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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 under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). The OCLSA provides benefits that are similar to those available under Alabama’s workers’ compensation law for land-based employees. The “no-fault” benefits that are available to offshore workers under the OCSLA include:

  • Medical benefits (coverage for the costs of your treatment)
  • Disability benefits (partial wage replacement if you are unable to work)
  • Rehabilitation/retraining benefits (vocational benefits available through the U.S. Department of Labor)

Unlike the Jones Act, the OCSLA does not include provisions that allow offshore workers to sue their employers for negligence. However, as we explain below, you may still have options for recovering full compensation.

Your Rights Under Other Maritime Laws

Regardless of whether you have rights under the Jones Act or the OCSLA, you may have rights under other maritime laws as well. For example, in many cases, injured workers can file unseaworthiness claims against vessel owners with the help of an offshore accident lawyer. Since the “no-fault” benefits available under the Jones Act and OSCLA are limited, it will be important to explore all of your options and to protect your rights you should speak with a lawyer right away.

Request a Free Consultation with Offshore Accident Lawyer David Willis

For more information about your rights as an Alabama resident who works offshore, schedule a free consultation at Willis Law Firm. Call 800-468-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with offshore accident lawyer David Willis today.

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