Common Offshore Accidents

Injured Working Off-Shore? You Need the Right Off-Shore Accident Law Firm

When you are injured in an offshore accident, you need to have the right legal team on your side. Your employer and the other parties who may be responsible for your injuries will be backed by a powerful group of attorneys who will mount an aggressive defense and fight to limit any payout or recovery to you. You need an experienced offshore accident attorney who can level the playing field and get you the compensation necessary to recover from your accident and more forward with your life.

The Willis Law Firm is a leading authority on general maritime law and Jones Act cases. We have an in-depth understanding of these complicated worker’s compensation laws and work aggressively to target the right laws to get maximum recoveries for our clients. Our maritime injury firm represents workers and other individuals nationwide who have been hurt in offshore accidents, including cases involving:

Oil Rig Derrick Accidents

A oil derrick is a type of lifting structure often found on oil rigs, on land rigs, platforms, drill ships and at docking facilities. There are many different types of lifting derricks including basket, a-frame, guy and stiff leg. When a derrick is mounted on a ship, drilling barge, jack-up rig or other vessel it is known as a floating derrick. A different type of derrick is used in oil and natural gas production. These kinds of derricks, generally called oil derricks, are tall frameworks which are used to support drilling machinery and to hoist and lower equipment and pipe. Oil derricks often operate on a constant basis and require a large crew to make sure they are running properly.

Whether an individual is working on a derrick affixed to a ship, on a jackup rig, or on an offshore drilling platform, derrick accidents are likely to occur. These jobs are inherently dangerous and workers can suffer serious injuries, ranging from fractures and crushed limbs to spinal cord injuries, chemical exposures, burns, head injuries, and even death. All types of unfortunate incidents and accidents can occur in these types of environments, including:

  • Slip and fall accidents from spilled oil and drilling mud
  • Stair accidents
  • Ladder accidents
  • Crush accidents
  • Burns and explosions
  • Well blowouts
  • Slip & tong accidents
  • Injuries caused when tools and equipment fall off of the derrick
  • Rough seas and violent weather conditions

If you have been injured in a derrick accident you should speak with an experienced offshore accident attorney as soon as possible. These types of cases involve complicated laws and legal rules and you will need to work with a skilled off-shore injury attorney who can determine which laws best apply to your situation. For instance, if you were injured while working on a derrick affixed to a drill ship, barge or jack-up rig you may have a legal claim under the Jones Act. If, however, your injuries resulted from an accident on a stationary offshore drilling platform, your claim is likely to fall under different laws and statutes such as the Longshore Harbor & Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) which extends the LHWCA to maritime employees working on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Drill Rig Accidents

When a worker is injured in a drilling rig accident, the results can be devastating. These types of accidents can cause serious injuries which often require extensive medical care and a lengthy period of recovery. Working on an oil or gas drilling operation is a risky occupation and injuries can arise from all types of hazardous and dangerous conditions, including:

  • Dangerous and faulty equipment
  • Falls from platforms and decks
  • Rotary table & kelly injuries
  • Slip and falls from drilling muds
  • Fires and explosions
  • Drilling Floor Accidents
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Tong and slip injuries
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Stair and ladder accidents
  • Gas leaks
  • Well blowouts
  • Heavy lifting or pulling accidents

Employers have a legal duty to take proper precautions to prevent these types of injuries. When an employer breaches this duty and a worker is injured, the employer can generally be held liable for the worker’s damages in a negligence lawsuit. For instance, if an employer fails to implement adequate safety precautions, improperly trains or supervises its crew, or does not adequately maintain machinery and equipment, an injured worker may have the right to file a legal claim against his or her employer. Even if the employer did not act negligently, the law still provides injured maritime workers with the right to collect certain benefits and financial compensation from their employers

Shrimp Boat Accidents Can Be Handle By an Offshore Accident Lawyer

Working on a shrimp boat is not only physically demanding, it is also a risky job that can lead to serious injuries including crushed and amputated limbs, severe neck and back injuries, head trauma, assaults and even death. Many of these accidents could be easily avoided if employers took appropriate safeguards to protect the individuals working on shrimping vessels. Maritime employers have a legal duty to prevent workplace injuries. When an employer fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the work environment aboard a shrimp boat is safe and free from harm, the employer can be held liable for a shrimper’s injuries.

The Willis Law Firm has more than three decades of experience helping injured seamen and crew members recover the financial compensation they need to deal with their injuries. An off-shore accident lawyer understands how the shrimping industry operates and we are well aware of the dangerous and hazardous conditions on these boats that can cause serious injuries, including:

  • Inexperienced (“greenhorns”) or improperly trained crew members
  • Lack of sufficient safety equipment
  • Dangerous seas and hazardous weather conditions
  • Operating an undersized boat for the conditions
  • Dangerously conducting the job in a rush or fast pace
  • Collisions with other vessels
  • Lifting or pulling back injuries
  • Capsizing
  • Winch and cabling accidents
  • Worn-out or malfunctioning equipment
  • Falling objects
  • Winch accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Physical and sexual assaults from crew members and others

If you are injured on a shrimp boat or other maritime accident you should always check with an off-shore injury attorney before providing any information to an insurance adjuster. The shrimp boat operator or owner may to try to pressure you to give a sworn testimony about your accident – you should never do so until you have spoken with an off-shore accident lawyer. Your company or its corporate rep or adjuster may also try to force you to see a company doctor rather than a doctor of your own choosing. You have the legal right to select your own physician and our firm will help you find a qualified medical professional who can provide you with the care and services you need to recover from your injuries.

Oil Rig Accident Claims

Working on an oil rig, jackup rig or drilling platform is an inherently dangerous job.

We represent crew members, deck hands, roustabouts, floor hands, tool pushers, roughnecks, and other maritime employees across the nation who have been injured in all types of oil rig and maritime accidents. Our firm has extensive experience fighting for the rights of oil rig workers who have suffered serious injuries from all types of hazardous conditions, including:

  • Slip and falls from decks and platforms
  • Back and spinal injuries from lifting accidents
  • Traumatic amputations for equipment failures
  • Falling objects
  • Stair and ladder accidents
  • Kelly and rotary table accidents,
  • Injuries from Tongs and Slips
  • Inadequately trained crews
  • Grease and oil on deck
  • Drilling pipe accidents
  • Well blowouts
  • Unsafe work practices
  • Dangerous or malfunctioning equipment
  • Fires and explosions
  • Equipment failures collapses
  • Assault by fellow crew member or others
  • Crew boat and Supply Boat Transportation Accidents
  • Helicopter Personnel Transport accidents and injuries
  • Violent seas and hazardous weather conditions

Determining which laws apply in an oil rig accident is often a difficult and complex process. Our lawyers will carefully review your situation to identify the right laws and regulations applicable to your situation.

Stationary Off-Shore Platforms and Oil Rigs

When an individual is hurt working on an offshore oil rig, workover rig or any other type of stationary platform the injuries can be serious. The injured worker may have to be off of work for an extended period of time and in some instances the worker may never be able to return to the job. Our offshore accident lawyers have more than 40 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured in all types of offshore platform and oil rig accidents, including:

  • Slip and falls, including oil-based drilling mud
  • Crane accidents
  • Tong and slip accidents
  • Drilling floor accidents
  • Equipment failures and injuries
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Offshore crew boat transportation accidents
  • Stair case falls
  • Sanitation issues, food poisoning and Legionnaires Disease
  • Personnel transfer accidents including Billy Pugh Baskets injuries
  • Dangerous sea conditions
  • Offshore helicopter accidents

If you were injured on a fixed or stationary platform the Jones Act is unlikely to apply to your case. When a maritime employee is involved in an accident on a fixed structure, such as an oil rig, these types of cases often fall under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). Passed by Congress in 1953, OCSLA extends the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to maritime employees working on the Outer Continental Shelf. Under OCSLA, injured maritime employees are entitled to collect benefits similar to the benefits offered under a traditional state workers’ compensation program, including:

  • Disability Benefits
  • Medical Coverage
  • Death Benefits
  • Rehabilitation/Retraining Benefits

Your right to collect these benefits is “absolute,” meaning they must be provided to you regardless of who was at fault for your accident and injuries. There are also strict statutes of limitation that apply in these types of cases. If you fail to take action within the legal time limit you may be barred from filing your claim. For instance, in an OCSLA case the legal claim is governed by the statute of limitations of the “closest adjacent state.” This means if Texas is the closest adjacent state you will only have two years to file your claim because Texas has a two year statute of limitations. However, if Louisiana is found to be the closest adjacent state, you will only have one year to file your claim. It is critical that you speak to an off-shore injury lawyer soon after the accident so that these potential legal traps can be prevented.

Cargo Handling Accidents

Malfunctioning cranes and forklifts, inadequate training of crew members, rough seas, and improperly secured cargo can all lead to serious injuries during cargo handling operations. When a maritime worker is injured during marine cargo operations, the worker will generally have the legal right to recover financial compensation for his injuries.

The Jones Act, the Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), General Maritime Injury Laws and even state based worker’s compensation laws can provide important legal rights to crew members and other maritime industry workers who are hurt on the job. These laws recognize just how dangerous it can be to work in the maritime industry and seek to provide extra protection to crew members, deckhands, and other vulnerable maritime workers. Whether you have been injured offshore transferring cargo from a vessel to a platform or hurt onshore while loading a ship, an experienced marine cargo handling lawyer can help you recover the financial compensation you are entitled to under the law.

Winch, Sling and Crane Accidents

Individuals who earn a living by working on jack up rigs, drill ships, barges and other vessels can suffer serious injuries when a winch, crane sling and cargo lifting accidents occur. The operations that take place on these vessels and structures are inherently dangerous and employers have a duty to make sure that the equipment is safe and in proper working order. Maritime employers also have a duty to provide their crew with proper training so that accidents and injuries can be prevented.

When a maritime employer fails to take the appropriate steps to provide a safe working environment, the employer can be held liable when an employee is hurt. For during crane lifting operations crew members and others can be injured when:

  • Crane operator is poorly trained or unlicensed
  • Load rating of cargo not correctly calculated
  • Improper slings and rigging placement
  • Undersized slings used
  • Lack of one designated signalman / load supervisor
  • Lack of working catch on hook
  • Incorrect load markings
  • Center of gravity not determined in hook placement
  • Failure to conduct test lift to check load and sling placement
  • Lack of Spreader bar used
  • Lifting loads by cranes in high winds or bad weather
  • Failure to clear lifting area
  • Incorrect or undersized winch or crane used

No matter the cause of your accident, an off-shore injury attorney at our firm will investigate your accident and help you identify your best options for compensation.

Our Off-Shore Injury Lawyers Also Handle:

When Should You Hire an Offshore Accident Law Firm?

If you were injured offshore, when should you hire a Jones Act lawyer? The simple answer is that you should consult with a lawyer right away. You have no reason to wait. In fact, waiting could make it much harder to recover your losses. It costs nothing out of pocket to hire a lawyer to help you, and your offshore accident attorney will only receive a portion of your award if he or she succeeds in winning your case. Give us a call today and let us help. 

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Willis Law Firm, Offshore & Maritime Lawyer
Nationwide Help - Licensed in Texas and New York
Principal Office
5005 Riverway Drive
Suite #160

Houston, Texas 77056

713-654-4040
1-800-468-4878
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1717 Turning Basin Dr.
Suite #232

Houston, Texas 77029

713-930-1717
1-800-447-8400
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