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Dismemberment in Oil Rig Explosions

Offshore drilling provides 24% of U.S. oil and 25% of U.S. gas supply, but the offshore drilling industry is one of the most dangerous fields. In the offshore industry, it is all too easy to be crushed by heavy machinery (such as a forklift, hoist, wench, flywheel, pulley, or spindle) or struck by a cable or mooring line. It is also very easy to slip due to the wet conditions you work in. The combination of heavy equipment, chains, winches, cables, nets, sharp knives, processing equipment, moving lines, and shifting cargo can result in dismemberment.

Offshore workers can sustain serious injuries due to personnel mistakes, equipment failure, operational malfunctions, or natural disasters. Dismemberment frequently occurs when an explosion/fire breaks out.

An engineering professor described the dangers inherent in the offshore drilling industry with these words,

"You've got equipment and steel strung out over a long piece of geography starting at surface and terminating at 18,000 feet below the sea floor. So it has many potential weak points. Just as Katrina's storm surge found weaknesses in those piles of dirt—the levees—gas likes to find weakness in anything we connect to that source."

Examples of Negligence

Safety regulations are set into place to prevent these injuries from occurring. OSHA and the American Petroleum Institute have released specific guidelines, which when followed, minimize the risks offshore workers might otherwise face. Any of the following events can cause a worker to sustain dismemberment injuries:

  • Requiring crew members to work excessive hours in severe weather
  • Failure to provide needed repairs or follow-up proper maintenance procedures
  • Failure to properly train or supervise crew
  • Defective lines, cables or equipment (for example, improperly placed shut-off switches on equipment)
  • Unguarded equipment
  • Negligent mooring
  • Collisions
  • Lack of required safety equipment and procedures
  • Unsafe gangways, rigging, steps, ladders or other surfaces
  • Failure to comply with federal safety regulations

If any of these factors contributed to an oil rig accident and the injuries you sustained, then negligence was involved and you can file a lawsuit. Few things are more painful or traumatic then losing a hand, foot, or finger. Such an accident not only affects you in the short-term, but for the rest of your life. When you experience such a life-changing injury, you might never be able to return to work in the offshore industry.

How Amputations Work

In most of these instances, you will need to undergo amputation. Amputations are often the only option after an offshore accident involving poor training, a lack of safety equipment, defective machinery, or an explosion.

In order to determine whether or not you need an amputation, a physician will examine your affected limbs and perform x-rays. The physician can then decide how much of the limb he/she should remove as a result of the damage. After the amputation is completed, the skin will need to be rearranged and the bone or tendon may need to be shortened. If this is not possible, a surgeon may take skin, muscle, or bone from other regions of the body. The surgeon may also shape the remaining part of your limb so it can later be paired with a prosthetic limb.

Fight for damages today!

Your medical bills will most likely be high and you may require ongoing surgery and care. When another's carelessness so adversely affects you, you deserve the chance to fight back! Under the Jones Act, you could recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of the enjoyment of life.

In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, injured victims were told to deny their injuries ( click here to learn more). This is unacceptable and something Arnold & Itkin does not tolerate. You are not just someone fighting for compensation, you are a human being that has been hurt and we will not allow an offshore oil company to intimidate you into receiving a smaller settlement than you deserve.

Contact our firm today for the aggressive legal representation you need!

Oil Rig Explosions

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Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

I encountered professionalism, understanding, compassion… lot of compassion. They really felt for what me and my wife were going through.
~ Deepwater Horizon Crew Member

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