If you are an oil rig worker on an offshore drilling platform and suffer injury while on the job it is important to know remedies you have under the law. Congress has passed a law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which provides most injured offshore oil rig workers with a number of benefits and options so that they may pursue compensation for their injuries.
First, The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act allows injured oil rig workers to be reimbursed for any necessary medical expenses they incurred due to their injury. If an injured oil rig worker has been forced to pay for a doctor, surgery, or rehabilitation, they can get that money back through the Act.
Second, on top of medical bills, if an oil rig worker’s injury is so severe that it leaves them totally disabled, they may receive two thirds of their salary at the time of their injury per week. This payment amount lasts for as long as the oil rig worker is totally disabled. As such, if the oil rig worker is totally disabled for life, they may be able to receive two thirds of their salary at the time of the injury for the rest of their lives. Examples of total disability can include loss of both hands, both arms, both feet, both legs, or both eyes.
If the oil rig worker is only partially disabled (e.g., they lose a finger), they may still receive the medical bills and two thirds of whatever they were making per week at the time of their injury. In cases of partial disabilities, however, the oil rig worker only gets the two thirds of their pay for a set amount of time. For example, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act states that, if the oil rig worker loses an arm, they get the two thirds benefit for three hundred and twelve weeks, but if they lose the fourth finger, they only get fifteen weeks. If the injury is not one of the ones listed in the act, the oil rig worker will receive two thirds of the weekly wages multiplied by what is called a disability rating, which is a number assigned by a doctor reflecting the seriousness of an injury.
If the oil rig worker is only temporarily disabled, they receive medical bills and two thirds of the difference of what they were making right before their accident and what they can make after the accident. These payments last only up to five years.
If you are an oil rig worker who has been injured while unloading a vessel or performing similar work, you may be able to secure large disability payments from your employer. What is more, you may be able to recover any money you have spent towards obtaining medical care or rehabilitation. You may wish to meet with an experienced offshore injury lawyer to review your case and talk about the best way to secure the compensation that you deserve.