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Injured Oil Rig Workers and the Jones Act

Anyone who has worked on a Gulf oil rig or has a loved one working on one knows that there are any number of ways that things can go wrong and lead to serious injuries. Defective drilling rigs, wellheads, and other machinery; improperly designed or installed safety features; gas leaks; structural damage to the rig; and hazardous weather conditions are just a few of issues that potentially confront oil rig workers on a daily basis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when compared to all U.S. workers, those who work in the oil and gas extraction industry have a rate of death seven times higher than other workers.

Most injured oil rig workers, like seamen and others injured while working on maritime vessels, are afforded special protections and remedies under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly known as the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal law that makes marine employers and vessel operators liable for negligence associated with the death or work-related injury of their employees. Offshore jack-up rigs, semi-submersible drilling rigs, and floating platforms not permanently attached to the ocean floor are included as “vessels” under the Jones Act.

Although Jones Act claims are similar to Worker’s Compensation claims, there are key differences. Injured oil rig workers who seek damages under the Act must show negligence on the part of a rig owner, operator, or a co-worker. An employee can also assert a claim based on defective or unseaworthy equipment, including the rig itself.

If you are injured on an oil rig and wish to pursue a Jones Act claim, you can file a suit for damages in either state or federal court, but the suit must be filed within three years of the injury.  Injured oil rig workers covered by the Jones Act can recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and the loss of future earning capacity.

Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C.: Mississippi and Gulf Coast Oil Rig Injury Lawyers

At Rushing & Guice, we have substantial experience representing injured oil rig workers and other seamen and maritime workers in Mississippi and throughout the Gulf Coast. Whether you are a rig worker, longshoreman, shipyard worker, or harbor employee, we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us at (228) 374-2313 or fill out our online form to arrange for a free, limited initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorneys.

This website has been prepared by Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.