Injured on an Offshore Platform?

The work environment on an offshore platform, also referred to as an oil platform or oil rig, can be dangerous. Surfaces tend to be oily and slippery, machinery can malfunction and fires can erupt, which increases the risk of a serious accident offshore. Cases involving platform injuries can be complex as there are different laws that protect workers.

The law that will apply to an offshore platform injury depends on whether the platform is fixed to the ocean floor or if it can be moved. In many cases, the platform is permanently fixed to the ocean floor, which could fall under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. If you have been injured on an offshore oil platform, you need to speak with an experienced maritime attorney who can determine the best course of action for your case.

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, longshoremen who work upon navigable waters in the United States may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. To qualify under this federal law, you must have a traditional relationship to maritime employment. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits for injured longshoremen, including medical care, lost wages and rehabilitation services. Temporary disability benefits are available when you are not able to immediately return to work. Temporary benefits equal 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wages.

Injuries that occur on offshore oil platforms tend to become complicated. For example, there were various opinions regarding the benefits available to a man who was injured while living and working on an oil production platform. He applied for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, only to have his claim contested by the insurance company. The issue was whether or not he qualified under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, because the platform where he was injured was not used for maritime purposes. After his case went all the way to a U.S. federal appeals court, he was eventually able to qualify for benefits for maritime employees.

If you have been injured on an oil platform, you should seek legal advice immediately. An experienced maritime lawyer will be able to review your case to help you determine what law applies. In some situations, you may be able to file a claim against a third party under General Maritime Law.