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Offshore Oil Rig Drilling Platform Worker Injuries and Accidents | Houston oil rig accident lawyers Brais Law Firm

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Exploration and drilling of oil in offshore drilling rigs may cause serious injuries or even death. After graduation as an engineer at an academy for merchant marines with 3 U.S. Coast Guard licenses and working on drilling rigs for oil for six years, a board-certified maritime lawyer Keith Brace is in a unique position to assist oil by forming a law firm. Rig drilling workers that suffer severe personal injuries or even death in the course of an accident.

The lawyers of Brais Law Firm, the Brais Law Firm law firm with offices in Miami, Florida and Boston, Massachusetts are here to assist oil rig drilling platform employees who have suffered personal injury or death caused by an offshore or crew boat collision.

oil rig lawyer

It is not necessary to look any further beyond the explosion that occurred recently that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico to confirm the risks associated with offshore activities. The rig, obviously is called known as the Transocean Deepwater Horizon. British Petroleum (BP) leases the rig as well as the land that is being is being drilled. Halliburton contracted contractors to put in cement plugs. The majority of accidents are caused by defective or worn-out equipment, inadequate safety precautions and inadequate or improper education.

The safety of the rig is often compromised as a way to cut costs. The participants are the companies leasing the drilling rig. In this instance, BP along with the “company man” versus the owner of the rig in this case Transocean as well as their “rig superintendent”, “tool pusher” or “driller”. Each company that leases the rig for thousands of dollars a day needs to test and drill the well rapidly. However the owner of the rig does not care with “speed”. The operator of the rig is, in the end, paid an sum of money each time the rig is at site and in operation. This creates a conflict.

Very few lawyers or lawyers are more aware of the risks associated with operating offshore, than Keith Brace. Keith Bryce worked on offshore drilling rigs between 1981 and 1987. In this time he was an engineer’s trainee roughneck, derrick hands, as well as an assistant driller (second in command of floor operations for drills). In the course in the MMSS-OCS TI course, he obtained well control, surface Stack as well as Subsea Stack Blow-Out Prevention (“BOP”) course, Driller Level Certificate. He was a part of all the known kinds of rigs in the Mediterranean and off West Coast of Africa as well as on the Gulf of Mexico. Keith Brace’s work experience involves working directly on Cameron blowout prevention devices, tripping pipes running casings lower the subsea BOPs and lifting them setting cement plugs , and all other aspects of exploration and drilling for oil.

The law that regulates offshore activities is the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Acts (OCSLA or OCS Lands Act). The federal agencies that are governed by the OCS Lands Act regulate every aspect of oil and gaz exploration, production and development. The Act states an obligation “the responsibility of the owner of the lease or permit … that:

  1. Maintain all employment places in the area of lease … within accordance with occupational health and safety requirements as well … unaffected of known hazards for employees;
  2. On the continental shelf’s outer edge… ensure that the operation in compliance with the rules designed to protect people.

Anyone in the United States injured by any operator’s inability to comply with every rule, regulation or or order or permit given … could be able to bring a claim to recover damages. The lawful application of admiralty authority over individuals involved in offshore activities is contingent upon three elements:

  1. the kind of structure or craft that is involved (whether it is regarded as the type of craft or structure involved (whether it qualifies as “vessel”);
  2. the condition of the party who has been injured (seafarer or seafarer or other type of) and
  3. The position of the platform at the moment of the impact (whether inside or outside of the state’s area of jurisdiction).

A review of the above factual requirements will decide on questions of the jurisdiction and control of federal law on one hand and state laws governing coastal areas on the other.

A crucial factor is whether the incident was sustained on an offshore platform fixed in place as opposed to floating structures. If it is determined the accident took place on a specific offshore platform and OSC Lands Act applies. OSC Lands Act makes adjacent state laws (unless contrary to federal law) to apply in the same way as “surrogate” federal law, and the worker may not be allowed. In order to bring the typical seaman’s claims. However, this is not the case but if the worker is independently connected to vessels. In contrast when an accident occurs on the floating drilling platform, and is deemed to be an “vessel,” the insured crewmember could be considered to be to be a Jones Act seaman entitled to file a typical seaman’s claim against his employer as well as the operator of the rig.

OCS land law allows for a federal court to decide on a matter even though state courts have concurrent jurisdiction, and therefore they can file a case in state courts subject to transfer of the case to federal courts. Based on the circumstances of a particular case the OCSLA incident may also fall under admiralty jurisdiction.

When the Lands Act’s situs test are passed then the following step will be to decide if the state law can be considered “surrogated” federal law under section 1333(a)(2). The test is based on three elements:

  1. A controversy must arise in an issue which is covered by OCSLA;
  2. Federal maritime law shouldn’t be able to apply its own laws;
  3. State law should not be in conflict to federal laws.

The law of Longshore can also be applied in two scenarios that involve OCS claims. OCS claim. The first is that it is possible that the Longshore Act can apply on its own terms, without having recourse under OCS Lands Act. OCS Lands Act if the employee meets the normal requirements for conditions and circumstances. In addition, an employee can be eligible to receive Longshore Act benefits under the OCS Lands Act under section 1333(b) of the OCS Lands Act.

There are also workers on certain platforms within the territorial waters of the state. These workers are not covered under OCS land laws , and have to apply for state-law remedies or apply for benefits under the longshore law in certain situations.

The above illustrates the complexity that arise when representing a worker who was involved in an off-shore rig accident. The above doesn’t mention any other claims the employer’s not-in-fact may have against third party.

The lawyers of The Law firm Brais Law firm have knowledge and experience to defend your rights, compassion to address your concerns and the knowledge to help you get the amount you’re due. To contact our lawyers, you can contact the firm, or call 800-499-0551 from in the US, Skype bracelet worldwide or contact Us to submit a request form for an assessment for your particular case.

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