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Offshore Oil Rig Explosion Accidents

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Oil and gas rig accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities. And that's especially true when it comes to offshore oil and gas rig explosions. In an instant, everyone working on such a facility can sustain a serious or fatal injury due to such powerful explosions.

Recent examples of oil rig explosions include:

  • Lake Pontchartrain oil rig explosion on Oct. 15, 2017 near Kenner, Louisiana.
  • Explosion on a Pemex oil rig on April 1, 2015 in Gulf of Mexico.
  • Explosion on Fieldwood Energy rig on Nov. 20, 2014 in Gulf of Mexico.
  • Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010 in Gulf of Mexico.

Worldwide, there have have been many deadly oil rig explosions on rigs, including incidents that killed dozens of people in the North Sea, South China Sea and other locations around the world.

Common Causes

There are many different reasons why offshore oil and gas rig explosions occur. Every accident is unique. But there are often similarities between such incidents. Some of the most common causes of oil or gas rig explosions offshore include:

  • Poorly maintained equipment - Companies need to constantly inspect equipment on oil rigs for problems and make the necessary repairs or improvements.
  • Defective oil rig equipment - Sometimes, oil rig explosions occur due to defects with safety valves, blowout preventers, improperly functioning equipment or other design or manufacturing defects.
  • Mistakes made by employees - This can occur due to miscommunication or mistakes made by untrained or inexperienced oil rig workers.
  • Reckless or negligent behavior - Sometimes, employees or supervisors don't take worker safety seriously. Perhaps they skip a step when working on the oil rig. Or a supervisor rushes employees and tells them to ignore normal operating procedure.

Whatever the cause of your offshore oil rig explosion, it's important to take your accident seriously right from the start. That's why we strongly recommend taking the following steps.

What to do after an offshore oil rig explosion

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident caused by an offshore oil rig explosion, it's important to take action immediately for your health and safety - and to protect your rights. The following is an overall step-by-step guide for injury victims and their families. For advice on what to do after your specific accident, contact us and schedule your free case evaluation.

  • Notify your supervisor immediately that there has been an explosion and that you have been injured.
  • Notify the United States Coast Guard immediately. Tell them there has been an explosion on an offshore oil rig.
  • Get to safety as quickly and safely as possible. Fatalities have often occurred while people are trying to escape from a burning oil rig.
  • Seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel fine, have a doctor examine you.
  • If you sustained a serious injury, notify your supervisor immediately that you have been hurt in an offshore oil rig explosion.
  • Contact a lawyer immediately. Dealing with injuries or a fatality caused by an offshore oil rig explosion can be extremely complicated.

What laws apply to offshore oil rig explosions?

This question is very important. See our article dealing with this issue: "Oil Rig Accidents: Does the Jones Act apply?"

The Jones Act is a federal law that applies to maritime injuries and accidents. In many cases, the Jones Act (officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) does apply to injuries caused by offshore oil rig explosions. But in order for the Jones Act to apply, the injured worker must:

  • Qualify as a seaman
  • Work aboard vessel considered "in navigation"

Otherwise, the injured worker's injuries will likely be covered by the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), another federal maritime law designed to cover accident-related expenses for injured maritime workers not covered by the Jones Act.

Don't try to tackle your oil and gas rig explosion accident on your own. Get the law firm Texans trust in a crisis. Contact Tracey & Fox and schedule your free case evaluation today. We're on your side.

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