Jobs offshore and on maritime vessels are some of the most difficult and dangerous. Injured offshore workers need quality medical care after workplace accidents so they can heal and return to their lives. In addition to medical treatment, they likely need legal help so they are properly compensated for their injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured offshore, the number one priority must be seeking medical care. But once you have a good doctor and treatment plan, you must think about how you’re going to live while recuperating if you can’t work. That’s where our lawyers experienced in personal injury cases can help.
Typical Offshore Injuries
The list is long when it comes to the injuries offshore workers sustain. Some of the most common include:
- Back Injuries
- Burns — fire, chemicals, and steam
- Chemical exposures
- Lung cancer
- Brain injuries
- Skin issues
- Loss of limbs
If you’re hurt offshore, the most important thing to do is seek immediate care and alert the supervisor of your injury and the details of how it happened. Always tell the truth and don’t diminish how badly you are hurt.
Access to Medical Care
Workplace injuries are serious matters whether on land or sea. But the remote location of offshore oil rigs or seagoing vessels adds a layer of complexity to an already difficult situation.
Likely your injury was not treated properly when it occurred. Even if adequate emergency care was given, you might have had a long wait until you returned to Houston to seek further evaluation and treatment.
Those delays may have increased your pain, complicated your treatment plan, and lengthened your recovery. It is vital that once you have access to medical care onshore that you see a doctor immediately. Go to the emergency room if you have to, or see your own general practitioner. Make sure you explain the injury was in the workplace and ask for a referral if you need specialized care.
At Krist Law Firm, we regularly work with injured workers getting care at the following medical facilities:
- Sacred Heart Emergency Center
- St Joseph Medical Center
- HCA Houston Healthcare West
- Houston Methodist Hospital
- Texas Orthopedic Hospital
- Texas Medical Center
Keep in mind as well that you may see the health care provider of your choice. You do not have to submit to the examination and care of a physician chosen by your employer.
The Benefits of a Maritime Lawyer
Unlike typical on-the-job injuries at a factory or in an office where workers’ compensation applies, there are various legal avenues for compensation for injured offshore workers. Accordingly, if you are hurt offshore, you should speak to an attorney who understands and is experienced in maritime law.
If you are hurt offshore your compensation may be through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or the Jones Act. The LHWCA covers injuries on oil rigs or vessels that don’t qualify as trading ships. It basically covers all those who aren’t covered by the Jones Act. That act provides workers’ comp type benefits to all those that work on vessels.
By working with our maritime injury lawyers, we will determine which law applies and vigorously pursue your claim. For example, if covered by the LHWCA, you’ll receive temporary disability benefits of about 2/3 of your weekly income and all necessary medical care to treat your injuries.
Get the Compensation You Need and Deserve
You’ve worked hard in some of the most dangerous conditions there are and now you’re hurt. You may feel like you don’t where to turn and the stress of being injured and unable to work is high. We understand.