An oil rig lawsuit may be an option for people who have been injured on an oil rig or in an oil or gas field or refinery through no fault of their own. There are hundreds of oil rigs located in the United States, and America has become one of the top oil producing countries in the world. Working in the oil and gas extraction industry is probably one of the country’s most dangerous jobs. In 2014, 142 fatalities were recorded on oil and gas rigs, an increase of 27 percent from the year before. People who have been injured on oil rigs or oil fields may be eligible for compensation with the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Oil Rig Accidents
According to npr.org, the fatality rate among oil and gas workers is nearly eight times higher than the total industry rate of 3.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers.
Injuries on an oil rig may occur because of:
- Overworked or overtired workers
- Pipeline accidents
- Handling heavy lines and shackles
- Faulty equipment and improper maintenance
- Working with heavy machinery
- Inadequate training
- Falling objects
- Drilling mishaps
- Transportation accidents
- Dangerous decks
- Extreme temperatures
- Marine vessels
- Hydraulic fracking
The most common type of injuries sustained in oil rig accidents include:
- Exposure to toxic fumes
- Broken limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain damage
Where Can Oil and Gas Extraction Accidents Occur?
Workers involved in oil and gas extraction may get injured in many different work locations and environments. Oil and gas extraction accidents can occur at locations including:
- Oil rigs
- Gas rigs
- Offshore oil platforms
- Drill ships
- Tender-assist rigs
- Inland barges
- Oil or gas refineries
- Oil fields
The Jones Act and Oil Rig Accidents
The Jones Act is federal legislation that protects American workers injured at sea. Also referred to as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law allows qualifying sailors who have been involved in accidents or become sick while performing their duties to recover compensation from their employers. The Jones Act may cover an injured worker involved in an oil rig accident depending on several conditions. In order to recover compensation under the Jones Act, a worker must have qualified as a seaman and be working aboard a vessel that is considered ‘in navigation’ as defined by maritime law.
Due to the anchored nature of some types of oil rigs, such as fixed platforms, some oil rigs may not be considered ‘in navigation’ under the Jones Act because they are not mobile. However, workers aboard some fixed platforms and other types of offshore drilling rigs, such as jack-ups, drill ships, and submersible rigs, are able to recover compensation under the Jones Act. The type of accident suffered by a worker may also have a bearing on the case.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
If you have been injured on a fixed platform, your case is likely covered by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. This act deems fixed oil platforms an island of the contiguous state. In this event, your injury would be covered by the workers’ compensation laws of the nearest state. If the injury is caused by a third party, such as a negligent contractor or equipment manufacturer, you could also file a lawsuit against the third party.
Death on the High Seas Act
The family members of a seaman killed in an offshore oil rig accident may be able to make a claim for compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act. The act allows surviving family members to seek compensation for quantifiable monetary losses known as pecuniary damages when a seaman dies more than 3 nautical miles off the United States coast while in the course of his or her employment.
Have You Seen an Oil Rig Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen an oil rig lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by the negligence of oil rig owners and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
Deadly U.S. Oil Rig and Refinery Disasters
- In 1964, 21 people perished after fires and an explosion occurred on the C.P. Baker drilling barge
- In 2005, 15 workers were killed and more than 170 injured, when a hydrocarbon vapor cloud exploded at BP’s Texas City refinery
- In 2010, 11 workers died after an explosion and subsequent fire on the Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilling unit
- In 2010, seven workers were killed at the Tesoro Anacortes refinery when a heat exchanger ruptured after a maintenance restart
Oil Rig Lawsuits Filed
- $3 million was awarded to a worker who suffered traumatic brain injury after falling down a defective stairs on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico
- $1.3 million awarded to four oil rig workers who suffered brain injuries after being deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes
- $6 million awarded to the family of a mechanic who was killed when fire broke out at an oil refinery in Illinois
How an Oil Rig Lawsuit Can Help
Oil rig owners and operators have a duty to provide a safe working environment. This includes properly maintaining equipment and adequately addressing foreseeable hazards. If an oil rig owner or operator fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result. Depending on the circumstances of an oil rig accident, you may be able to collect compensation under federal maritime law or state personal injury law.
People injured on oil rigs or other oil and gas extraction facilities, through no fault of their own may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those killed on oil rigs or on any oil and gas extraction facility may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
For more information, contact Attorney Group.
After you contact us, an attorney will follow up to answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.