able to recover. While your employer may not always be interested in investigating an accident thoroughly, a maritime injury lawyer can often help you learn who really caused the accident.
Some typical types of oil platform accidents include:
- Slip and fall
- Falling equipment or supplies
- Platform collapse
- Fires and explosions
- Blowouts and spills
- Helicopter accidents
- Equipment accidents
Each of the above type of accidents is usually caused, or made worse by negligence. Some examples of the causes of oil platform accidents include:
- Failure to properly maintain the platform
- Defective equipment
- Failure to properly maintained inspect equipment
- Ignoring safety regulations
- Impaired crewmembers
- Lack of adequate safety plan and personnel
- Creation of lax safety environment
- Structurally unsound platform
- Inadequate training
- Failure to keep walkways clear and well lit
Types of Injuries
Many times oil platform accidents produce catastrophic injuries that leave workers permanently disabled, or even kill them. Some common injuries suffered in oil platform accidents include:
- Chemical burns
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Crush injuries
- Strains and sprains
- Torn ligaments and muscles
- Inhalation of toxic substances
The first priority in an injury situation is to get to safety and to get appropriate medical help. Even if your injuries do not require immediate medical attention, you should still get a medical exam as soon as possible. Often injuries will not begin to bother you until the adrenaline from the accident as gone out of your system. This can take two or three days. It is also possible that you have hidden injuries. Some internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries do not give any symptoms initially.
If you get a medical exam, your doctor may be able to diagnosis and begin treating your injuries sooner. This will give you a better chance at a full recovery. Having a medical exam can also be helpful if you have to later file a claim. Your injuries and the accident will be documented.
What Category of Workers Are Covered by What Laws?
Offshore workers, including people working on oil platforms, are usually covered by one of several different federal laws. The three most common laws are:
- The Jones Act
- The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
Each of these laws covers workers instead of a state worker’s compensation system. If you are injured you have a right to be paid for you reasonable medical expenses as well as some type of maintenance payment, regardless of the cause of the accident. However, if the accident was caused in part, or in full, because of the negligence of your employer, another employee, or a third party, you may also be entitled to additional compensation including for your pain and suffering.
You will need a maritime injury lawyer to help figure out what law covers you and what your specific rights to compensation are.
Making a Claim
Making a claim for your injuries in an oil platform accident is much more complicated than simply filling out a form. If your claim is based upon the negligence of your employer, you can expect the insurance company representing your employer to try and pay out as little as possible.
When a maritime injury lawyer files an injury claim, he or she will include documents and other evidence that establishes several things including:
- Why you are legally entitled to damages
- How badly you were injured
- The cause of the accident
- How the employer was negligent
- Why the employer is liable for your damages
If the claim is not made in the right way and in the right time period, you may lose all rights to your injury claim.
You only have a limited time to make a claim for your oil platform accident injuries. If you and your family could lose out forever on the compensation you are legally entitled to. We want to help you find the right maritime injury lawyer to handle your case. When you contact us we can help connect you with an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled lawyer who has a solid track record in cases like yours. You will need a lawyer to help evaluate your claim and to fight for your rights. Don’t delay any longer. Contact us today before it is too late.