Offshore Accidents: Common Types, Causes, and Claims

Working in an offshore environment can be rewarding, but it also comes with inherent risks and dangers. Offshore workers face unique challenges due to the nature of their work, which involves heavy machinery, unpredictable weather conditions, and remote locations. Maritime and offshore accidents can lead to severe injuries and fatalities.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore accident in Baton Rouge, it is essential to understand the common types and causes of these accidents and the potential injury claims available to you. Consult with a trusted Baton Rouge personal injury attorney at Dudley DeBosier, who can provide you with valuable information on offshore accident claims and how you can protect your rights.

Types of Offshore Accidents in Baton Rouge

Offshore facilities can take many forms, each with its unique characteristics and associated risks. Some common types of offshore facilities include compliant towers, drill ships, fixed platforms, floating production systems, inland barges, jack-up platforms, jack-up rigs, platform rigs, sea stars platforms, semi-submersibles, semi-submersible platforms, spar platforms, tender-assist rigs, and tension-leg platforms.

These structures serve as workplaces for offshore workers and are subject to specific regulations to ensure safety. But despite the strict safety protocols and regulations in place, accidents still occur. Some of the most common types of offshore accidents include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Slippery surfaces, uneven flooring, and unpredictable weather conditions can contribute to slip and fall accidents on offshore facilities. These accidents can result in serious harm.
  • Lifting Accidents: Heavy lifting is a common task in offshore work. Improper lifting techniques, faulty equipment, or inadequate training can lead to lifting accidents, causing injuries to the back, shoulders, and other body parts.
  • Struck by Accidents: In the dynamic and fast-paced offshore environment, objects can become projectiles, posing a risk to workers. Being struck by an object can cause severe injuries.
  • Caught in Machinery or Equipment: Offshore facilities are equipped with complex machinery and equipment, which, if not properly maintained or safeguarded, can pose serious dangers. Workers can get entangled in machinery or caught in equipment, leading to catastrophic injuries and trauma.
  • Fires: Flammable substances and electrical hazards are present in offshore environments, increasing the risk of fire and burn injuries.
  • Suffocation, Asphyxiation, or Chemical Inhalation: Working in confined spaces, such as storage tanks or enclosed areas, presents risks of suffocation, asphyxiation, or exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries: Performing repetitive tasks, such as lifting heavy objects or operating equipment, can lead to repetitive motion injuries like tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal disorders.

Common Causes of Offshore Accidents

Understanding the root cause of an offshore accident is essential to preventing future incidents and to holding the responsible parties accountable. Some common causes of offshore accidents include:

  • Defective or Faulty Equipment: Malfunctioning machinery or equipment can lead to serious accidents and injuries if not properly maintained or inspected.
  • Explosions & Fires: Accidents involving flammable materials, fuel, or gas can lead to explosions and fires, causing catastrophic injuries and property damage.
  • Poor Training: Inadequate or improper training of offshore workers can contribute to accidents and injuries, as workers may not know how to handle emergencies or operate machinery correctly.
  • Loading Accidents: Accidents involving the loading and unloading of personnel, equipment, and cargo can have deadly consequences, especially in high winds and other dangerous weather conditions.
  • Falling Equipment: Falling objects, such as tools, equipment, or debris, pose significant risks to workers below and can cause severe injuries.

Potential Offshore Accident Injuries

An offshore accident can result in a wide range of injuries, varying from minor to catastrophic. Some potential offshore accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: Head injuries caused by falls, blows, or explosions can lead to long-term cognitive impairments and disabilities.
  • Broken bones: Accidents involving heavy machinery or falls can cause fractures and broken bones, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Amputations: Severe accidents involving machinery can lead to the loss of limbs, significantly impacting a worker’s life and ability to work.
  • Blunt force trauma injuries: Being struck by objects or equipment can cause blunt force trauma injuries, resulting in internal injuries or organ damage.
  • Chemical exposure injuries: Exposure to hazardous chemicals or substances can cause chemical burns, respiratory problems, or long-term health complications.
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis: Accidents involving falls or heavy objects can lead to spinal cord injuries, potentially causing paralysis or permanent disability.
  • Burn injuries: Fires and explosions can cause severe burns, necessitating immediate medical attention and long-term treatment.
  • Smoke inhalation injuries: Inhaling smoke from fires can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.

What Should I Do After an Offshore Accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an offshore accident, it is crucial to take the following steps to protect your rights and seek appropriate compensation:

  1. Notify Your Employer: Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible and ensure that it is properly documented.
  2. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health and safety should be your top priority. Seek medical attention promptly to assess and treat your injuries.
  3. Preserve Evidence: If possible, collect evidence at the accident scene, such as photographs, witness statements, and any relevant documentation.
  4. Contact a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney: Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to understand your rights and explore your options for seeking compensation.

Types of Offshore Injury Claims

If you have been injured in an offshore accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Several legal avenues may be available to you, depending on the circumstances of the accident, including:

  • Recovery under Maritime Law: Maritime law provides specific protections for offshore workers. It allows an injured worker to seek compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
  • The Jones Act: The Jones Act enables eligible offshore workers to file a personal injury claim against their employer for negligence, unseaworthiness of the vessel, or failure to provide a safe working environment.
  • Death on the High Seas: If a loved one suffers a fatal accident while working offshore, the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) allows surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
  • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA): The LHWCA provides compensation to workers who are not covered by the Jones Act but are injured while working on navigable waters or in adjoining areas, such as docks, piers, and terminals.

By working with the right personal injury attorney, Baton Rouge offshore workers and their families stand the best chance of recovering the compensation they deserve after a catastrophic offshore accident. Reach out to Dudley DeBosier to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Baton Rouge.

Hire a Baton Rouge Personal Injury Attorney from Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers to Help with Your Offshore Accident Claim

If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore accident, don’t navigate the legal process alone. Reach out to Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers to protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Our skilled legal team is dedicated to standing up for injured people and ensuring they are not taken advantage of by the liable party.

Remember, at Dudley DeBosier, you pay us nothing unless we get you money. Don’t wait to get the legal help you need. We love helping accident victims in Louisiana protect their rights and recover the compensation they deserve.