Maritime and offshore work comes with obvious risks, and those that choose to embark on careers in these fields are aware of these risks. However, many workers may not know what to do if they are injured on the job. As some of the most common injuries resulting from maritime and offshore work can be very severe and even life-threatening, it’s important to know the proper steps to take in order to ensure you are fully protected and not held responsible for the carelessness of others.
Common Types of offshore Accidents and Injuries
The list below provides are some of the most common types of accidents resulting from work in the maritime and offshore fields:
- Exposure to toxic materials/extreme temperatures
- Falling equipment
- Being hit by heavy equipment
- Slips, trips and falls
- Falling overboard
Many of these accidents can cause a myriad of injuries, including:
- Back/spine injuries
- Hearing/ear damage
- Eye injuries
- Head/brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Orthopedic injuries
Getting compensated for an offshore injury
The long coastline and economy that relies heavily on fishing, offshore oil, etc. means that maritime laws are very important in the state of Louisiana. As the injuries listed above can range from minor to catastrophic, including death, workers that are injured in maritime or offshore work are covered by many state laws and regulations, as well as federal legislation, including the Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), and Death on the High Seas Act.
Determining which law is applicable may turn on where the accident actually occurred. For example, injuries that occur on a platform are general treated under state maritime law, unless there is a federal law that applies, such as LHWCA or the Jones Act.
As with most personal injuries, the first thing you should do after obtaining medical treatment from a maritime or offshore accident is to contact an attorney that is qualified and experienced in this area of law. Many of the injuries suffered by workers in these accidents are due to the negligence or carelessness of other individuals. In most cases, other workers or even the company can be held liable for your injuries.
When a company believes that one of their employees of the company itself may be responsible for any resulting injuries, they may attempt to have you sign something releasing them of liability, or enter into a settlement. It’s extremely important that you do not sign anything until you have spoken with an attorney.
Maritime and offshore work accidents are very common in Louisiana. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an accident, contact a qualified and experienced attorney that will help you navigate the complex maritime and federal laws that may apply to your case, and ensure you received adequate compensation for your injuries.