If you are considering working as an oil rig worker or are already an offshore drilling worker, you need to know about the risks that are involved and the rights you have if you are injured. While the company you work for will likely do everything possible to keep you safe, accidents can still happen. If you are injured in an offshore drilling accident, you need to seek the advice of an experienced maritime law attorney.
Why is Offshore Drilling Such a Big Industry?
Offshore drilling is a way to extract petroleum from inside the earth in offshore locations that are covered by water. The layers of earth under the seabed are often full of petroleum that can be pumped to the surface by an oil well. Although the process has raised concerns over the years due to the release of hydrocarbons and the risk of tanker spills and pipeline leakage, drilling is a source of the fossil fuels on which we have come to rely.
The process of drilling is risky. Not only is the process hazardous, but the equipment and labor present their own risk for injuries and accidents. Because of this, these jobs often offer relatively high pay. However, even good pay cannot always cover the expenses that a worker incurs when he or she is injured.
Possible injuries that could occur during an offshore accident include crushed limbs, broken bones, back injuries, burns, chemical exposure, and internal organ damage. Other risks that are often standard workplace concerns include equipment malfunctions, falling materials, and poor compliance with maintenance and safety requirements.
Unique Legal Rights as a Maritime Worker
Under U.S. maritime law, those who work in this industry have special legal protection. These protections include the following:
- The Jones Act – This act governs shipping between ports as well as seamen who are injured. To qualify for protection under the Jones Act, a worker must spend no less than 30% of his or her working time on a vessel. Workers who qualify for these benefits will not qualify for regular workers’ compensation benefits to which other employees may be entitled.
- Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act – If you do not qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act, you may be covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act instead. This act provides benefits to workers who work on the water less than 30% of the time or in the harbor. This may include shipbuilders, longshoremen, harbor construction workers, or dock workers.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Law Attorney TodayIf you have suffered injuries as a seaman or longshore worker, you may be entitled to benefits under maritime law. Knowing what your rights are under maritime law can be confusing and complex, especially if you are trying to recover from an accident. The attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm can review your situation and advise you of your rights and potential benefits. Contact us today and let us handle your maritime injury or accident claim so you can focus on your recovery.