OFFSHORE PLATFORM ACCIDENTS FAQs

What law applies to a worker injured or killed on a fixed offshore platform?

As a general proposition, the law of the adjacent state applies to accidents which occur on fixed offshore drilling and production platforms.

Does maritime law ever apply when a platform worker is injured or killed?

Sometimes. For example, maritime law will apply to a platform worker accident if the platform worker was engaged in a maritime-related activity at the time of his accident, such as working on the back deck of a boat unloading equipment or supplies.

Can an offshore worker sue his employer for negligence and recover damages for items like pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life?

Usually not. However, a lawsuit for damages can be filed against any other company or person – other than a platform worker’s employer – who may be responsible for his injuries or death.

Does a platform worker have any rights against his employer if he is hurt or killed at work?

Yes, he does. If the fixed platform is located within the territorial waters of a particular state, the injured or killed platform worker is entitled to be paid benefits by his employer under the state workers’ compensation statute where the platform is located. If, on the other hand, the fixed platform is located in federal waters – on the Outer Continental Shelf – the injured or killed platform worker is entitled to be paid benefits by his employer under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.