Offshore Injury

From a legal standpoint, offshore accidents are different from accidents that occur on land. In fact, legal systems around the world recognize that the law of the land does not necessarily apply at sea. For injuries and other legal issues that arise offshore, maritime law is used to address and settle legal disputes.
Maritime law covers a variety of activities that occur offshore, including marine shipping, commerce, and the transportation of workers and other passengers to and from offshore facilities. Additionally, maritime law covers the operation of offshore oil rigs and docks. That means that any accident or injury that occurred in a maritime context by a passenger or a worker in a commercial or recreational context may fall under maritime law.

Offshore accidents range from minor to serious to fatal. A number of factors can facilitate a dangerous environment that leads to injuries. The following list describes the most common causes of offshore accidents:

❖ Poor or insufficient training
❖ Carelessness
❖ Lack of attention
❖ Negligence
❖ Fatigue
❖ Physical Error
❖ Equipment Failure

Each of these causes can lead to a serious, or fatal accident. It is both the employer's and the facility owners’ responsibility to minimize the risk of error and create a safe environment for all employees. Individuals who work in these environments must understand that the carelessness, lack of attention, or negligence of one individual can seriously injure or kill others.

Causes of Offshore Accidents...

Several federal and Louisiana laws protect those who have been injured in a maritime or offshore incident. Federal legislation has been passed and protects those injured offshore. An example of this federal legislation is the Jones Act. The Jones Act allows individuals on the sea who are injured on the job to bring personal injury claims against their employers. The Jones Act is the primary source of federal protection for offshore workers.

Jones Act Maritime Law...

Unfortunately, some workers are not covered by the Jones Act. For example, harbor workers are not included under this protection. Thus, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) fills in the gaps by guaranteeing workers’ compensation for maritime injuries that would otherwise not be included under the Jones Act.

Another example of protection that exists beyond the Jones Act is the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). According to this act, if someone dies at sea due to the negligence of another person or company. The family of the deceased may bring a suit against the negligent party. The negligent party can be either a company or an individual. Like the Jones Act and the LHWCA, DOHSA is federal law.

The state of Louisiana also has its own strict regulations and guidelines on boating and shipping safety equipment in order to protect both recreational boaters and workers. If these regulations are violated, the negligent party or owner may be held liable for injuries caused.

Related Louisiana Offshore Laws...

With an economy that relies so heavily on fishing and offshore oil, having an experienced attorney who understands maritime laws is especially important in the state of Louisiana. The nature of personal injury law is complex, intricate, and broad, especially as it pertains to maritime laws and offshore injuries. Dealing with an offshore injury should always be done under the guidance and direction of an experienced, professional personal injury attorney.

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