Working in an oil refinery or on oil rigs are both considered highly dangerous jobs. The nature of the work involved puts individuals at risk for injury. This risk is drastically increased when employers fail to maintain their working environment in the safest way possible.Individuals injured while working on oil rigs are covered by the Jones Act, which allows them to recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and other incurred costs associated with their injury. The Jones Act was enacted to assist injured sea workers, protecting the interests of those hurt on ships, oil rigs, shrimp boats, ferries, and other water vessels traveling in oceans, canals, or rivers. The act also provides protection for divers, and other underwater workers.Negligence and unseaworthiness are two bases for filing a claim under the Jones Act. Negligence constitutes a failure of employers to exercise reasonable care for workers. The law recognizes the owner of sea vessels as responsible for maintaining their vessel in a proper manner, and such responsibility cannot be assigned to others. Failure to follow this guideline may be characterized as unseaworthiness, which pertains to the condition of a vessel, equipment, crew members, and other components. A finding of unseaworthiness allows recovery for impairment, hospital bills, loss of earning capacity, and other issues that derive from being injured, and may be awarded regardless of whether one is deemed a contributor to negligence or partially responsible for their own injury. However, one’s award may be reduced as a result of their actions being found contributory.
Injuries sustained on oil rigs can range from mild to severe. These may include burns, amputation, toxic chemical exposure, and even death. A qualified Jones Act attorney can help ensure that accident victims are justly compensated for their injuries. These types of cases are highly complex, and require the assistance of a competent, knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled professional for effective legal recovery.