Oil rig workers have one of the toughest jobs nationwide, facing hazards as varied as serious falls to hypothermia and drowning. Unfortunately, many oil rig workers, roustabouts, and maintenance employees do not know which agency is responsible for their injury benefits, increasing the chances that they will not get proper compensation for their suffering. The good news is, depending on where you work, your accident costs may be covered by a variety of benefit programs and state and federal injury laws.
Oil Rig Workers May Be Owed Compensation Under Several Maritime Injury Laws
One of the first questions you should ask in your maritime accident claim is whether your injury occurred within three miles of shore. If you were working on the continental shelf (such as in the Gulf of Mexico), you may be protected by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). This federal law establishes the U.S. government’s jurisdiction over underwater lands, and could affect your ability to file a claim under:
- The Jones Act. The OCSLA extends the provisions of the Jones Act to structures connected to the seabed that are within three miles off the coast of any state or U.S. territory. If you were hurt on a permanent or temporary offshore structure, you may be able to collect maintenance and cure payments.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA is a supplementary law created to cover injured maritime workers who do not qualify for Jones Act benefits. Under the LHWCA, you may be entitled to temporary wage replacement, costs of medical treatment, and disability for job-related injuries.
- State workers’ compensation. If your work occurs within the boundaries of the Outer Continental Shelf, but you were injured on land, your claim may fall under state workers’ compensation.
- General maritime law. If you or a loved one was injured on a drilling platform, jack-up rig, transport vessel, or helicopter, you may be able to file an injury lawsuit to recover compensation under general maritime law.
Contact Top NYC Maritime Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been hurt at sea, you should contact the qualified maritime injury attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer as soon as possible to learn your legal rights. Call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY today or download your complimentary copy of Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.