Offshore workers 7x more likely to die on job
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employees working for offshore oil and gas operations are seven times more likely to die on the job than the average U.S. worker.
The risks associated with these maritime jobs have been covered since the 1920’s, thanks to a Merchant Marine Act known as the “Jones Act.” The Jones Act allows seamen working on these offshore drilling sites to file claims and collect settlements from their employers in cases of employer or fellow employee negligence.
The Jones Act requires that all equipment is safe and suitable, all personnel are trained and efficient, and all facilities are equipped for building and repairing vessels.
Types of Offshore Injury
Offshore workers commonly experience maritime injuries including:
- Back injuries: While not always catastrophic, back injuries can severely impact an offshore worker’s ability to perform his job, affecting his future earning potential.
- Cancers: Prolonged exposure to hazardous materials can cause serious illness, and the inhalation of fumes generated during the drilling process has been known to cause diseases and cancers.
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI): Injuries to the spine can lead to paralysis and loss of limb function.
- Amputations: The loss of limbs or digits may occur during an offshore accident, or be necessary as a result of the injuries sustained in an accident as part of your medical treatment.
- Crush injuries: Workers trapped between or under heavy objects can suffer crush injuries, to the whole body or to limbs and digits.
- Orthopedic injuries: When the bones, tissue or joints are injured, the short- and long-term effects can range from minor to severe.
- Eye injuries: Injuries that affect the eyes can lead to vision loss or impairment, rendering the worker unable to return to his job.
- Acoustic trauma: Hearing damage can have long-term effects on your ability to work, as well as your ability to function normally in daily life.
Injured maritime employees are entitled to a variety of benefits under the Jones Act. First, they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, both those already paid and any future costs of recovery. Compensable medical expenses may include the costs of future surgery, ongoing rehabilitation, and transportation costs. Those who cannot return to work are entitled to past and future lost wages as well as costs for vocational retraining. Because serious injuries severely limit the types of jobs available to the victim, the Jones Act also allows damages for lost earning capacity. Additionally, injured workers are entitled to payments when they are temporarily or permanently disabled. In cases where the injury is caused by negligence, the victim is entitled to damages for pain and suffering.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you, or someone you love has been injured or killed as a result of their work offshore, you may be entitled to the compensation you so rightly deserve. Contact the Carlson Law Firm today for a free, no obligation, consultation. If you are looking for prompt, personal and proven representation for your offshore injury, Jones Act claim or any other Maritime Law claim, The Carlson Law Firm is here to help. Our team of attorneys, specialists, and research associated has the experience and resources to guide you through your legal journey and help you secure the best results possible.
- Written by Jill Fowler