Oil ships and oil rigs off the Gulf Coast provide the U.S. with a lot of its oil. The workers on these rigs, however, are at a constant risk of tragic injury and death if there are explosions or blowouts on the oil rig caused by the immense amount of flammable material present. While severe, rig-wide fires are uncommon, smaller blowouts and explosions can still cause severe injuries.
If you or someone in your family worked on an oil rig on the Gulf Coast and was seriously injured in an explosion, call our lawyers today. The attorneys for Gulf Coast oil rig explosion injuries and death at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represent victims and their families in maritime injury and oil rig lawsuits, even for some of the most severe cases out there. For a free case consultation, contact our offices at (866) 386-1762.
Compensation for Victims of Oil Rig Explosions on the Gulf Coast
Oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are worked by thousands of Americans, most of which are from the Gulf Coast states. If there are explosions that cause serious injuries on these oil rigs, the victims are often unable to use their states’ workers’ compensation systems to get compensation. Since these oil rigs are out in the gulf on the water, they are covered by maritime law instead of state law, which means that the state workers’ comp. systems do not cover the workers, and any lawsuits should be filed in courts with jurisdiction over maritime injury cases.
However, getting compensation through a lawsuit is often better for you in the end. Most workers’ compensation systems limit workers to only 66 2/3% of their normal wages while they recover from an injury. Moreover, these systems usually cut off damages after a certain point, or they make it very difficult to get coverage for permanent injuries or death. They also routinely limit which doctors you can use for medical care, and they do not cover compensation for pain and suffering or other noneconomic damages.
When you file a lawsuit for your oil rig explosion injuries or the death of a loved one on an oil rig on the Gulf Coast, you could open up additional areas of damages. First, you can get compensation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages tied to your experiences and the invisible harm of an accident. You can also claim full damages for medical bills, lost wages, and other financial harms caused by the accident. In the case of a loved one’s death, you can claim compensation for your family’s effects and other damages, such as funeral expenses.
Proving an Oil Rig Explosion Injury Case for Victims of Gulf Coast Oil Accidents
To get compensation in an injury lawsuit, you have to prove to the court that the injury happened and that the defendant – the party you are suing – is responsible for causing the accident or the explosion. Proving that the explosion happened is often the least of your concern – other injured victims, crewmembers, and even news photographs might be available to help explain that the accident actually occurred. Proving how the injury occurred is often more difficult.
To hold the oil rig and the parent company responsible, you must be able to link the explosion to some error they made. Many employers dodge liability for accidents by blaming you or one of your coworkers for the accident However, if you can prove that negligent inspections, negligent training, improper safety gear, or faulty systems were responsible for the oil rig explosion, you can often hold the oil rig and its parent company liable.
Our attorneys can hire investigators to look into the cause of the explosion. Oil explosions are often investigated by the oil company and by the government, which means that there might be multiple reports we can use to form our theory of the case, and many investigators we can interview or have testify about what happened. You might also have witnessed important things that can help prove how the oil accident occurred, especially if you were close to the initial explosion when it happened.
Ultimately, the “burden of proof” in these cases means that the case must be proven “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This standard means that you must prove it is more likely than not that your claim is true and that the defendant is indeed responsible for the accident. It is nowhere near the high “beyond a reasonable doubt” burden of proof used in criminal cases, making your claim somewhat easier.
When to File an Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Oil Rig Explosions on the Gulf Coast
If you were injured in an accident, call a lawyer right away. The longer you wait to file, the more evidence will be cleaned up and decommissioned during investigations and repair efforts. Moreover, injury victims could pass away from their injuries, and oil companies might work to hide problems, making it harder for injury victims to investigate and gather evidence. While you usually have some time to get your case in order while government investigations of the explosion are in progress, you should still contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help secure your case.
Contact Our Gulf Coast Oil Rig Explosion Lawyers for Help with Injury and Death Claims
For help with a potential injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit against the oil rig you or a loved one worked on, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. Our attorneys for gulf coast oil rig explosion injuries and death represent victims and their families and work to file maritime injury lawsuits to get them the compensation they need. For a free case consultation, contact our Miami crewmember accident lawyers at (866) 386-1762 right away.