Offshore and Maritime Injuries
As any maritime attorney or offshore worker will tell you, working offshore is a dangerous job. Not only are you dealing with the harsh conditions of the Gulf, you are also surrounded by large pieces of heavy machinery. With all the moving parts on an oil rig or a shipping boat, and the orchestration required to get the job done, it’s no wonder that so many hard-working employees are injured offshore and need the assistance of an experienced Baton Rouge maritime attorney.
But did you know that if you are injured while working offshore, that Louisiana laws may not apply? That’s right. When you’re working offshore – such as on an oil rig or shipping boat – you are being governed by the Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marines Act of 1920. This federal law governs maritime commerce, your rights as a crew member, and lists out certain requirements that employers must follow to properly maintain their rigs and boats.
Thankfully, the Jones Act protects workers like you in the case of a work-related injury, and offers you several benefits, including:
- Full payment of your medical bills, including expenses already incurred and those that will be incurred during your future recovery;
- Past and future lost wages as a result of your work-related injury;
- Vocational retraining, in the event you are injured so severely that you can no longer perform your normal job;
- Benefits for lost earning capacity, if you are no longer able to make as much money as you did when you were working offshore;
- Special benefits if you are temporarily or permanently disabled;
- Death benefits to surviving family members; and
- If the injury was the result of negligence, payment for your pain and suffering.
Navigating maritime law in order to get the benefits you deserve can be a very confusing and complicated process. If you’re a Baton Rouge area resident who was injured offshore, you need a Baton Rouge maritime law attorney like myself to fight for the benefits you deserve.
What Do I Do If I’m Injured?
If you’re injured while offshore, the first thing you need to do is tell your superiors, then seek any medical treatment that may be available to you on the oil rig or boat. If your situation is severe, your superiors will need to arrange for you to be transported back onshore so that you can receive the emergency medical treatment that you need.
Once you have returned from seeking medical care, the next thing you need to do is call a Baton Rouge maritime attorney, one like myself who is experienced in winning benefits for offshore workers. Your employer’s insurance company – who will ultimately be paying out your benefits – will do anything they can to save a few bucks. They’ll often try to discredit your account of the events that led to the injury, suggest you aren’t as injured as you really are and even send someone to spy on you and catch you on tape doing something against doctor’s orders. These maritime insurance companies have their own attorney’s working for them; you need an experienced Baton Rouge maritime attorney fighting for you, too!