Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represent injury victims who work in offshore oil drilling as well as their families. Our maritime injury attorneys understand that the life of an offshore oil worker often places you at a high risk for injury, and our attorneys fight to seek justice for oil workers who can no longer work or missed wages because of injuries sustained on-the-job on an oil rig.
If you or a loved one works or worked as an offshore oil worker in the Gulf Coast, our attorneys may be able to take your case and fight to get you and your family the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to your injury. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our Gulf Coast offshore oil rig injury and accident attorneys today. Call us at (866) 386-1762 to set up a free, confidential legal consultation with our attorneys today.
Suing for Injuries for Offshore Oil Workers in the Gulf Coast
Most oil rigs in the Gulf Coast are owned by companies that operate in the United States. These oil rigs and oil ships are therefore governed by U.S. maritime law in most cases. This means that workers and their families can typically file their cases in U.S. courts whether the injured worker was a U.S. citizen or not.
Injuries for offshore oil workers are not typically governed by workers’ compensation laws. Texas law often allows workers to opt-out of workers’ compensation laws, and Louisiana and Mississippi allow some exceptions where injured workers can sue instead of using workers’ comp., but Florida and Alabama are considered “exclusive remedy” states. This means that injured workers must typically file for workers’ compensation, and they are barred from filing lawsuits for injuries sustained at work. However, offshore oil workers are typically not covered by this law and can instead sue their employers and the operator of the oil rig for injuries, potentially opening up higher damages.
This means that to get compensation for injuries sustained at work on an offshore oil rig, you must prove that your employer or the owner/operator of the oil rig was “at fault” for your injuries. This typically means proving “negligence,” which consists of actions or inactions that did not meet a legal duty that the defendant owed you. In most oil rig injury cases, this means failing to meet some safety standard set by OSHA or another employee-safety administration. Failing to provide workers with proper safety training or safety gear is one of the most common reasons for injuries on an oil rig. Other injuries could be caused by an employer’s failure to screen employees for drug use or intoxication or other breaches of duties they owed their employees.
In any case, you must prove that the employer or the owner/operator of the oil rig or oil ship was negligent before you can get compensation for your injuries. These rules are based on “maritime law,” a type of law that typically governs injuries at sea. The Jones Act is the primary law that sets the rules for how injured workers can sue for offshore oil or shipping injuries, and you can read that Act or talk to our attorneys for more information about the laws that govern your case. Typically, these rules will govern your case instead of state laws back home.
Common Damages for Injuries in Offshore Oil Drilling
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident or disaster on an offshore oil rig, you could be entitled to sue the employer for the injuries. These lawsuits often result in substantial financial compensation for injured workers and their families, especially if the victims suffered extensive injuries or permanent disabilities because of the accident. In cases involving the wrongful death of an offshore oil worker, the surviving family may be able to claim additional damages to help cope with their loss.
Damages for a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence usually cover two main areas of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are paid to reimburse the victim for expenses they faced and losses they incurred. In most cases, these economic damages have a solid paper trail that you can use to prove the cost of these damages. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are damages that are intangible. These damages often have no paper trail and must be proved through testimony and other evidence.
Economic damages for an injury most commonly include damages for medical expenses and lost wages. If your injury required emergency medical transportation and medical treatment at a hospital, you could face substantial medical bills that you cannot afford without compensation. Additionally, if you are out of work while you recover from your injuries or your injuries stop you from going back to work, the damages for lost wages can be high as well.
Non-economic damages in an injury case typically cover damages for pain and suffering. These costs are harder to prove because there is no documentary evidence of the physical pain and mental suffering you experienced, but your testimony about how the injury affected your life can supply this proof in court.
In the case of a wrongful death case, you can receive additional economic damages to cover the cost of funeral expenses, burial costs, end-of-life medical care, lost wages, grief counseling, lost household services, and other expenses your family faced because of the death. For non-economic damages, you can claim the value of lost companionship, lost spousal duties, and other intangible harms.
Call Our Gulf Coast Oil Rig and Offshore Oil Worker Injury Attorneys for a Free Legal Consultation
If you or a loved one worked on an oil rig off the coast of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, or Texas, call the Gulf Coast offshore oil worker accident and injury attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today. Our injury lawyers fight to get victims of serious oil disasters and offshore drilling injuries and their families the compensation they need to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and the expenses of losing a loved one to wrongful death in an offshore oil accident. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our attorneys today at (866) 386-1762.