Offshore Accident Lawyer – Louisiana -Texas
Do you need a good lawyer for an offshore rig accident that caused a death or serious injury
Do you need a good lawyer for an offshore oil rig or platform accident that caused a death, or serious neck, back or brain injury?
This is Hugh Howerton and for 30 years I have helped injured people. Do I claim to be the best lawyer in the world? No, I won’t lie to you.
But I work hard for my clients and have got them big settlements. I promise not to lie to you or screw you around.
The truth is facts proving the oil company at fault not smooth talking lawyers are the reasons an oil company pays an injured worker a big settlement.
If you fly to your offshore rig out of Houma, Morgan City, Galliano or Cameron and got hurt call me to see if I can help you. The consultation is free.
For A Free Consultation call 713.822.8904
What is the Jones Act
The Jones Act is a federal law going back to 1920 that was made to protect the American merchant marine. Because the work is very dangerous the government made this law to protect injured workers. It allows the injured worker to bring a claim against his employer to recover damages.
The Jones Act is under admiralty law and protects U.S. citizens working as a seaman who is injured because of negligence or the unseaworthiness of a vessel. It’s a complicated law and not everyone that works offshore is given this federal law protection.
Types of Offshore Accidents & Injuries
An offshore accident can cause a fall
Slip and falls are the common offshore injuries. A fall can cause a broken bone like a leg, arm, wrist, ankle or arm. A fall can cause a neck injury or back injury that may need surgery.
An offshore accident caused by being hit by a moving object
Being hit by a moving object is also another major cause of offshore oil injuries. A traumatic brain injury can be caused by being hit in the head. A spinal cord injury can happen if you break your neck. This can cause you to be paralyzed.
An offshore accident can cause a traumatic brain injury
You need a good lawyer if an offshore accident caused a traumatic brain injury. A brain injury can happen if you are hit in the head and the skull is crushed causing bleeding inside the brain. This is a very serious injury and can cause you to need a lifetime of medical care.
Helicopter Crash & Accident
A helicopter crash going to or from an offshore oil rig is tragic. Many times a helicopter crash causes a death. You need a good and trustful lawyer to help the surviving family. A helicopter accident can be caused by pilot error or faulty maintenance.
Offshore Crane Accidents
An offshore oil worker can be seriously hurt or killed in a crane accident. A pedestal crane boom failure can cause serious injury and death from falling equipment. A crane accident can cause a head or brain injury or paralysis. On October 16, 2017 a crane failed when conducting an operation of running a drilling riser. The dropped joint of marine riser weighed 43,000 pounds. A crane can fail because of a frozen boom tip sheave which can cause the running line to jump the sheave. Proper procedures need to be followed to make sure workers are in safe zones prior to any lifts.
But what if I work on an offshore/platform rig
Even if you don’t think you are a seaman and were not working on a boat, the Jones Act may still apply to you if you were hurt on a submersible platform/rig, semi-submersible platform/rig, or jack-up rig.
The best way to find out is to contact our offshore maritime lawyers at 877.984.9848
Who is a Seaman
This is the tricky part because the Jones Act does not really define the word “seaman”. Generally, it is a crew-member working on a vessel. Their work must contribute to the purpose of the vessel. This usually covers many workers assigned to an oil rig platform. The “seaman” must also spend a significant amount of their employees working aboard the vessel. The courts usually find that a worker has to spend 30% or more of their time in the service of the “vessel” to qualify as a “Seaman”
What kind of vessel meets the requirements of the Jones Act
The vessel must be “in navigation”. This means that it is afloat, in operation, in navigable waters and capable of moving. So, if you are working on a fixed platform not capable of moving you may not qualify for protection under the Jones Act. But if you get hurt on an ocean-going ship, barge, tugboat, dredger, pile-driver, jack-up rig, or submersible rig you may qualify as a Jones Act seaman.
If I win, what do I get as compensation under the Jones Act
If you qualify as an injured worker under the Jones Act and prove that your employer’s negligence was a proximate cause of your injury then you are entitled to compensation for:
- Past & future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages or loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain & suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement
- Costs of living while you are under medical care (Maintenance)
How do you prove my employer was negligent
To win a Jones Act injury case you have the burden of proving your employer was negligent and that in the slightest way led to you being injured. Your burden of proof is much lower than many other types of accident claims. This is known in the law as “featherweight causation”. Some examples include the following:
- Your employer didn’t maintain a safe environment. This means they didn’t keep the deck free of dangerous obstacles, the deck was covered in grease and slippery causing you to fall.
- Your employer didn’t secure cargo
- Equipment failure
- Your employer failed to properly supervise employees which caused you to get hurt
- Your employer failed to give you proper medical assistance
- Failure to train other crew members
- Not being given the right tools for the job