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Category: Offshore Injuries

FAQs: How Much Can I Recover Under the OCSLA?

Maritime Law Mar 26, 2021

If you work on an oil rig, platform or other fixed structure offshore, recovering your losses after an on-the-job injury will probably involve filing a claim under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). In this article, offshore accident lawyer David Willis explains what you need to know about your legal rights under the OCSLA. Who is Eligible to File a Claim Under the OCSLA? The OCSLA applies to offshore employees who work on rigs, platforms and other structures affixed to the outer continental shelf. It also applies to many offshore pipeline workers. In most areas around the United States, the outer continental shelf extends from about three to nine nautical miles from the coast to 200 nautical miles offshore. What Types of Benefits are Available Under the OCSLA? The benefits that are available under the OCSLA are similar to those that are available under state workers’ compensation laws. In most cases, injured workers who qualify for benefits under the OCSLA can recover: Medical Benefits – These benefits cover the cost of treating your injury. Disability Benefits – These benefits cover a portion of your lost wages if you are unable to work. Rehabilitation and Retraining Benefits – These benefits cover the cost of getting back to work if your injury prevents you from returning to your old job. Under the OCSLA, death benefits are also available to surviving family members. If you have lost a loved one working on the continental shelf, you will want to hire an offshore […]

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What are My Rights if I Live in Alabama and Was Injured in an Offshore Accident?

Offshore Injuries Feb 24, 2021

If you live in Alabama and work offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, your legal rights after an accident will depend on how, where and why the accident happened. Depending on the circumstances involved, you may be limited to seeking “no-fault” maintenance and cure benefits under the Jones Act, or you may be able to recover full compensation by filing a claim under the Jones Act or other law. Regardless of your rights, it will be important to seek help, and you should consult with an offshore accident lawyer promptly. Your Rights Under the Jones Act If you qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, you have the right to collect maintenance and cure benefits for your injury. These “no-fault” benefits are available regardless of how you got injured, but they only cover (i) your medical expenses, and (ii) daily living expenses of about $15 to $40 per day. In addition to providing “no-fault” maintenance and cure benefits, the Jones Act also gives seamen the right to sue their employers for negligence. In fact, only proof of “slight” negligence is required. If your employer is to blame for your injury, you can hire an offshore accident lawyer to file a Jones Act lawsuit to recover full compensation. This is true whether your employer’s headquarters are located in Alabama or in another state. Your Rights Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) If you do not qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, then you may have rights […]

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New Study Reveals Most Common Offshore and Maritime Injuries

Maritime Injuries Feb 10, 2021

What are the most common offshore and maritime injuries? A recent study published in the Hellenic Shipping News answers this question. The study examines data from three different sources in an effort to determine what is the single most common cause of injuries at sea. Here, Jones Act lawyer David Willis breaks down what injured offshore and maritime workers need to know. The Seven Most Common Causes of Offshore and Maritime Injuries The data do not point to a single factor as the most common cause of offshore and maritime injuries. But, they do reach a consensus regarding the top seven causes of accidents on offshore and inshore waters. Based on the data studied, the seven most common causes of offshore and maritime injuries are: Slips and Falls Burns and Explosions Being Caught in Equipment Being Struck By Falling Objects Suffocation and Asphyxiation Lifting Accidents Other Causes While the Hellenic Shipping News notes that the three sources’ data sets are, “surprisingly similar given that each data set has a wide variety of vessel types,” there are some notable discrepancies. For example, while two of the sources identify slips and falls as the most common cause of injuries (accounting for 34 percent and 32 percent of all injuries in these sources’ studies), the third identifies “struck by” accidents as the leading cause—accounting for 37 percent of all injuries on the job. Additionally, while one of the sources identifies lifting accidents as the second most common cause (28 percent of all injuries), […]

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Maritime Accidents Common in Offshore Occupations

Maritime Injuries Jan 29, 2021

As an offshore worker, you face injury risks on a daily basis. While most of these risks pass, it only takes one incident to cause months, years, or a lifetime’s worth of pain, suffering and financial loss. To protect yourself and your family, you need to seek help, and this starts with hiring an experienced Jones Act lawyer to represent you. But, when should you hire a lawyer? What types of accidents are covered, and when is a Jones Act claim too much to handle on your own? Here’s what you need to know: Common Offshore Accidents Covered By the Jones Act and Other Laws The Jones Act (and the other laws that protect offshore workers) apply to all types of offshore accidents. If you were injured offshore, the question is not how you were injured, but rather what kind of claim you can file. All of the most common types of offshore accidents are covered, including: Slips and Trips – Slips and trips are common onboard vessels, offshore cranes and platforms, oil rigs, and other offshore locations. Common injuries include soft tissue injuries (i.e., sprains and tears), bone fractures and concussions. Falls from Height – Falls from height can cause severe and debilitating injuries. If you fell down the stairs, from an upper deck or from a height in any other scenario, you can hire a Jones Act lawyer to help you seek just compensation. Falls Overboard – Falls overboard can give rise to Jones Act and other claims […]

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7 Steps to Take After an Offshore Accident

Offshore Injuries Jan 29, 2021

If you have been injured in an offshore accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, there are steps you must take to protect your legal rights. Learn what to do after being injured offshore from Jones Act attorney David P. Willis: 1. Report the Accident to Your Employer Promptly When you get injured on the job, it is important to promptly report the accident to your employer. This helps to avoid questions about how and when you got hurt, and it helps to ensure that you will receive compensation as soon as possible. Stick to the facts when reporting your offshore accident. Do not exaggerate any details, do not make assumptions, and do not misrepresent what happened. If you make false statements to your employer, this could jeopardize your claim for benefits.   2. Make Sure Your Employer’s Account of the Accident is Accurate Just as you need to ensure that your account of the accident is accurate, you need to ensure that your employer’s understanding of the accident is correct, too. With this in mind, you should ask for a copy of the accident report and review it carefully. If anything is incorrect, or if any key details were omitted, you may want to prepare a written statement to put on file. 3. See Your Own Doctor If you were injured offshore, you may have had no choice but to see your employer’s company doctor. However, once you get back to shore, you should also see […]

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Maritime Injuries Jan 29, 2021

  Discuss Your Legal Rights with Maritime Accident Attorney David P. Willis If you live in New York and were injured in an offshore or maritime accident, it will be important for you to get help from an experienced maritime accident attorney. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Willis Law Firm, call 800-468-4878 or contact us online now.

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Compensation for Injuries Caused by Unseaworthy Vessels

Articles May 26, 2017

Under maritime law, ship owners have a legal responsibility to maintain their vessels in seaworthy condition. This requirement is designed to make sure that workers onboard tankers, freighters, tugboats, barges, supply boats, crew boats and other vessels are not put at risk by dangerous conditions that can – and should – be avoided with proper care. Unfortunately, many vessel owners fail to meet their duties. Unseaworthy conditions are far too common, and too often they leave offshore workers suffering from serious, and sometimes life-changing, injuries. If you were injured as the result of an unseaworthy condition, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation, and it is critical that you stand up for your legal rights. Understanding Your “Unseaworthiness” Claim Unseaworthiness claims are unique from most other types of injury compensation claims because they are subject to the rule of “strict liability.” Under strict liability, a vessel owner is liable for injuries resulting from an unseaworthy condition regardless of whether the owner caused the condition, and even regardless of whether the owner knew the condition existed. If you were injured on a vessel and you can establish that an unseaworthy condition is to blame, the law entitles you to financial compensation. What constitutes an “unseaworthy” condition? The list is actually longer than you might think. Examples of unseaworthy conditions include: Dangerous conditions resulting from inadequate vessel maintenance Inadequate, inexperienced or unsupervised crew Lack of adequate safety equipment, including first aid kits and floatation devices Old tools or equipment that are […]

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