Workers on offshore drilling rigs face some of the most hazardous conditions of any workplace in existence. The risk of fires, falls, explosions, and exposure to toxic substances make oil rig work some of the most dangerous efforts known to man. Thousands of workers risk their health, their safety, and even their lives every day when they start their shift on offshore oil rigs. They work hard every day to provide the fuel that keeps our modern economy running quickly and smoothly.
Even while exercising the strictest of precautions, accidents can happen. When an accident occurs on an offshore oil rig, the consequences can include serious injuries, disabling damage, or even death. These accidents are more likely to occur, and more likely to have serious consequences, when employers fail to implement the necessary safety measures to protect their workers, regardless of if that failure is the result of a conscious decision or of unknowing negligence.
Causes of Offshore Oil Drilling Accidents
With so many oil drilling injury accidents each year, it can be difficult to narrow down a root cause. However, studies have shown that most accidents fall into specific categories. Each of these categories can be used as grounds to file and offshore drilling accident injury lawsuit. These categories can include:
Lack of proper safety equipment. Offshore oil rig workers count on their safety equipment to protect them from injury. When safety equipment is not maintained or replaced in a timely manner, that equipment can go from a safety measure to a safety hazard. When employers fail to provide workers with working safety equipment, they put those workers at an unnecessary risk.
Lack of proper training or supervision. Offshore oil rig work requires skill, strength, and foresight. When employers fail to give workers adequate training on the equipment, or when they fail to provide adequate supervision to ensure the workers’ safety, they place everyone involved in a dangerous position.
Poorly maintained equipment. Offshore oil rigs require lots of moving parts, lots of maintenance, and lots of effort to maintain a specific level of production. When something breaks, it can not only stop the oil from flowing, it can also cause serious injuries to workers near the malfunctioning part.
Worker fatigue. Oil rig work takes its toll on workers, both physically and mentally. They must work hard, for long hours, under stressful conditions. When workers are pushed past their limits, they can make mistakes. In a setting as hazardous as an offshore oil rig, any mistake can have tragic consequences.
A knowledgeable offshore oil rig injury lawyer can investigate these accidents, determine who is at fault, and pursue legal action to get compensation for accident victims. For instance, in the event of the failure of a critical piece of safety equipment, the investigation can determine if the equipment was inherently defective, or if the employer failed to maintain the repair or replacement schedule for that equipment.
Types of Offshore Oil Rig Accident Injuries
The dangers inherent in working on an offshore oil rig are almost too numerous to list. Workers face the risk of serious injury every single day. These injuries can include:
- Skull fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Head and neck injuries
- Facial disfigurement
- Hearing impairment
- Vision impairment
- Jaw injuries/teeth knocked out
- Back pain
- Spinal damage/paralysis
- Rib fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Breathing problems
- Dismemberment (losing an arm or leg)
- Fractured arms/legs
- Torn ligaments
Other types of injuries can include:
- Illness from exposure to toxic substances (e.g. crude oil)
- Mental and emotional pain (e.g. survivor guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder, exhaustion)
These injuries can be costly in a number of ways. Workers injured in offshore drilling accidents may face the high cost of recovery, including:
- Ambulance transport (by boat or helicopter)
- Emergency room care
- Imaging tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.)
- Surgical procedures
- Hospital stays
- Pain management
- … and much more.
The expenses don’t end when the accident victim leaves the hospital. Some other expenses during the recovery process can include:
- Physical therapy
- Physician’s office visits
- Prescription medications
- Assistive equipment (e.g. crutches, wheelchairs, braces, etc.)
- … and much more.
Why Offshore Oil Drilling Injury Victims Should Consult An Attorney
In some instances, the employer and their insurance company may offer the injured worker a lump sum to cover some of the victim’s expenses. When a worker is faced with mounting medical bills and no income to cover them, even the smallest offer can be too much to pass up.
However, most of these offers are just pennies on the dollar, compared to the costs the worker faces on the road to recovery. In these cases, a veteran offshore drilling accident injury attorney can help the injured worker get as much as they can to cover these expenses, plus compensation for lost income, lost future earnings, and more.
A seasoned offshore drilling accident attorney can either negotiate a settlement that covers many of these expenses, or pursue legal action against the employer and the insurance carrier to prove that their negligence caused the accident.
Get The Help You Need With Simon & O’Rourke
The Simon & O’Rourke Law Firm, P.C., has handled numerous offshore oil drilling injury lawsuits. We understand the complexities of the law as it relates to injuries on offshore drilling rigs. We also have the resources to stand up to the insurance companies and their high-priced attorneys. We work hard to ensure that our clients get as much compensation for their injuries as the law allows.
Fill in the email form to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation session with our attorneys and staff. We can meet with you to assess your case and determine how we can work together to get you the money you deserve. We also work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win money for you.