Oil Rig at Sea Hofmann and SchweitzerThere are many extensions to maritime law that provide compensation to maritime employees injured on land. One such law is the Outer Continental Shelf Land Act, commonly known as OCSLA, which allows non-seamen who work on submerged lands under U.S. jurisdiction to be covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA). Maritime employees whose work is primarily offshore (such as oil rig workers) are covered by OCSLA, making them eligible for benefits regardless of who is at fault for the injury.  

Benefits Provided to Employees Under OCSLA

Under the OCSLA, federal jurisdiction is extended to “the subsoil and seabed of the outer Continental Shelf and to all artificial islands, and all installations and other devices permanently or temporarily attached to the seabed… for the purpose of exploring, developing, or producing resources therefrom, or any such installation or other device (other than a ship or vessel) for the purpose of transporting such resources.” This allows injuries in these cases to fall under federal statutes (such as OCSLA and LHWCA) rather than state workers’ compensation programs.

Injury Benefits Under The OCSLA

Medical care.

Employees who are eligible for OCSLA benefits may be reimbursed for doctor’s visits, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, physical therapy, assistive devices and equipment, and specialist care arising from a work-related injury.

Disability payments.

If your injury is so severe that you cannot work, you may be eligible for partial or total disability payments.

Vocational rehabilitation.

If you are unable to return to your previous position as a result of an injury, you could be eligible for employment counseling, vocational testing, and job retraining through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Death benefits.

If an employee is covered under the OCSLA and dies as a result of a work-related injury, his or her children and surviving spouse are eligible for death benefits as well as up to $3,000 for funeral and burial expenses.

If you have suffered from a maritime injury, we encourage you to find out more about your rights to see who may owe you compensation for your recovery. Contact one of our New York and New Jersey maritime accident attorneys today via our online contact form, or call 1-800-3-MAY-DAY and let an experienced maritime injury lawyer provide you with an opinion about how much your maritime injury case is worth. For more information on your case, be sure to download your complimentary copy of Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.