Call 713.955.2215

Houston Offshore Injury Attorney

Offshore drilling is one of the most dangerous industries in the U.S. To make matters worse, many companies involved in the industry fail to prioritize safety, putting their workers at risk of serious injury or even death. A company should never be rewarded for putting profits over safety.

If you have been injured in an offshore workplace accident or you lost a loved one in that manner, contact Havens & Associates for a free consultation with a skilled Houston maritime attorney.

Call (713) 589-5356 and we can explain your rights to demand compensation in a workplace injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

houston offshore accident attorney

Were you hurt in one of these offshore accidents?

Common offshore accidents near Houston and in the Gulf of Mexico include:

  • Equipment failure – Malfunctioning or defective machinery presents a grave risk, leading to burns, electrical injuries, or severe cuts and mutilations for the workforce.
  • Falls from heights – Workers frequently need to navigate elevated and exposed areas on offshore platforms and ships, where adverse weather and lack of proper safety measures significantly heighten the danger of severe injuries from falls.
  • Dropped objects – The risk of sustaining head injuries or being crushed is escalated when heavy items, particularly those hoisted aloft, are accidentally dropped.
  • Crushed by equipment – Being trapped or crushed by machinery or heavy vehicles like forklifts or boats can result in severe crush injuries.
  • Toxic exposure – Harmful chemicals on oil and gas rigs (including crude oil, benzene, hydrogen sulfide, silica, thallium, and radon) pose a critical health risk. Inadequate handling or storage of these substances, coupled with insufficient protective gear for employees, can lead to severe or even lethal illnesses and conditions.
  • Helicopter crashes – The use of helicopters for ferrying personnel to and from offshore locations is common, with crashes posing a significant threat due to factors like pilot mistakes, lack of maintenance, design flaws, and challenging weather or conditions.

What kinds of injuries are common in offshore accidents?

Many injured offshore workers suffer health problems for months or even years. The most common offshore injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Amputation
  • Lifting injuries (shoulder impingement, herniated disc, IT band syndrome, rotator cuff tear)
  • “Struck-by” injuries
  • Burns from welding or explosions
  • Suffocation, asphyxiation, or chemical inhalation
  • Repetitive motion injuries (tendinitis and bursitis)

Havens & Associates is proud to represent all types of injured offshore workers

Our Houston offshore accident attorneys represent workers like you, not big corporations. The following are just some of the workers we represent:

  • Floorhands
  • Roustabouts
  • Pipefitters
  • Drillers
  • Welders
  • Derrick hands
  • Oilers
  • Engineers
  • Deck officers (chief mate, second mate, etc.)
  • Bosuns
  • AB seamen
houston offshore accident lawyers

How do offshore accidents happen?

Offshore personnel on drilling rigs and platforms face various risks that could lead to injuries. Transportation-related injuries are a significant concern for workers traveling to or off the platform. Several factors contribute to the occurrence of offshore mishaps.

Environmental and structural risks

Hazards such as slippery surfaces or unstable structures amplify the risk of falls, slips, and injuries. The equipment or platform may be fundamentally precarious, posing inherent dangers.

Given the materials handled by rig workers, fires and explosions are probable events. Additionally, certain fire retardants like Aqueous Film-Forming Foam (AFFF) have been associated with an increased risk of cancer and other chronic conditions, representing another hazard to those working offshore.

Inadequate training

A lack of proper training can leave employees ill-prepared to deal with malfunctioning equipment or unaware of the correct procedures for using tools and equipment safely. This deficiency in knowledge can inadvertently cause harm to others.

Insufficient protective measures

Employers must sufficiently equip their workforce with the necessary safety gear and establish safety procedures to mitigate the risk of injuries. Without appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, or harnesses, workers are at a heightened risk of severe injuries from exposure to hazardous conditions.

What kinds of compensation can I receive for an offshore injury?

Typically, offshore workers who suffer injuries are entitled to seek compensation for various expenses and impacts related to their accident, including economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages

Economic damages come with a bill, receipt, or invoice. Our Houston offshore accident attorneys have successfully recovered the following damages for hundreds of clients:

  • All medical treatments the accident necessitates, encompassing hospital stays, surgeries, skin grafts, and specialized care.
  • Rehabilitation services such as physical or occupational therapy.
  • Costs of prescription medications.
  • Earnings lost due to absence from work for recovery.
  • Loss of earning capacity if you switch to a lower-paying job because you can no longer perform your previous job duties.
  • Future lost earnings if the injuries result in an inability to engage in meaningful employment.
  • Expenses for care in a skilled nursing facility, if required.

Non-economic damages

In addition to economic damages, injured offshore workers may be eligible to claim compensation for non-economic (intangible) losses, which include:

  • Pain and suffering linked to the injuries.
  • Emotional distress or mental anguish stemming from the accident or as a result of altered capabilities.
  • Scarring or physical disfigurement.
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Reduced ability to provide parental guidance or loss of guidance.

Although putting a monetary value on these non-economic losses can be challenging, they are recognized as significantly impacting the quality of life post-accident and warrant compensation.

Laws that apply to offshore workers in Houston

The Jones Act

Under 46 U.S. Code §30104, also known as the Jones Act, offshore workers are entitled to seek damages for injuries or illnesses incurred while on duty. The Jones Act is applicable exclusively to crew members on navigable vessels, excluding those stationed on vessels that are moored or permanently anchored.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Certain offshore workers may not qualify as “seamen” and are therefore not entitled to the protections provided by the Jones Act. However, lacking the status of a Jones Act seaman does not strip you of all legal rights. Workers in such circumstances might still be eligible for compensation through the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), especially if their workplace does not align with the Jones Act’s definition of a navigable vessel.

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act broadens the scope of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to include compensation benefits for offshore workers involved in oil and gas activities on the Outer Continental Shelf.

houston offshore injury attorney

What’s the process for filing an offshore injury claim in Houston?

  • Your Houston offshore accident attorney submits a complaint containing a “demand for judgment” (commonly known as a “demand letter”) outlining the damages you’ve incurred and a request for compensation.
  • The court issues a summons or citation, officially beginning the lawsuit and notifying the defendant of the legal action against them. It directs the defendant to appear in court by a certain date to respond to the offshore injury complaint.
  • The defendant must file an “answer,” a formal document that either admits or denies the allegations stated in the complaint.
  • Settlement negotiations between attorneys commence. Settlements are prevalent in offshore injury cases, particularly when there’s clear evidence of employer negligence. At Havens & Associates, we aim to recover maximum compensation on your behalf. We don’t accept anything less than what you deserve.
  • We may proceed to trial if the defense refuses to make a fair offer. This option is risky for the employer, as losing in court could result in substantial financial penalties.

Can I bring a wrongful death suit if my loved one died in an offshore accident?

Yes, under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA), certain relatives of an offshore worker who has passed away can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer, provided the worker’s fatal injuries occurred while working at least three nautical miles from shore.

Eligible family members, including the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents, may seek compensation for various losses. These losses encompass the absence of companionship and support, the loss of the deceased’s financial contributions to the household, expenses related to the funeral and burial, as well as the emotional distress and suffering resulting from their loved one’s death.

Our team of Houston offshore death attorneys is dedicated to advocating for your family’s rights, aiming to secure the fullest compensation possible for your profound loss.

Why should I work with Havens & Associates?

Partnering with the experienced attorneys at Havens & Associates offers access to our extensive offshore law background, accumulated over many years. Our firm is recognized for its excellence, having received accolades from prestigious organizations such as:

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum®
  • The Top Trial Lawyers in America®
  • Super Lawyers

Choosing our offshore accident lawyers in Houston comes with numerous advantages:

  • A wealth of expertise in handling offshore injury claims
  • A commitment to providing personalized legal guidance and genuine concern for your case
  • Strategic insights into the tactics used by opposing legal teams
  • A track record of securing favorable outcomes in court

Our results are a testament to our dedication and effectiveness, highlighted by significant settlements and jury verdicts, including a notable $600,000 settlement for a client injured on an oil rig.

Schedule your free consultation with a Houston offshore accident attorney

Havens & Associates has recovered millions of dollars for our clients through trial and settlement. We know how insurance companies and corporations think because we used to represent them, and we use that experience to obtain full and fair recoveries for our clients.

Dial (713) 589-5356 to schedule your complimentary consultation and take a stand for full compensation.

Contact Us

For a Free Consultation