5 Reasons You Need an Offshore Injury Lawyer
Working offshore can be dangerous. Crew members can experience life-changing or fatal injuries in accidents on deck, after falling overboard, or in devastating blowouts, fires, or explosions. When these incidents occur, some workers quickly find that the companies they have put their lives on the line for are not interested in helping them recover. Instead, these workers experience pressure to return offshore before they’re ready or to sign statements that limit their employer’s liability.
Workers deserve better; that’s where an offshore injury lawyer comes in.
Why You Need an Offshore Injury Lawyer
1. You Need Someone Who Knows Maritime Law
A qualified offshore injury lawyer should be well-versed in all maritime laws applicable to workers on jack-up rigs, semi-submersible platforms, drill ships, fixed platforms, offshore wind farms, and more. These crew members’ rights may be different than those that apply to workers on land, but they are no less important.
An offshore injury lawyer can defend a crew member’s interests under:
- The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920), which offers seamen the opportunity to seek compensation for injuries or illnesses they’ve sustained at sea because of negligence.
- The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which covers accidents and injuries experienced by workers involved in loading, unloading, repairing, or decommissioning a ship. It also covers workers who are injured in navigable waters.
- The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OSCLA), which was passed in 1953 as an extension of the rights extended by the LHWCA to crews working on vessels and platforms on the outer continental shelf of the United States. This area extends from state jurisdiction to 200 nautical miles from shore.
- The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), which helps the families of seamen and maritime passengers who lose their lives at sea in international waters or as a result of negligence. The DOHSA also covers airline disasters that occur more than 12 miles from U.S. waters.
A seasoned lawyer can also protect an injured offshore worker from a company’s attempts to hide behind the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851, which reduces the compensation available to the value of the rig or vessel. While this law was relevant in times of rampant piracy and poor storm prediction, the current status of the offshore industry has rendered this act antiquated and often misused.
2. You Need Someone to Protect Your Rights
The company you work for probably has a team of attorneys hired to handle incidents involving offshore injuries. These people will be working to limit the company’s accountability for what you’ve experienced. They want to spend as little as possible before getting you back to work on a rig. When you have an offshore injury lawyer in YOUR corner, you’ll have a qualified professional actively working to protect your interests and your rights, not the company’s.
3. You Need Someone to Protect Your Family
An offshore injury lawyer can help your family if the unthinkable happens. Cases involving fatal offshore incidents are particularly challenging, involving complex laws and processes that demand the attention of an attorney who is familiar with maritime law. Whether the DOHSA or other laws apply to your case, the right attorney can help your family get the answers they need for their peace of mind and the support they need to build a stable future.
4. You Need Someone Who Has the Resources to Help
There are tens of thousands of attorneys in the United States who take on accident and injury cases, but a select few are qualified to handle offshore injury claims. Make sure you choose a lawyer who focuses their practice on maritime law. You’ll need them to have the resources and connections to properly build your case and protect your interests. From working with the right investigators to helping you get the best medical treatment, your lawyer must have the resources to competently handle your case.
5. You Don’t Need to Pay Anything Upfront
There are many reasons you need an offshore injury lawyer, but how will you afford it? This is one of the biggest obstacles rig workers and their families face after an accident or injury. What many don’t know is this: when you hire an offshore injury lawyer, you should not pay anything up front or out of pocket. There should be no retainer or hourly fee. At Arnold & Itkin, we forward the costs of our clients’ cases and only get paid if – and when – we secure a recovery on a client’s behalf. There are no upfront costs or hidden fees. Instead, we are paid out of the settlement or award that we recover for our client. Our goal is always to secure the level of compensation that will ensure our client is taken care of for the rest of their life.
Why Arnold & Itkin
Arnold & Itkin is known as a leader in maritime law. Our offshore injury attorneys have successfully handled some of the biggest cases in history, having represented one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew and three widows of the El Faro after the cargo vessel was lost in Hurricane Joaquin. We continue to take on the biggest cases against the toughest opponents because we know we can win. Our commitment is to our clients and their families, and to helping them rebuild. No matter what.