Written by attorney Timothy Justin Young

Injured Oil Rig Workers Have Rights under the Jones Act

Oil rig workers perform under risky and stressful circumstances. If, while on the job, a worker is injured, his or her rights are protected under the Jones Act. To learn more about these rights, contact Gulf Shore maritime lawyers.

Oil Rig Workers' Rights When Injured

The Jones Act is a federal law that allows for compensation when seamen are injured or killed while working on a vessel. While there are different types of workers that fall into the category of "seaman," oil rig workers are included.

There are also different types of vessels that are covered under the Jones Act. In addition to barges, ships and tugboats, it does include fixed and floating oil platforms.

Oil rig workers work long hours in rough waters performing dangerous job duties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when compared to all U.S. workers, those who work in the oil and gas extraction industry have a rate of death seven times higher than other workers.

One of the potential dangers these workers face is falling from a significant height. This can cause spinal cord damage, brain injuries and death.

These workers are often exposed to toxic materials. As a result, they can develop life-threatening illnesses. Nobody deserves to have his or her life put in danger because of a job. Let Gulf Shore maritime lawyers fight for your rights.

Many accidents on oil rigs involve machinery. Oil rig workers' injuries can include head trauma, fractures, crushed limbs, traumatic amputations and other types of physical harm.

Negligence in a Jones Act Claim

In order for a Gulf Shore maritime lawyer to file a claim, it must be proven that someone else’s negligence was the cause. It could be the owner of the oil rig, an operator, coworker or another party.

Sometimes it is a matter of improper training, inadequate equipment, failure to implement safety precautions or vessel defects. The owners of vessels are required to make sure it is seaworthy, which means the conditions are safe for workers.

If it’s found an injured oil worker was partly at fault, it doesn’t necessarily mean compensation won’t be available. It could mean that your Gulf Shore maritime lawyer could attain at least partial recovery of damages for you.

Seeking Compensation in a Jones Act Claim

If it can be shown that negligent actions were the cause of injuries, compensation could be available. If the injuries were fatal, the family may be entitled to damages that address medical costs and lost earnings.

Non-fatal injuries on an oil rig could lead to what is called maintenance and cure benefits that a Gulf Shore maritime lawyer can negotiate for you. Maintenance applies to living expenses while unable to work due to the injury, such as shelter and food.

Cure pertains to medical care, including surgical procedures and rehabilitation. It also could allow for compensation that addresses vocational training if the injuries prevent the worker from returning to his or her job.

Proving negligence sometimes can be a challenge, and there may be other complicated matters that impact the outcome of a Jones Act claim. One of the ways you may be able to protect your claim is by seeking advice from Gulf Shore maritime lawyers. We handle injury cases for a variety of different types of seamen, including oil rig workers.

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