U.S. Maritime Workers in Foreign Waters
The maritime industry consistently ranks among one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. This risk of danger is even greater, however, when U.S. employees take work in foreign waters. U.S. workers are often unaware of the risks of working in the territorial seas of foreign countries when they agree to work overseas. Our Lafayette maritime lawyers can help explain the complexities of your situation.
If you suffered an injury at sea in foreign waters, you may have questions about your legal rights. As a U.S. worker, you are still be entitled to relief under federal maritime law. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be protected by the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act or general maritime law.
There are several reasons why offshore work overseas is more dangerous than U.S. offshore work. First and foremost, many companies send their employees to the United Kingdom or countries in Africa to avoid compliance with stringent regulations in the United States. In 2012, the United Kingdom also offered financial incentives to corporations to increase deep sea drilling in the North Sea. Many companies have taken advantage of these incentives and have sent U.S. workers to the North Sea region, an offshore industry that lags far behind in safety than the United States, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
With less regulation and pressures to increase deep sea drilling, offshore work in the North Sea typically involves long hours and poor working conditions. In addition, the North Sea is a perilous body of water and workers tend to labor far from the shore. To get workers to and from platforms, North Sea employers typically transport employees by helicopters. However, these helicopters are unreliable and can be delayed by treacherous weather conditions, leaving workers stranded at sea for prolonged periods of time and exacerbating injuries or sickness. Sudden changes in weather conditions have also caused several helicopter accidents involving workers in this region. If you have been harmed in the North Sea, you should consult the maritime attorneys at our Lafayette firm.
In addition to the inherent dangers of the North Sea offshore industry, offshore injuries in foreign waters are also often linked to aged oil platforms. Platforms in foreign waters tend to be older than oil platforms in the United States. When a platform surpasses its intended lifetime use, the platform is more likely to endanger workers. Older platforms are also more susceptible to explosions and fires, which can cause debilitating injuries, burns and fatalities.
Regardless of where an injury occurred, if you are a U.S. employee, you are entitled to legal rights under federal maritime law. After an injury overseas, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Lafayette maritime attorney to learn about your legal rights. Our lawyers at Broussard & David have years of experience handling U.S. maritime workers' claims and can help you develop a legal strategy for success. For questions, contact Broussard & David at 888-337-2323 (toll-free) or 337-233-2325. The maritime lawyers at our Lafayette firm are ready to advise you.