What Are Maritime Laws in the Gulf Coast?
There are a number of federal laws regulating the rights of injured oil rig workers. This offers them and their attorney a number of avenues to pursue, depending on the specific circumstances involving the victim’s accident. Chances are if one does not apply in your case, another Act will. Before you agree to anything with your employer, it is in your best interest to first talk over your options with an attorney. A maritime attorney will always be able to get a better deal for you than if you were to go without.
The Jones Act
The Jones Act includes two types of compensation for injured oil rig workers: maintenance and cure, which is akin to workers’ compensation, and filing a personal injury lawsuit. Maintenance and cure covers medical costs and the partial cost of living, such as the victim’s mortgage or rent, food, and other normal expenses. Suing or filing a personal injury lawsuit against an employer is also made possible under the Jones Act if the worker can prove that the employer was negligent. Negligence may include not providing safety equipment, a safe and reliable vessel, or another form of carelessness or recklessness.
Death on the High Sea Act
The Death on the High Seas Act enables the surviving family members of a deceased oil rig worker to pursue compensation when the worker is killed three or more miles offshore. In this case, the family would pursue pecuniary damages, which can go a long way toward paying for college, paying off the house, and other expenses that a single parent, for example, may now have to manage all on his or her own.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
Another form of compensation that an injured employee can pursue is that under the Continental Shelf Lands Act. Under this Act, an injured or ill employee may be able to recover medical expenses both past and future, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, disability, and disfigurement.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Some injured oil rig workers may be eligible for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which is available to workers who are not covered under the Jones Act. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides the following benefits:
- Medical costs and transportation;
- Rehabilitation costs; and
- Short or long term disability.
Call Our Maritime Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Injuries caused in the course of one’s work must be covered by the employer, whether the accident was caused by the employee or someone else. When employers are egregiously negligent, you can take further action by filing a lawsuit. When choosing an attorney to represent you for an injury that resulted from an oil rig accident, you need to work with a maritime lawyer with experience assisting oil rig clients. The Houston workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. are available and ready to take on your case. Call us today at 713-221-6800 to schedule a free consultation.