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Houston Explosions at Sea Attorney

An explosion at sea, whether a boiler explosion on a ship, a gas or oil explosion on an offshore rig, or even a mid-air explosion of an aircraft, can cause loss of life and serious injuries. Facing such a circumstance necessitates contacting a highly-rated Houston explosions at sea attorney to defend your rights. Any explosion, no matter where, is life-threatening, but when one occurs offshore, victims are far from medical facilities where in another situation immediate medical attention might save a life or improve the outcome for an injured victim.

In the Gulf region, some of the most deadly accidents at sea are offshore explosions on oil drilling platforms, rigs, ships, and other vessels. If you have personally been burned or otherwise injured or if you have lost a member of your in an offshore explosion, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages under the Jones Act, if the injury was caused by the negligence of the employer or another crew member, or by a defective product. These are difficult and complex cases, which, for the best results, require legal representation by an experienced Houston maritime attorney who focuses on injury and wrongful death matters.

Causes of Oil, Gas, and Offshore Ship Explosion Injuries and Deaths

When employers fail to implement and enforce proper safety standards, or if workers are made to use defective or poorly maintained equipment, explosions become a grave risk. These are some of the causes of offshore explosion:

  • ruptures in oil or gas lines;
  • objects obstructing pipelines;
  • defective parts in pipelines;
  • corroded or leaking pipelines;
  • pipelines damaged by falling objects;
  • collisions of an oil rig and platform;
  • vessels colliding with high pressure lines.

In addition to safety standards aimed at the prevention of explosions and fires, the law require adequate fire-fighting equipment on board so that crew members can deal with fires quickly. If firefighting equipment is unavailable or inaccessible, this could constitute negligence on the part of the owner or operator of the rig or other vessel.

Maritime Worker Protection under Federal Law

Three federal laws protect maritime workers and others who have been injured or killed due to negligence in offshore accidents and explosions:

  • The Jones Act provides benefits for workers employed as seamen or crew members on commercial vessels offshore, including work on ships, floating oil rigs, tankers, barges, tug boats, commercial fishing vessels, cruise ships, excursion boats, and ferries when they’ve been injured at sea. The Jones Act covers lost wages, medical bills, and other costs associated with the injury.
  • The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) provides benefits to certain surviving family members of someone who has been killed at sea in an accident attributable to someone’s negligence: spouses, children and stepchildren, and other dependent family members, including dependent parents and siblings, are entitled to recover damages resulting from a death in international waters. DOHSA also applies to some aircraft explosions over international waters.
  • The Longshore Harbor Worker Act (LHWCA) is a form of worker’s compensation that covers stevedores and dockworkers who have been injured or killed on the job. The worker covered by these benefits is precluded from suing the employer, but it may be possible at times to sue a third party whose negligence can be shown to have caused the accident.

Skilled Legal Representation for Offshore Explosion Injuries in the Texas Gulf Coast Region

For experienced legal counsel following an explosion in a maritime setting, contact the Houston law firm of Gordon, Elias, & Seely, LLP, as soon after the accident as possible. Our attorneys have decades of experience in helping recover damages for victims of many types of maritime or oil rig accidents, including explosions. We regularly assist workers in collecting federal benefits for medical treatment, lost earnings, and other expenses related to the accident. We can also help families who have lost loved ones file for benefits under DOHSA, including loss of nurture and support, loss of fringe benefits, loss of value of household services, and the deceased seaman’s pain and suffering prior to death, along with medical and funeral expenses.

Call today to protect your right to a recovery. The consultation is always free, and you never pay until we win money for you.

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