Working on oil rigs is often demanding and dangerous, probably one of the most dangerous professions in the country. Employees should have enough experience and safe working conditions in order to avoid severe injuries. Unfortunately it doesn’t always happen like that. When accidents occur they involve fire, explosions and injuries caused by heavy equipment. Besides the severe injuries these individuals might also not get proper medical support in time, simply because of the distances they are separated from the inland.
Oil rig employees can suffer the following severe injuries: back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injuries, burns, disfigurement, lost limbs, fractures, crush injuries, electric shock and other permanent disabilities or even death. Many of these accidents are avoidable but they occur as a result of negligence and recklessness. The leading causes of oil rig accidents are long working periods, including up to 14 days without a day off, the lack of necessary experience and unsafe working conditions including the lack of safety equipment.
If an individual working on an oil platform is severely injured during work, the employer can be held legally responsible. If the oil worker is legally considered a seaman, he can be compensated according to the Jonas Act.
The Jonas Act is a set of federal laws, first passed in 1920 with the purpose of protecting maritime workers. Now it allows seamen to sue the company that owns the oil rig if there is evidence of negligence. However plaintiffs will need the support of a specialized rig injury lawyer, because the laws that apply to maritime injuries are different from other injury laws. Besides that depending on the circumstances of the accident international laws and regulations might also have to be considered.
If an admiralty attorney considers there is a valid legal claim, a lawsuit can be filed and workers will have a trial by jury. If the company has been found guilty, they will be compensated for medical bills, present and future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, the deterioration of life style and the costs of future living.