Despite its localized name, the Gulf of Mexico serves as a major hub of maritime activity for North America and for the Western hemisphere. Combining major shipping and fishing routes with a large base of activity for the oil industry, the Gulf of Mexico offers work for hundreds, if not thousands, of maritime workers across many active industries.
The Gulf of Mexico serves as a common destination for tanker ships, supply boats, and container ships on their way all around the world, and floating oil platforms are a common sight due to the amount of oil reserves located underneath the Gulf. Thousands of tons of cargo pass through the Gulf every year, ranging from consumer goods to heavier items like automobiles and heavy machinery, and even bulky construction materials, creating a vital source of both commerce and employment across a number of maritime industries.
Of course, any body of water with this much activity and vessels is bound to see a lot of injuries and accidents, and the Gulf of Mexico is no exception. The machinery, tools, and even the cargo itself aboard vessels can lead to serious injuries if improperly used or maintained, and oil rigs are a dangerous source of potential injury and accident, as a number of recent oil rig disasters and accidents have sadly reminded us of. While no amount of money can truly fix anything lost in an accident on the Gulf of Mexico, it is reassuring to know that American maritime law can protect any injured maritime worker in the event of an accident.
The Jones Act and the Gulf of Mexico
Even in the Gulf of Mexico, if you’re a maritime worker who is injured onboard any vessel flying the flag of the United States, you’re covered by the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal statute that provides a remedy to crew members injured in the course of their employment due to negligence or carelessness on the part of their employer. Any misconduct on your employer’s behalf including unsafe work conditions, failure to properly train or supervise other workers, failure to properly maintain tools and equipment, or even ordering crewmembers to undertake a needlessly dangerous task are all grounds to seek financial compensation under the Jones Act for the injuries you’ve suffered. Beyond the work being performed, the Jones Act can even cover an injured worker in the event that the very vessel they work on is found to be unsafe, as unseaworthy vessels can be a strong contributing factor to injuries on the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil Rig Injuries on the Gulf of Mexico
As we’ve all seen in the news over the last few years, injuries, accidents, and disasters aboard oil rigs are a sadly common occurrence aboard oil rigs. Oil rig law, closely related to maritime law, can provide protections for any oil rig worker injured the course of their employment due to employer negligence and/or excessive risk, and can prove vital in any case involving an injured oil rig worker. These laws can be complex and are generally related to standard American maritime law, but they can be very effective at defending the rights of workers in the event of an oil rig injury and helping them seek financial compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered.
What Can I Do If I Am Injured On The Gulf of Mexico?
Even as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, American maritime law has your back. With the help of a tough, experienced maritime injury lawyer like O’Bryan Law, you can fight for your rights against even the biggest shipowning companies and get the financial compensation and justice you rightly deserve for your suffering. Contact us today for a free case consultation and let us help you fight the good fight.
*Dennis M. O’Bryan is enrolled to practice before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which hears appeals from the federal district courts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. He is a member of the bar of the federal districts for the Eastern and Southern District of Texas. In those federal district courts in which he is not generally enrolled to practice, he gains admission pro hac vice, on a case by case basis, by securing the sponsorship of a reputable local attorney. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, where his office is located.