What are my rights if I have been injured offshore?

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Offshore jobs are some of the most risk-filled jobs in the world. Many offshore workers are exposed to hazardous conditions on a daily basis, often work long hours, and are often required to work in remote locations. While many employers take steps to ensure the safety of their offshore employees, accidents and injuries still happen. From falling overboard to being hit by equipment, there are a variety of ways that an offshore worker can be injured on the job. If you are an offshore worker, it is important to know what your rights are if you are injured on the job. Before you see this maritime accident attorney, take a look at some of the basics.

What Laws Apply To Offshore Workers?

The law has long recognized the unique risks associated with offshore work. As a result, there are a number of laws that apply specifically to offshore workers. We will take a look at some of the most important laws that apply to offshore workers.

The Jones Act

The Jones Act is a federal law that provides protection to sailors working on American vessels. The law applies to a wide range of vessels, including oil rigs, barges, and ships. It gives the right to receive maintenance and cure compensation, which can help to cover the cost of living expenses and medical care.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act

This is a federal law that provides compensation to workers injured while working on the docks or in shipyards. The LHWCA applies to a wide range of workers, including longshoremen, dockworkers, and shipyard workers.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) is a federal law that provides protections for workers on the outer continental shelf. The OCSLA applies to workers in the oil and gas industry, including offshore drilling rig workers.

What Rights Do These Laws Give You?

1. The right to an attorney

One of the first things that you should do if you have been injured while offshore is contact an offshore maritime accident attorney. Offshore work is highly regulated, and violations of safety regulations can result in severe penalties for both the offshore worker and the employer. Maritime accident attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving offshore accidents and injuries and can help you navigate the complex legal landscape.

2. The right to be treated by a doctor of your choosing

If you have been injured offshore, you have the right to receive independent medical care. This care can help to reduce the risk of severe infections, deal with chronic conditions that are common in offshore workers, and provide physical therapy to help to improve mobility. Offshore medical care in the U.S. is often limited, so it is important to know what your options are before you get injured.

3. The right to have medical bills paid

Medical care is expensive, and if you have been injured offshore, you may be worried about how you will pay your medical bills. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that medical bills can be paid after an offshore injury. Your employer may be required to provide workers' compensation insurance, which can help to cover the cost of your medical care.

4. Compensation for loss of earnings capacity

Earning capacity refers to the amount of money you are able to earn as a result of your job. If you have been injured and can no longer work, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of earnings capacity. The amount of compensation you are entitled to will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of your injuries, the type of work you do, and your age.

5. Compensation for living expenses

Many offshore workers require long-term care as a result of their injuries. Long-term care can be pricey, and the compensation for living expenses can help to pay for this care. Living expenses can include housing, transportation, food, and medical care.

6. Get a second medical opinion

After an injury, your employer will often require you to see a company-approved doctor in order to check the full extent of your injuries. However, you are not required to accept the first opinion. You have the right to seek a second medical opinion from an independent doctor to get a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Protect your rights today

We have seen numerous instances where injured employers trust their company to do the right thing. After all, you have been with the company for years, and they have always treated you fairly. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have been injured offshore, an experienced maritime accident attorney will be crucial in your journey to seeking justice. Here is how they can help:

1. Determine if you have a claim: There are many different laws that apply to offshore injuries, and it can be difficult to determine which one applies to your case. An experienced maritime accident attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine which law applies.

2. Investigate your claim: Once it has been determined that you have a claim, your attorney will investigate the accident to gather evidence. This evidence can be used to prove that your employer was at fault for the accident.

3. Reach a fair settlement- In case your case goes to trial, your attorney will be able to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. However, most cases are settled out of court. Your attorney will work to get you the best possible settlement that covers all of your damages.

4. Appeal a denied claim- If your workers' compensation claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal. Your attorney will be able to help you with this process and increase your chances of getting the benefits you deserve.

Don't wait to get started on your claim

If you have been injured offshore, time is not on your side. There are deadlines for filing a claim, and if you wait too long, you could lose your right to seek compensation. An experienced maritime accident attorney will be able to help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. 

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