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Date Modified: November 23, 2023
Us older folks think back about BP’s Deepwater Horizon when we think about fiery deaths on oil drilling platforms. But we don’t hear about the less sensational stories that occur daily in this most dangerous amongst dangerous professions. In fact, there are helicopter accidents and tender boat sinkings, as well as many others we’d never consider. Did you or a loved one suffer a serious injury or death in the family after an oil rig fire, explosion, or other incidents at sea? One of the toughest jobs in recorded history is working on barges and oil rigs. When unexpected oil rig accidents occur on offshore oil drilling platforms in Galveston, Texas, lives are endangered, and livelihoods can quickly be turned upside down.
Whether it’s severe injury, deep emotional trauma, or financial instability from neglected workplace rights, we believe you deserve an ally who will tirelessly fight for your just compensation. That’s where an attorney from Ehline Law Firm comes in—trusted advocates specializing in offshore oil drilling maritime accident injuries.
“Our mission at Ehline Law is to relentlessly pursue justice for injured maritime workers in offshore oil drilling accidents. Our maritime injury lawyers are committed to holding responsible parties accountable and helping victims recover and rebuild.”
Diverse Expertise: Our team comprises seasoned attorneys who have tackled a wide spectrum of accidents involving offshore oil rigs. We handle serious personal injuries in Galveston, ensuring maritime workers benefit from a wealth of collective expertise.
Quality Representation: We understand the daunting complexity of offshore rig accidents, oil drilling laws, and regulations. Our most experienced maritime lawyer will guide you through each step, armed with knowledge and determination to secure injured naval workers’ rights.
Proactive Approach: At Ehline Law Firm, the best offshore oil rig accident lawyer in our office, Michael Ehline, takes a proactive approach. Michael investigates each case intimately to present you with personalized legal strategies. Our job aims to secure the best possible outcome for injuries offshore rig workers and their families suffered. No matter where you live, we will be in the same boat until the final victory!
After oil rig workers suffer a serious personal injury, embarking on a journey to justice alone can be overwhelming for them. Our serious injury attorneys are here, ready to go the distance for you when people get hurt on oil rigs. Whether it’s general maritime law or the Jones Act, our best attorney can help with all naval accidents, including Longshoremen injured in wrongful death actions.
Types of Oil Rigs Off Galveston, TX
Off the coast of Galveston, Texas, there are many oil and gas drilling structures, commonly referred to as oil rigs or platforms. They can be categorized based on their functionality and water depth. Each comes with a different set of safety concerns and special hazards, even when properly maintained.
Here are some common types:
Fixed Platforms: These structures are firmly attached to the seabed and used in relatively shallow waters. They consist of a deck supported by legs or caissons set to the ocean floor. Fixed platforms are suitable for water depths up to a few hundred feet.
Jack-Up Rigs: Jack-up rigs are mobile drilling platforms with legs that can be lowered to the ocean floor. They are towed to the location. Next, the legs are extended to lift the platform above the water. Jack-ups are often used in shallow to intermediate water depths.
Semi-submersible Platforms: Semi-submersibles are partially submerged floating structures. They are more stable than floating drill-ships. They are often used in deeper waters, and their hulls can be ballasted. This means they can swim to a drilling location and de-ballast to submerge the drilling area.
Drill-ships: These are vessels equipped with drilling equipment that can operate in deep waters, often used for exploratory drilling in offshore areas.
Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs): TLPs are floating platforms tethered to the seabed with vertical tendons or tethers under tension. They are suitable for deep-water drilling and designed to minimize vertical movement.
Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) Units: FPSOs are floating facilities used for producing, storing, and offloading oil and gas. In addition, these are typically converted oil tankers or purpose-built vessels.
Our wrongful death trial lawyers know the specific types of platforms off the coast of Galveston can vary. Some are based in Houston, some in Galveston, and some in Alaska, California, or Florida. Additionally, the characteristics of the offshore rig fields and the technologies employed by the oil and gas companies operating there will also differ. Either way, maritime accidents or offshore injuries are part and parcel of the job.
Understanding Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Accidents in Galveston, Texas
Working on offshore rigs and platforms exposes workers to dangerous environments, no matter the precautions taken. They routinely face hazards such as explosive incidents, slippery decks leading to falls due to oil residue, and equipment malfunctions. Some workers are forced to work short-staffed, leading to overwork and exhaustion.
Common Offshore Drilling Accidents
Equipment Malfunction: Oil drilling involves complicated machinery such as a crane. If it malfunctions, serious accidents will occur, including explosions and fires, potentially putting many lives at risk.
Loss of well control: The risk of losing control over a well stands as a major safety threat at any job location.
Inclement and unpredictable weather conditions: When ships can’t see, or things get rough, oil well workers at sea can have it even rougher.
Explosions: Due to the presence of flammable materials, explosions can occur. This can expose the workers to severe burns and injuries, causing life-changing physical impairments or even leading to fatal passenger and worker injuries.
Falling Objects: Enormous, heavy equipment is regularly lifted and moved around on oil platforms. If something is improperly secured, it could slip and strike a worker. If a worker is killed, we can represent the family on account of the decedent and the survivors.
Slips and Falls: The decks of these platforms are generally wet and can often be slippery. Other times, nail heads protrude about the pier decks, posing a significant risk of falls from heads catching the sole of shoes and boots. This could result in a maritime accident and a serious personal injury.
Oil Rig Accident Statistics: Understanding the Numbers
Although precise details can vary from year to year, and not all incidents are reported, data collected by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) provides us with an insightful overview.
In 2018, according to BSEE data, there were a total of 139 reported accidents on offshore oil rigs off Texas coasts.
The annual average of reported accidents within the last 10 years is estimated to be around 120.
Texas Oil Rig Casualty Rates
Accidents on offshore oil rigs often result in casualties. More alarming is the fact that these incidents may inflict severe injuries and sometimes fatalities. According to data from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace injuries in the oil field industry surpass 4,000 cases annually, and tragic loss of life happens with alarming constancy, exceeding 100 annually.
With insights from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), oil field occupations have resulted in the loss of 663 workers between the years 2007 to 2012.
YES. Texas Records 40% Fatal Oil Rig Accidents?
An in-depth investigation by the Houston Chronicle found that Texas, single-handedly, constituted about 40% of this distressing statistic. Zooming in on Texas, the frequency of fatal oil rig accidents claims approximately 45 workers every year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the fatality rate for offshore oil rig workers is about seven times higher than the rate for all U.S. workers.
Most injuries and fatalities arise from transportation incidents, contact with objects and equipment, and fires and explosions.
Prevention Efforts and Safety Regulations
Adherence to strict safety regulations and protocols can aid in minimizing accidents. Companies are mandated by law to provide appropriate training, well-maintained equipment, and necessary safety gear to all their employees.
In conclusion, accidents and injuries can be part of the environment of an offshore oil rig. Yet, with proper training, safety measures, and employer vigilance, they can be reduced significantly, ensuring workers’ safety and productivity. If you’ve been injured on an offshore rig, remember that legal help is at your disposal; you are not left to face these challenges alone.
Ehline Law Firm: Your Trusted Offshore Injury Attorneys in Galveston, Texas
Navigating the challenges of offshore oil drilling platform maritime accident cases can be complex. That’s when our team steps in. We have a team of dedicated naval law professionals with a strong track record servicing offshore oil drilling platform accident injury cases. We can consult with you on or off the docks and help you achieve great results. We have done so for others for decades.
Here at Ehline Law, we understand the devastating impacts of offshore accidents. We’ll fight for injured seamen to ensure they get the most compensation for maritime accidents causing an offshore injury claim or wrongful death.
Why Choose Us For a Serious Injury Oil Rig Accident?
Dedicated Team: Our team comprises highly skilled and experienced attorneys committed to serving you professionally and sensitively.
Rich Experience: We have a wealth of skill and experience in handling maritime injury cases, particularly those surrounding offshore oil drilling platform accidents.
Success Rate: Both clients and peers recognize our high success rate, highlighting our unwavering commitment to pursuing justice for our clients. Clients focus on healing, while we focus on the bottom line.
As your trusted offshore oil drilling platform accident attorneys in Galveston, Texas, we remain committed to helping you navigate these challenging times. Your recovery is our priority; we’ll strive to get the justice you deserve.
Navigating the Complexities of Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Accident Lawsuits
The minute you are injured in an offshore oil drilling platform accident, the clock starts ticking on your legal relief. It’s alarming, partly due to the complexity of the laws surrounding these accidents. You’re probably wondering, “Where do I even begin?” Fear not; let us guide you through the intricacies of this legal maze.
What Maritime Law Oil Platform Workers Use to Sue Employers?
When you’ve been injured in an oil drilling platform accident, you might ask, “What law applies to my case?” The maritime laws in the United States can be complicated, as they fall under several different federal statutes and regulations. To better understand, let’s break it down into simple terms.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
Most oil rig accidents fall under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). This U.S. federal law grants the Secretary of the Interior the authority to manage continental mineral resources. The Act establishes a legal framework for the regulation of offshore oil and gas exploration and production. (OCSLA) also has provisions related to personal injury accidents on offshore oil rigs.
The OCSLA extends the benefits provided by the LHWCA to land-supported structures on the outer continental shelf, including drilling platforms. Keep in mind that these applicable laws are often nuanced and complicated. But don’t worry, our seasoned team of personal injury attorneys are well-versed in these laws. Our best accident lawyer will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and secure the fair compensation you’re entitled to.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
Another potentially applicable law is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). This Act benefits maritime employees injured while working on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building certain vessels.
The LHWCA covers those the Jones Act does not cover — typically, shore-based maritime workers. Benefits provided by the LHWCA can include disability pay, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services.
The Jones Act
Offshore oil rig workers may fall under the shield of The Jones Act. The Jones Act, officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a law that was originally enacted to protect American maritime commerce, the sailors and seamen of the U.S. merchant marine.
It grants extensive rights to sailors and seamen injured at sea due to their employer’s negligence. Specifically, this can include factors such as poor training, poor maintenance of equipment, failure to observe safety protocols, and hazardous conditions on the rig. Furthermore, under the Jones Act, these injured workers may be entitled to seek damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
The Statute of Limitations
If you’re an injured worker on an offshore oil platform in the United States, your case will likely fall under the OCSLA protection and incorporate certain LHWCA provisions. Maritime law stipulates a statute of limitations is generally three years for personal injury claims for most oil rig accidents. Typically this means the clock will begin ticking on the date of the injury or when the victims were reasonably aware.
SUMMARY: The statute of limitations can shift depending on your maritime law experience and offshore injury suffered.
Proving Negligence in Offshore Oil Rig Accidents
Negligence is critical in offshore oil drilling platform accident cases involving injured seamen. It’s essential to be equipped with enough knowledge and understand the legalities of proving negligence in offshore injury cases like this.
You must demonstrate that the defendant – usually the employer or drilling company – had a duty of care towards the injured party, that they breached this duty, and that this breach of duty caused the accident leading to dead or injured workers.
Duty of Care
Offshore companies have a duty of care to ensure their employees ‘ safety and proper training. They must maintain safe working conditions, provide adequate safety training, and implement measures to prevent life-altering injuries. They must make sure heavy machinery is maintained and warn other vessels of their presence in poor visibility off the Texas Gulf Coast (radar, foghorns, etc). Proving that the company failed in these responsibilities is the first step to establishing negligence for causing these offshore injuries or wrongful deaths at sea.
Breach of Duty
After demonstrating the existence of a duty of care, the next step is showing how the defendant breached this duty, causing serious injuries or a fatality. Was the equipment not up to par? Were safety protocols overlooked? These are the types of questions that a trial lawyer can make the defendant answer during litigation.
Linking Breach to Accident
This violation must be directly linked to the dangers presented once it is established that a duty of care existed and was breached. Weather conditions could be a partial cause. But when it’s on the water, significant problems arise. Retracing the incident sequence to identify the specific failures that caused the ocean-based accident will require expensive accident reconstruction experts traveling offshore. It is far easier to prove onshore, as diving, finding the cause, and building a case can be cost-prohibitive.
Damage or Injury
Lastly, proof of the damage or injury caused by the accident must also be provided. This can range from medical reports detailing your injuries to wage loss documentation if the accident resulted in an inability to work. (brain injury, broken bones, or other injuries.) Medical bills from a personal injury can get expensive and break up families.
Remember, each case is unique, and proving negligence may not always be straightforward. Ehline Law Firm’s wealth of experience in these cases will provide wounded maritime employees the best chances to obtain full and fair compensation. Ehline fights to extract the evidence and the biggest damages award.
Settlement Negotiations and Trial
Once your case is presented, the following path depends on several factors. The case may be resolved without trial if the other side agrees to a reasonable settlement. But if the company denies liability or offers a lowball settlement, we’re prepared to take your case to court and argue for the compensation you deserve.
Remember, navigating an offshore oil drilling platform accident lawsuit is complex. But with the proper legal guidance, you can ease your burdens and focus on what’s most important – your recovery.
Recovering Damages: Types of Compensation Available for Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Injuries
When you experience an injury on an offshore oil drilling platform in Galveston, Texas, you can claim compensation for cure and maintenance.
Cure and Maintenance?
‘Cure’ refers to your entitlement to medical treatment for injuries sustained on the job. ‘Maintenance,’ on the other hand, represents the financial compensation your employer must pay you while you’re medically unfit to work with diminished earning capacity.
The complexities of maritime laws do not deny you the opportunity to pursue justice and recover damages for your pain, suffering, and financial losses. Our best injury lawyer at Ehline Law Firm, Mike Ehline, will stand with you. Michael and our team will work very hard to ensure you receive the best compensation possible for your situation. We have done so daily for our clients because we understand the unique hazards and difficult conditions seamen face. We want to help.
Loss of Earnings and Future Earnings
The aftermath of an accident at an offshore oil drilling platform may mean time away from work. You may suffer loss of wages due to hospital stay or while in recovery. In severe cases, your future earning potential may also be affected. Our expert attorneys can help you calculate the monetary impact and aim to include it as part of your compensation claim.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation is not bound to only financial losses. It’s understood that accidents pose significant emotional and psychological impacts as well. Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional, are matters that the law considers and deems worthy of compensation. The Ehline Law Firm’s compassionate attorneys can guide you through this complex aspect of your claim.
Loss of Consortium
Serious injuries can impact not just you but your relationships as well. If the accident has resulted in a loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of consortium. Legal counseling from Ehline’s team can help you understand your eligibility for this claim.
In summary, compensation claims after an offshore oil drilling platform accident in Galveston, Texas, aim to cover all areas of your life that have been negatively impacted. Using their extensive knowledge and prowess, Ehline Law Firm’s caring team of attorneys will make the process easier for you, helping to ensure no stone is left unturned in your pursuit of justice and compensation.
Settlement vs. Trial: Exploring Legal Options for Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Accident Cases
Deciding whether to settle your offshore oil drilling platform accident case or go to trial requires sound legal counsel. The Ehline Law Firm can guide you through the particulars of each approach, helping you make the best choice for your situation.
Settling is often quicker and less stressful compared to a trial. This generally involves the defendant’s insurance company offering you money to release them from further liability regarding your case. It’s essential to have knowledgeable legal advocates, like the attorneys at the Ehline Law Firm, to evaluate the fairness of this offer.
Advantages: A settlement can be faster, less stressful, and provide a guaranteed outcome.
Disadvantages: Settlement amounts may be lower than what could be won at trial, and accepting a settlement means giving up your right to any future claims related to the accident.
Alternatively, going to trial might be the best route if a fair settlement can’t be reached. This involves presenting your case to a judge or jury who will decide if the defendant is liable and, if so, how much compensation you’re entitled to.
Advantages: There’s potential to win more compensation if your case is strong.
Disadvantages: Trials can be lengthy and expensive, and there’s no guarantee about the outcome.
Regardless of your route, your attorneys at Ehline Law Firm will support you every step of the way. They’ll negotiate fiercely on your behalf if a settlement is pursued or advocate powerfully for you in court during a trial.
Considerations for Decision
Several factors affect the decision between settlement and trial. These include the strength of your case, the potential recovery amount, comfort in a courtroom setting, and the timescale you’re working with. A thorough discussion with your lawyer is essential to understand the implications and possibilities.
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but you’re not alone. We stand ready to guide you, ensuring you understand all aspects of your decision and feel confident.
FAQs: Common Questions About Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Accident Lawsuits Answered by Ehline Law Firm
Answering any questions about offshore oil drilling platform accident lawsuits promptly can be a huge relief. Our experienced oil rig accident attorneys pride ourselves on clarifying all inquiries and building long-term trust.
Common questions our clients ask:
1. Do I have a valid offshore oil drilling accident case?
The validity of your case will mainly depend on the circumstances surrounding your incident. This includes factors such as the nature and extent of your injuries, whether negligence was involved, and the costs you’ve incurred. An Ehline attorney can guide you after an evaluation of your situation.
2. What should I do immediately after an offshore oil well accident?
First, you need to seek immediate medical attention and ensure the incident is reported to your supervisor. Document everything about any poorly maintained equipment on the offshore rig, including pictures, if possible, and get the contact information of any witnesses. Document your medical costs and medical treatment as well. Lastly, reach out to an admiralty law firm like Ehline.
3. How long will my lawsuit take?
The timeline varies for each case, which can lead to more mental anguish as you languish, unemployed, trying to heal. Factors such as the complexity of the case, the defendants involved, and the court’s schedule can all influence the length of your lawsuit. We understand the desire for swift justice and will do our best to expedite the process while ensuring you get the maximum compensation possible under our applicable state and federal laws.
4. Can I still file a lawsuit if I’m partly responsible for the accident?
Even if you believe you’re partially to blame, you shouldn’t be deterred from pursuing your legal rights. In Texas, a concept called ‘proportional responsibility’ is observed where you may recover damages even if you’re partially at fault. Any compensation awarded is reduced based on your percentage of fault.
5. How much will it cost to hire Ehline Law Firm?
Ehline Law Firm handles Maritimes on a contingency fee basis, including those involving cruise ships, dive boats, fall accidents, and equipment that was not adequately maintained or manufactured, causing dangerous conditions off territorial waters. If we win your case, you or your family members only pay our legal fees. We firmly believe everyone working offshore should have access to quality legal representation in maritime cases. This is our opinion, regardless of their financial situation.
6. How much is my case worth?
Every case is unique, and the value will depend on the specifics of your accident and injury. Factors such as the severity of your injuries, medical expenses, loss of earnings, and the extent of the negligence involved play a role in determining the worth of your case. There could also be a motor vessel operator or jack-up rig operator as a defendant. So, we need to identify the fault before estimating the case value.
7. Who can be held responsible in an offshore accident case?
Potential defendants in offshore accident cases can be diverse, including employers, equipment manufacturers, maintenance companies, and other third parties. Our superior offshore oil rig accident attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to identify all liable parties.
Remember, these questions and answers serve as a basic guide to offshore lawsuits. FContactan oil rig accident lawyer at Ehline Law Firm. for a detailed consultation tailored to your unique circumstances
Client Success Stories: Ehline Law Firm’s Track Record in Offshore Oil Drilling Platform Accident Cases
Over the years, Ehline Law Firm has relentlessly represented victims of offshore oil drilling platform accidents. Our gauge of success is not just in the amounts we’ve successfully claimed for our clients but in the justice we’ve helped them attain.
Case 1: Faulty Equipment Leads to a Near-Fatal Accident
An oilfield worker with years of offshore experience was severely injured due to malfunctioning drilling equipment. We proved the oil company’s negligence regarding regular safety inspections, which led to faulty equipment being operational. The worker received substantial compensation for his medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering.
Case 2: Slip and Fall Accident on the Rig Platform
A young employee slipped and fell on the rig platform due to an unattended oil spill. Despite the accident being reported, the site managers ignored the issue, causing the victim severe spinal injuries. Our diligent investigation exposed the company’s neglect of safety regulations and failure to maintain a safe work environment. Ehline Law Firm ensured that the victim received significant compensation for his lifetime medical care and the pain and suffering endured.
Case 3: Explosive Accident Due to Improper Training
An inexperienced employee mishandled flammable materials in a catastrophic event, resulting in an explosive accident. This accident resulted in multiple injuries and one unfortunate fatality. Our legal team fought relentlessly, establishing that the company failed to train its workers adequately. The families of the affected workers received comprehensive compensation for their losses.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Top Rated Galveston Oil Rig Accident Lawyer Today
Have you or a loved one been involved in an offshore oil drilling platform accident in Galveston, Texas? You need legal representation that understands the complexities of the law and genuinely cares about your well-being. At Ehline Law Firm, we’re more than just your attorneys – your advocates, fighting relentlessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
Ehline Law Firm offers a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and provide initial advice. We can help an injured seaman, dockers injured on oil rigs, and all dock workers hurt. We want you to feel confident and informed in your decisions, so our Texas lawyers take the time to answer all of your questions and explain the legal process related to preventable offshore oil drilling platform accidents in detail.
We have recovered millions. Our offshore rig accident lawyers have also handled cases for thousands of clients in the maritime law field, including the Gulf of Mexico and Port of Galveston. Please phone us today so we can score a win for you during this difficult time. Wounded harbor workers and oil rig employees should call our best oil rig accident attorney today for a free initial consultation at (833) LETS-SUE and get protected.
Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.