When You Need An Experienced Attorney To Represent You With Offshore/Oil Rig/Supply Boat Injury Claims

Maritime law can be complicated, but the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A., in Gulf Breeze, Florida, has more than 40 years of experience in this legal area. We are thorough, knowledgeable and have represented hundreds of workers injured in off-shore oil rig and supply boat accidents. Let's describe the status of many of these workers.

By federal maritime law, jack-up oil rigs are vessels. Workers on those rigs serve as crewmen and are covered by the Jones Act. However, subcontractor workers on such rigs are typically employed by drill mud or wire line companies. As a result, the Jones Act does not apply to them, but such workers have rights under general maritime law.

Meanwhile, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) — a "no-fault" federal workers' compensation program — applies to workers on fixed platforms. This act provides an injured worker with two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage, payment of reasonable medical expenses as well as an award for permanent injuries, and the possibility of a permanent total disability award with lifetime medical and wage loss benefits.

Looking Out For Crew Members Injured On The Job

Attorney John W. Merting has represented crewmen on drill rigs from entry level roustabout to rig manager. Mr. Merting will provide needed legal advice, especially since the employer is not really looking out for you. In serious injury cases, the employer's usual practice is to have tape recorded statements taken by an investigator. Sometimes, the employer brings its own attorneys to the rig to take these statements before the injured worker has a chance to confer with an attorney. If you find yourself in this situation, this is when you need an experienced and skilled maritime attorney. That's why you need to contact us at 866-416-4412.

"In my 40 years of maritime law practice, I have found that some companies will pay injured workers under the Longshore Act rather than under maritime law. This can be cheaper for them, but the benefits to the worker are substantially less." — Attorney John W. Merting

Employer Negligence Often At The Root Of Accidents

Do not sign any such form from your employer unless you know that it is accurate. Many times, the company/employer will have the statement prepared in a manner favoring their interests. They are looking to blame the injured worker, reducing their liability. The injured worker should note on incident reports any acts or omissions that caused or contributed to his injury. These could be due to:

  • Insufficient crew for the task
  • Insufficient training
  • Inadequate equipment to perform the task
  • Negligent or improper acts by fellow workers
  • Dangerous conditions such as slippery substances on working surfaces, foreign or non-existing non-skid on steps and ladders, or worn or defective tools and equipment

We also have represented many crewmen on supply and crew boats, as well as helicopter passengers transported to offshore oil rigs. Injuries on board these craft frequently result from some of the same deficiencies found on the offshore oil rigs. Additionally, operating in bad weather, in rough weather conditions with an inadequate crew, or a crew working extended hours, frequently results in serious injuries.

Please Contact Us For A Free Consultation

We have talked to many injured seamen while they are still off shore. We are happy to advise them of their rights, answer their questions and fully assist them in any way possible while they recover from their injuries. Call 866-416-4412 or contact the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. for a free consultation.