Working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico can be extremely dangerous. Whether you are a derrick operator, wellhead pumper or roustabout—or you have any other job on an offshore oil rig—you face a variety of safety risks on a daily basis. Offshore injuries are common, and if you have questions about hiring a Texas oil rig injury attorney, you are not alone.
The good news is that offshore oil rig workers have clear legal rights when they get injured on the job. The not-so-good news is that asserting these legal rights can be challenging. But an experienced Texas oil rig injury attorney can help, and you can hire a lawyer to help you file for just compensation at no out-of-pocket cost.
What You Need to Know if You Were Injured on an Oil Rig in the Gulf of Mexico
If you live in Texas and you have been injured working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, what do you need to know? Here are 10 important facts about your legal rights:
1. You May Be Covered Under the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law that protects many types of offshore workers. This includes workers on jack-up oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. When you are covered under the Jones Act, you are entitled to just compensation when you get injured on the job—but it is up to you to assert your legal rights. This starts with hiring an experienced Texas oil rig injury attorney to represent you.
2. You Aren’t Covered Under Texas’s Workers’ Compensation Law
While you may be covered under the Jones Act, you likely aren’t covered under Texas’s workers’ compensation law. This law only applies to land-based workers. Filing a Jones Act claim is different from filing a workers’ compensation claim, and you will need to make sure you take the correct steps to effectively assert your legal rights.
3. The Jones Act Provides “No Fault” Benefits Similar to Workers’ Compensation
While workers’ compensation claims and Jones Act claims are different, they share one important similarity: They both provide injured workers with access to “no-fault” benefits. As an oil rig worker in the Gulf of Mexico, you are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act regardless of who was at fault in causing your injury.
4. The Jones Act Also Allows Injured Oil Rig Workers to File Fault-Based Claims
But, while filing for maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act is important, these benefits won’t cover all of the costs of your on-the-job injury. As a result, it is important to find out if you can file a fault-based claim for additional compensation as well. Under the Jones Act, injured offshore workers can file fault-based claims due to issues such as:
- Unsafe transfers
- Equipment malfunctions and failures
- Fires and explosions on the oil rig
- Drilling accidents
- Wireline operation accidents
- Slippery walking surfaces and other fall hazards
- Other avoidable safety hazards
If you have a fault-based claim under the Jones Act, you can seek full compensation for your financial and non-financial losses. This will involve seeking far more than the maximum maintenance and cure benefits that are available to you.
5. You Cannot Be Fired for Asserting Your Rights Under the Jones Act
Your employer cannot legally fire you for asserting your rights under the Jones Act. This is referred to as retaliation, and it is prohibited under the law. When you hire a Texas oil rig injury attorney to represent you, your attorney can help protect you against retaliation, and, if necessary, your attorney can seek additional financial compensation for unlawful retaliation on your behalf.
6. It is Up to You to Prove How Much You Are Entitled to Recover
When you have a claim under the Jones Act, it is up to you to prove how much you are entitled to recover. Your employer (and its insurance company) aren’t going to do this for you. If you let them take control of your claim, they will pay you as little as possible. When you hire an attorney, your attorney can calculate the full value of your Jones Act claim, and then your attorney can use his or her experience to seek full compensation for your oil rig injury.
7. The Long-Term Costs of Your Injury Could Be Substantial
The costs of dealing with an oil rig injury can be far greater than most people realize. To make sure you do not go into debt as a result of your injury, you need to make sure you receive the full financial compensation you deserve.
8. You Can Lose Your Legal Rights if You Wait Too Long to File
While injured oil rig workers have clear legal rights under the Jones Act, they can lose their legal rights if they wait too long to file. The statute of limitations for Jones Act claims is three years from the date of the accident, but there are several steps involved in filing a claim that makes it important to act as soon as possible.
9. It Costs Nothing Out-of-Pocket to Hire a Texas Oil Rig Injury Attorney
As we said in the introduction, it costs nothing out-of-pocket to hire a Texas oil rig injury attorney. Our firm handles all Jones Act claims on contingency. This means that we only get paid if you win, and our legal fees (if any) are calculated as a percentage of the amount we help you recover.
10. It Is Important that You Take Action Promptly
We said it already, but it bears repeating: If you have been injured on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, it is important that you take action promptly. Delays can make it more difficult to protect your legal rights, and if you wait too long, you may not be able to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Request a Free Consultation with a Texas Oil Rig Injury Attorney
Are you entitled to financial compensation? Contact us to find out. Call 800-468-4878 or request a free consultation online to speak with an experienced Texas oil rig injury attorney in confidence.Share This