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How to File for Offshore Injury Claims in Texas: A Detailed Guide

Working offshore on an oil rig or platform off the coast of Texas can be dangerous. Each year, many offshore workers suffer severe injuries due to accidents, equipment failures, fires, explosions, and other hazards. If you or a loved one was injured while working offshore in Texas, you may have a right to significant compensation. 

This guide will provide an overview of offshore injury claims in Texas to help you better understand your legal rights and options if you were hurt offshore. Our team of personal injury attorneys is resourceful, experienced, and knowledgeable regarding your rights. To learn more about how we can help you, call Low Law Firm today at 325.455.1889


Who Qualifies as an Offshore Worker Under Texas Law? 

Texas law recognizes specific categories of offshore workers who may file injury claims and lawsuits if hurt on the job. These include:

  • Oil Rig Workers: Workers on drilling rigs and production platforms off the Texas coast. This includes roughnecks, drillers, toolpushers, crane operators, roustabouts, and other oil rig personnel. 

  • Offshore Contract Workers: Contractors and subcontractors are hired to provide offshore services such as diving, construction, catering, transportation, maintenance, inspection, and repair.

  • Seamen and Maritime Workers: Deck hands, captains, engineers, cooks, and others work on supply boats, barges, crew boats, lift boats, anchor handling vessels, tug boats, and other marine vessels servicing rigs.

Under the Jones Act and general maritime law, offshore workers qualify for special rights and remedies if injured due to negligence or unseaworthiness.

Common Offshore Accidents Covered by Injury Lawsuits in Texas

Offshore platforms and other marine industrial worksites pose many hazards that can lead to severe accidents and injuries. Some common accidents covered by Texas offshore injury claims include:

  • Platform Falls: Falling from heights onto the deck or into the Gulf due to missing rails, open hatches, and slippery surfaces.

  • Equipment Failures: Injuries caused by malfunctioning equipment, cranes, pulleys, slings, faulty tools.

  • Fires & Explosions: Burns and blast injuries resulting from gas ignitions, blowouts, and engine backfires. 

  • Boat Collisions: Crew boat crashes, barges getting slammed into rig legs, boats sinking, capsizing.

  • Heavy Object Drops: Items falling from crane loads, like drill pipe, that strike workers. 

  • Chemical Exposures: Injuries from toxic fumes, vapors, and drilling fluids.

  • Overexertion: Back injuries and hernias from repeated heavy offshore manual labor.

Offshore Injury Claim Damages Recoverable Under Texas Law  

If you suffered an offshore work injury, you may seek compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses: Coverage of hospital bills, medications, surgery costs, rehab.

  • Lost Income: Wages you missed while recovering offshore or onshore.

  • Loss of Earning Capacity: Lower future earnings if a disability prevents returning offshore. 

  • Disfigurement: Compensation for burn scars, amputations, and deformity.  

  • Physical Impairment: Awards for reduced function range of motion after an injury offshore.

  • Physical & Mental Pain: Money for the mental and physical suffering you endured.

  • Other Damages: Transportation costs for treatment, property losses, loss of enjoyment of life.

Time Limits for Offshore Injury Lawsuits in Texas

It is crucial to act fast if hurt offshore because strict deadlines apply under Texas law:

  • Jones Act Claims – 3 Years: Seamen must file Jones Act suits within three years. 

  • Maritime Tort Suits – 3 Years: Lawsuits for unseaworthiness or negligence under naval law carry a 3-year deadline.

  • Texas Tort Claims – 2 Years: For non-seamen offshore workers, state law tort claims expire after two years, but this is for claims against private entities

Don’t assume there will be time for delays. It’s important to remember that these are just general guidelines. The specific deadline for your case may vary depending on the particular circumstances. The deadline can expire while evidence is gathered or settlement talks occur. Have your offshore injury attorney file a suit before the statute of limitations runs out.

Steps to Take After an Offshore Accident in Texas

To build the best case, be sure to: 

  • Report All Incidents: Notify the medic, foreman, safety rep about what happened offshore. Get copies of all incident reports.

  • Take Photos: Document accident scenes, equipment damage, and injuries. Photos strengthen claims.

  • Get Witness Info: Talk to co-workers who saw the incident and get their contact data. Statements help.

  • Keep Detailed Records: Save work schedules, medical records, pay stubs, and training logs. Don’t discard anything relevant to how, when, and where the incident occurred. 

  • Consult an Offshore Injury Attorney: Contact an offshore injury law firm in Texas promptly before talking to company reps or signing any statements. Don’t rush into a lowball settlement offer without experienced legal advice.

Overview of Texas Offshore Injury Claim Process  

Here is what someone hurt offshore in Texas can expect during the claims process:

  • Investigation: Your lawyer will order records, take statements from witnesses, inspect offshore equipment for defects, research the liable parties and insurance coverage, and calculate the total case value.

  • Demand Letter: The attorney will make an opening demand to the company and insurers stating the compensation amount requested based on damages.

  • Settlement Negotiations: Your lawyer will negotiate firmly with claims adjusters seeking fair compensation through an out-of-court offshore injury settlement.

  • Offshore Injury Lawsuit: If needed, your attorney will file a lawsuit asserting liability claims and arguing for a trial verdict awarding maximum damages.

  • Trial: If negotiations fail, the case may go before a jury who will decide if negligence caused the accident, determine fault percentages, and set the monetary value awards.

Having an experienced offshore injury lawyer in Texas on your side maximizes recoveries throughout this legal process.

Establishing Liability for Offshore Injuries in Texas

To receive damages payments, injured offshore workers must show their accident was caused by negligence or wrongdoing, such as:

  • Failure to Maintain Safe Premises: Platform owners must keep sites hazard-free and fix dangerous defects like oil leaks.

  • Failure to Follow Safety Rules: Injuries caused by skipped inspections and improper equipment use warrant damages.

  • Failure to Provide Proper Training: Employers who do not train offshore crews adequately can be liable if it causes accidents later.

  • Failure to Supply Safety Gear: Companies must give offshore teams functioning PPE, and firefighting equipment.

  • Operating Unseaworthy Vessels: Boat owners must provide appropriately maintained, equipped boats to prevent crashes.

  • Violating Applicable Maritime Laws: Shipowners must adhere to Jones Act provisions on seaworthiness, working conditions, and negligence.

Skilled offshore injury lawyers know how to demonstrate such failures caused offshore accidents leading to serious worker injuries. 

Do I Need an Attorney for My Texas Offshore Injury Claim?

Absolutely. Hiring an offshore injury attorney in Texas is vital after any serious offshore accident for several reasons:


  • Maximize Compensation: Experienced lawyers get victims 6-10 times more money than handling it alone.

  • Beat Legal Deadlines: Lawyers know and handle the complex state/maritime filing limits.

  • Prove Complex Liability: Attorneys can demonstrate negligence caused by the offshore incident using witness statements, regulations, safety records, and equipment defects.

  • Handle Paperwork: You focus on recovery while lawyers handle large caseloads and mountains of documents. 

  • Level the Playing Field: Only lawyers can go toe-to-toe against giant oil corporations during legal fights over offshore injury cases.  

Don’t wait. Hiring an offshore injury attorney in Texas promptly is critical for seriously hurt offshore workers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Offshore Injury Claims

If you suffered an offshore injury in Texas, you have many questions about the claims process and your rights. Here are answers to common FAQs:

  1. Do I Still Have a Case If I Was Partially at Fault for My Offshore Injury?  

Yes. Texas uses modified comparative fault, meaning you can still recover reduced damages if less than 51% are at fault. If a coworker, for example, caused an accident offshore, you can still file suit against other negligent parties.

  1. Can Contractors Hurt Offshore Sue Production Platform Owners?

Yes. Platform owners and operators must keep their worksites reasonably safe for everyone working there under Texas premises liability law. Both employed and contract crews can recover if hurt due to unsafe site conditions.  

  1. If My Employer Paid My Initial Medical Bills After I Was Hurt Offshore, Can I Still File an Injury Claim Seeking Additional Compensation?  

Yes. Their duty extends beyond just initial medical outlays. You can still make claims for suffering, impairment, lost income, and long-term medical needs. Don’t settle just for short-term treatment reimbursements.

  1. Is There a Cap on the Amount of Money I Can Recover If Injured Working Offshore in Texas?

No. Unlike most states, Texas does not impose limits or caps on total monetary damages for offshore accidents, even “non-economic” damages for pain, impairment, or disfigurement. 

  1. How Much Does Hiring an Offshore Injury Lawyer in Texas Cost Upfront?  

Offshore injury lawyers work on contingency fees, meaning they only collect their percentage fee if they obtain a successful injury settlement or court award. No upfront payments or retainers are required. They front all litigation costs and only get reimbursed if they win damages for an injured offshore worker.

Choosing an Oil Rig Injury Lawyer

If you have additional questions about offshore injury claims in Texas, an experienced offshore injury lawyer can provide knowledgeable guidance during a free consultation.

Don’t go it alone against the oil rig insurance industry’s team of legal defenders. Fighting for your rights takes aggressive offshore injury lawyers in Texas committed fully to protecting victims of negligence offshore. 

Call Low Law Firm at 325.455.1889 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation. The path to recovery and justice starts with one call – make it today!

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