OFFSHORE RIG DROWNING LAWYERS
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with offshore rig drowning lawyers
Working on an oil rig is a dangerous job. Chemical explosions, severe weather, and slippery surfaces can turn a dangerous job into a deadly one when workers fall off the rig and drown. If workers survive the near drowning, they may be left with serious injuries, medical bills, and unable to work; for those who do not survive, the workers may leave behind family members who are unsure of where to turn for the financial and emotional support they need, that had been provided before by their loved one.
The offshore injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing victims and their families and helping them seek the compensation they deserve. Call us today at 800-863-5312 for a 100% free attorney consultation with offshore rig drowning attorneys.
Common causes of drowning accidents
Unfortunately, drowning accidents are one of the many risks offshore rig workers face. While these types of accidents can happen for a number a reasons, some of the most common include:
When life vests, rafts, and other life-preserving equipment are damaged and out of date, they may not deploy or otherwise work as needed when a drowning accident occurs. Without proper equipment, employees are at an increased risk of drowning, and those attempting to save victims may be unable to do so without functioning equipment.
Employers are required to provide workers with adequate safety trainings. These training should include safe practices on the rig to prevent drownings as well as training for what to do if a worker goes overboard. When employers fail to instruct employees on these procedures, accidents are more likely to occur and drowning victims who could have been recused may go without emergency assistance.
Offshore rig workers often work long and grueling hours. When workers do not receive the breaks required by law, they may become extremely tired and more likely to make mistakes that can lead to a drowning accident.
Failure to Inspect
Offshore rigs must be inspected periodically to ensure that the equipment is up-to-date and functioning and that any faulty equipment can be repaired. However, when employers fail to routinely check the rig, workers’ safety is jeopardized and equipment that could have prevented drowning accidents may fail to work when needed.
Dangerous Weather Conditions
Offshore rigs may face severe storms, which cause waves to wash aboard the rig or high winds that blow equipment around. Loose equipment or strong winds may cause an employee’s head to make contact with a sharp object, which can knock them unconscious and carry them overboard. While the weather cannot be controlled, employers can control safety measures in place, ensure big equipment is correctly stored, and instruct employees to move to areas of the rig with better protection from the elements.
Slip, Trips, and Falls
Many hazards on an offshore rig can cause employees to slip, trip, and fall on deck or off into the water. Chemical spills, a careless employee, or a lack of signage can all increase the likelihood of a slippery and dangerous surface. When a slip occurs close to the edge of a rig, employees who fall overboard may not be rescued in time to save them.
What to do after a drowning accident
After a drowning accident there are a number of steps you should take to protect your health and document what happened in order to ensure that you are able to pursue the damages to which you may be entitled. These include:
Seeking Medical Attention
If you are seriously injured in a drowning accident on an offshore rig, you should seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not receive urgent medical care, be sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you need treatment. It may be difficult to seek medical treatment when you are offshore, but as soon as you can, see a trained medical professional; they may be able to catch underlying injuries related to a near-drowning accident, such as pneumonia, brain damage, or other complications.
Reporting the Accident
After a near-drowning accident, you will need to inform your supervisor of your injuries. Federal maritime law requires that injuries be reported within seven days, but you should do this as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence surrounding your case about when and how the accident occurred.
Documenting the Accident
It is important to document your accident in order to demonstrate the extent of your injuries and how the accident occurred. This may include photos of injuries you sustained; equipment, tools, or other objects that contributed to your injury; and names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Documenting Your Expenses
A near-drowning accident can be not only traumatizing but also expensive. It’s important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. This could include hospital bills, emergency medical transportation, rehabilitation costs, and documented time taken off while you recover from your injuries.
Liability In an offshore drowning accident
Even though an offshore rig may be offshore from the United States, it is not beyond the reach of the nation’s law. Workplace injuries that occur on an offshore rig are handled under a body of law known as maritime law or admiralty, which covers who can be held liable in drowning accidents that occur off the coast of the United States.
Under the Jones Act, which requires employers to provide reasonably safe working conditions for crew personnel working aboard oil rigs. Examples of potentially unsafe working conditions include:
- Lack of proper safety training for workers
- Failure to perform regular maintenance inspections
- Failure to repair broken equipment and parts
- Failure to provide workers with the proper safety gear
- Lack of warning signs in hazardous areas
- Failure to ensure vessel decks contain no-skid surfaces
- Failure to provide a seaworthy vessel
An employer who fails to provide reasonably safe working conditions can be held responsible for an employee’s injuries and expenses. In general, people who work on oil production platforms that are fixed to the seabed are not covered by the Jones Act; however, they may be able to claim compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and other laws. Determining which laws apply in your specific case can be complicated, but an experienced offshore injury lawyer will be able to help you.
Compensation you may be able to recover
The compensation you may be able to seek in an offshore rig drowning accident case will depend on the extent of your injuries and damages. However, in general, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include the tangible financial damages that can be assigned a number or monetary value. Typical economic damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Pharmacy bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity
Although non-economic damages may be harder to calculate, they can oftentimes have more value than economic damages. These types of damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium of a spouse
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
In cases where a defendant was seriously reckless or malicious and those actions resulted in the death or severe suffering of a victim, punitive damages may be awarded in some circumstances. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage similar behavior in the future.
What Can an Offshore Injury Attorney Do for Me?
A personal injury lawyer may help ensure that victims receive proper medical treatment, investigate the accident, interview witnesses, file a lawsuit, and go to trial if necessary. An attorney may also help you determine the damages victims or their loved ones are entitled to, which will depend on factors such as the amount of medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other things.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
In any personal injury case, you need to be aware of the time limits, or statutes of limitations, you have to bring your case. If you want to file a lawsuit after a near-drowning or if you are a surviving spouse who wants to bring a wrongful death claim after an offshore oil rig accident, you will have three years from the date of the accident to bring a claim. However, it is best to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible in order to ensure that there is enough time to investigate the accident, track down witnesses, and file your claim.
contact an offshore drowning lawyer today
At Zinda Law Group, our offshore rig drowning attorneys are experienced in oil rig accidents and have helped many victims and their families receive the compensation they deserved after they were injured on the job. We have the knowledge and resources to help our clients receive the compensation they may be entitled to for hospital bills, pain and suffering, and much more.
We believe a victim and their family should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable settlement, judgment, or verdict for your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a loved one were the victim of an offshore oil rig drowning accident, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys near you.