Offshore Worker Death Attorneys of Houston
Are you reeling from the sudden loss of a loved one who worked on an oil rig or offshore vessel? Our Texas wrongful death lawyers can help look out for you and your family's financial future.
Everyone understands the high degree of risk associated with offshore and oil rig jobs. However, that fact doesn't make it any less shocking when you find out that your loved was involved in a fatal maritime accident. After the initial news and grieving period, you may feel overwhelmed by all of the things you have to do to make sure your family is taken care of.
While compensation may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, it can be an important step to finding closure. Knowing that you and your family are taken care of financially can be a great source of assurance and comfort during such a difficult time in your life.
With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Houston wrongful death attorneys Neal Davis and Jed Silverman understand how overwhelming the process can seem and want to help provide financial security for you and your family by fighting for the compensation you deserve. Our passionate and aggressive services are no charge to you unless we secure a favorable settlement or outcome on your behalf - our No Fee Unless We Win Guarantee.
Nothing can replace what you've lost, but securing your family's financial future is a start.
Discuss your legal options with our Texas fatal offshore accident attorneys today.
Fatal Offshore Accident Statistics
Employees working for offshore oil drilling and gas exploration companies are seven times more likely to be killed on the job than the average American worker. This statistic was found by the CDC after tracking fatality rates of offshore operations from 2003 to 2013. The average fatality rate for U.S. workers is 3.7 deaths for every 100,000 employees per year, while the fatality rate average for offshore crew members is 25 per 100,000 workers.
The largest number of deaths during the 10 years that the CDC monitored fatality rates occurred among workers employed by well-servicing companies (615), followed by drilling contractors (378), and operators (196). The highest fatality rate reported though was among workers employed by oil drilling companies (44.6 per 100,000 workers).
Offshore Accident Death: Common Causes
Data shows that a majority of fatal offshore incidents are due to transportation issues, many involving helicopter accidents caused by inclement weather and mechanical failure.
Other causes of deadly offshore accidents include:
- Contact with dangerous objects/equipment
- Fires or oil rig explosions
- Toxic exposure
- Slips, trips or falls
Maritime Injury Guide
Wrongful Death Benefits for Families
Depending on the nature of the offshore accident that resulted in the loss of your loved one, and your relation to the deceased, you may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death damages including funeral expenses, medical costs, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and punitive damages in some cases. By Texas law, the deceased's next of kin are the only ones who can file a wrongful death claim.
The state defines next of kin as a parent, child or spouse. These family members can choose to file a claim individually or jointly. The deceased's siblings and grandparents are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Texas. Approved family members of a worker killed in a maritime accident have several avenues to explore when it comes to obtaining wrongful death compensation. These legal options include:
- Workers' Compensation - Surviving family members may be able to obtain compensation for burial expenses and lost income if the deceased was covered by workers' comp insurance.
- Wrongful Death - In addition to workers' compensation coverage, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed if the employer's negligence or wrongful actions resulted in their loved one's death.
- Jones Act - The surviving spouse and/or children of a deceased offshore worker defined as a "seaman" may seek compensation for medical costs incurred before death and other benefits under the Jones Act.
- Maritime Law - The death of a maritime worker caused by negligence may entitle a family to pursue additional wrongful death benefits under federal maritime/admiralty law.
- Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) - A federal law granting survivor benefits to the families of offshore workers killed in U.S. navigable waters.
- Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) - This law applies to workers who died more than three nautical miles outside of territorial waters and offers family members financial relief.
An experienced and knowledgeable offshore worker wrongful death attorney can help guide you through these legal options and determine which ones are best to pursue in your case.
Time Matters in Your Texas Wrongful Death Claim
As with any personal injury case, wrongful death is subject to a statute of limitations or time limit in which a lawsuit can be filed. In Texas, wrongful death cases must be filed "no later than two years after the day the cause of action accrues." If you have lost a loved one in an offshore accident, it's highly important you contact an experienced wrongful death attorney right away so that they can begin gathering evidence and building your case. Doing so will provide your family with the best shot at compensation.
Houston wrongful death attorneys Neal Davis and Jed Silverman take pride in helping survivors and families achieve a full financial recovery after the devastating loss of a loved one due to a fatal offshore accident. We understand you need time to grieve and process this tragedy, but don't delay too long in pursuing your right to compensation. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case in a free consultation.