Offshore Platform Accidents and Injuries in New Orleans
Offshore platform accidents can be a frequent occurrence due to the high levels of risk associated with maintaining these platforms and the machinery on them. Workers on these kinds of projects often need to exercise extreme caution, as even a minor mistake can result in a catastrophic event — as the recent Deepwater Horizon event goes to show. Employers and platform owners are expected to maintain a certain standard of care when providing a working environment, which includes compliance with all occupational safety and health standards. Furthermore, employees on offshore platforms are protected under Admiralty and Maritime Law and may be entitled to compensation if injured while on the job.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts (OCSLA) states that it is the responsibility of a lease holder, or owner in lieu of a lease, to keep the places of employment “in compliance with occupational safety and health standards” and to “maintain all operations in compliance with regulations intended to protect persons.”
The applicable set of laws and the type of protections afforded to the worker are determined by the following three factors:
- The type of structure, craft, or vessel
- The condition of the injured maritime worker
- The location of the platform at the time of the injury
Why do these variables matter? Suppose that your injury occurred on a fixed offshore platform. In that case, the OCSLA may distribute jurisdiction to the state adjacent to that body of water and you may not be eligible to Seaman rights. On the other hand, if your injury occurred on a floating platform, such as a floating oil rig, your case may fall under the Jones Act, which falls under Federal jurisdiction. If you are unsure as under what set of laws your personal injury lawsuit falls under, the Hammond Law Firm legal team is more than happy to help you navigate through your claim.
If your case qualifies under the Jones Act, you may be eligible for Maintenance and Cure, which obligates the employer to compensate the injured crewmember for living and medical expenses for the duration of the injury. If the employer or platform owner was negligent, you may also be compensated for lost wages and non-economic costs, such as pain and suffering. To be eligible for rights guaranteed under the Jones Act, you must prove your status as a Seaman, which is legally defined as an employee who spends at least 30 percent of his or her work hours on a floating offshore platform of vessel.
Contact Hammond Law Firm LLC in New Orleans, LA
Maritime Law can be a complex and confusing area of our legal code, which is why having an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the success of your personal injury lawsuit. Peirce Hammond has been practicing Maritime Law since first entering private practice in 1990, and has ample experience in offshore accidents and Jones Act cases. His determined and tried approach to offshore platform accidents and injuries cases can help you attain the compensation you deserve.