The offshore oil and gas industry is one of the biggest components of Louisiana’s economy. Workers who live in Louisiana and all along the Gulf Coast, from Florida and Mississippi all the way to Texas, come to Louisiana to work for companies doing business in the Gulf.
Some work on tugboats, crewboats, and other vessels, but many of them work on drilling rigs off the Louisiana coast. Sadly, the downturn in the oil and gas business has left many of these rig workers without jobs. Even worse, smaller profits can lead companies to cut corners that can put the workers who do have jobs at risk for serious injuries.
Types of Drilling Rigs
The remedies available to an injured rig worker will often be determined by the type of rig where the injury occurred. Rig packages on fixed platforms will typically not qualify as vessels and will usually keep an injured worker from filing a Jones Act claim. On the other hand, injuries on semi-submersible drilling rigs and drill ships can allow for injured workers to bring Jones Act and seek other general maritime law remedies, such as unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure claims.
Causes of Drilling Rig Accidents
Like with any other type of injury, drilling rig accidents can be caused by a number of different things.
Here are just a handful of examples of the potential causes of rig accidents:
1. Malfunctioning or defective equipment (such as blowout preventers and other safety devices);
2. Worker errors in operating rig equipment;
3. Inadequate safety standards that fail to protect workers from the dangers of working on rigs;
4. Dangerous work environments (wet surfaces, trash cluttered areas, etc.); and
5. Dangerous instructions given to workers by supervisors, company representatives, and other rig personnel.
Damages for Drilling Rig Accidents
Drilling rig accidents can lead to devastating injuries. An injured worker who is able to prove that a company is responsible for his injuries may be entitled to recover damages for things like economic losses, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and loss of enjoyment of life. Rarely will these damages make injured workers truly whole again, but they are a start to putting workers’ accidents behind them and allowing them to move on with their lives.
Call a New Orleans Drilling Rig Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve been injured in an offshore or maritime accident on a mobile drilling rig or other fixed platform, The Mahone Firm is here to help you through this difficult time. Call (504) 564-7342 for a free consultation with an oil rig injury lawyer.