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Experienced. Aggressive. Trial Lawyers.

Wrongful Death from Oil Rig Explosions

Fighting for Grieving Families After Explosions & Fires

Oil rig workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In addition to living in small quarters and working 14-day rotations in 12-hour shifts, these workers must be alert at all times to avoid injury or death. There is always the possibility that the pressure control systems will fail and there will be an uncontrolled release of oil on the drilling rig. Fires can also occur when workers are dealing with volatile materials or when companies do not adequately maintain electrical equipment. In either case, accidents may result in severe injuries, such as burns.

Every employee that chooses to live and work on an oil rig is continuously putting their lives on the line.

There are known risks for any person aboard an oil platform for the purpose of their job is to extract natural gas and oil under immense pressure into a harsh atmosphere. Accidents can easily happen from a simple mistake as the work environment is so treacherous. It has been reported that from 2001-2010 there were 69 offshore deaths off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico alone.

Between 2001 and 2010, the US government has documented 69 offshore deaths, 1,349 injuries, and 858 fires and explosions on offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. These tragedies were caused by negligence, equipment failure, blowouts, and many other reasons. That is why oil companies are subject to strict safety standards and guidelines.

When these safety guidelines are violated by failing to conduct routine maintenance checkups, using outdated machinery, or some other negligent practices, it is likely that severe injury or death will occur. When people die due to the negligence of another, their survivors may file a wrongful death claim against those responsible. Arnold & Itkin has successfully represented numerous families who lost a loved one due to oil rig explosions and other accidents. We helped grieving families receive financial support during the worst times of their lives. Money can never replace our loved ones, but wrongful death claims help families grieve without worrying about financial security.

Call (888) 493-1629 today to speak with us in a free case consultation.
We can determine if your wrongful death case has merit and if we can help you.

Who Can File a Claim After a Fatal Oil Rig Explosion?

While fatalities can occur from natural causes and other avenues, it is the job of the employer to provide their workers with the proper equipment and training to maintain a safe environment. If there is a fire, appropriate investigations must be made to determine the party at fault for any explosion injuries or death. When the maritime employer is found to be responsible for a preventable accident leading to fatalities, a wrongful death suit can be filed. It is a civil action suit where the guilty party must prove their innocence and give proof as to why they are not liable.

It is vital that there must be substantial reasoning and evidence to reveal that the employer's direct actions, or lack thereof, were the immediate cause of wrongful death. Once this has been proven, the spouse, children, or next of kin of the deceased may sue for damages. If the child has lost both of his or her parents, they may bring forth a suit; conversely speaking, parents can sue for the loss of their children. Compensation for the family is typically calculated by looking at the salary of the individual lost and considering how much income they would have brought in if they had continued to live and work. Be sure to talk with an accomplished lawyer to determine your eligibility for pursuing legal action.

What Can Be Recovered in a Claim?

Wrongful death claims seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages:

  • Lost wages from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical costs before death
  • Loss of parental guidance
  • Long-term financial losses
  • Loss of employment benefits

Common Causes of Oil Rig Deaths

  • Being struck by equipment or debris
  • Drowning
  • Explosions and fires
  • Falling from a height

The Death on the High Seas Act

The most common legal recourse for wrongful death at sea is a federal law called the Death on the High Seas Act. Under the Act, a claim of wrongful death must be brought against the negligent party within three years of the incident that caused the death. The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) also outlines that the right to pursue a company, manufacturer, or other entity for the wrongful death of a seaman under its laws only applies if the incident in question occurred more than a marine league (three miles) from shore. A deceased seaman's spouse, parent, child, or dependent relative could seek compensation if the death was caused by "wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas."

Fighting for Justice on Behalf of Surviving Family Members

According to the U.S. Minerals and Management Service, nearly 24% of oil-rig accidents that happened between 2011 and 2007 were due to human error. These accidents happened because there was a lack of communication between workers, written procedures went missing, and standardized procedures weren't enforced. It is the duty and responsibility of rig operators and managers to enforce these rules, and they must be held accountable when they fail to do so.

Regardless of the circumstances that you and your family find yourselves facing, you can find the compassionate and reliable advice you need when you call our oil rig injury lawyers. Here at Arnold & Itkin, we recognize the danger associated with employment on oil rigs and the possibility of severe accidents. We represent U.S. workers who have been injured in various types of oil rig explosion incidents by providing exemplary legal counsel and attention to detail. Additionally, we seek to aid families dealing with the loss of a loved one due to an oil platform explosion. We have been able to recover billions of dollars. After the tragic Deepwater Horizon case in 2010, we successfully represented many of the victims and enabled them to move forward with their lives. Pursuing legal action in these types of situations can be extremely difficult and complicated without the assistance of a qualified lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to learn more about what we can do on your behalf.

Call (888) 493-1629 to schedule a consultation with a lawyer who truly cares about your future.

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $29Million The Largest Known Settlement for a Wrongful Death Offshore Kurt Arnold, Jason Itkin, and Cory Itkin successfully secured a record settlement for a single family who tragically lost a loved one. It is the largest known settlement for a death that occurred offshore. While a settlement is not an admittance of responsibility, our firm was pleased that the company was willing to provide fair compensation to the family of their employee without a fight.
  • $14Million Jones Act Settlement Reached Two Days Before Trial Arnold & Itkin represented a seaman after he suffered a head injury on the Hercules 15 inland barge. Hercules employees tack welded a three foot pipe to the derrick and then forgot to remove it before starting drilling operations. The pipe was jarred loose and hit Plaintiff in the head, causing severe injury. We presented his case under the Jones Act against Hercules, who chose to settle just before trial.
  • $11.5Million Settlement Won for Injured Victim of Offshore Accident Arnold & Itkin obtained a settlement of $11.5 million on behalf of an offshore accident victim suffering from both physical and psychological injuries. His settlement will ensure that our client gets all the time, financial support, and stability he needs to fully recover and get back on his feet.
  • $8.9Million Settlement Achieved for Severely Injured Seaman Arnold & Itkin helped secure a settlement on behalf of a seaman who injured his head when working aboard an offshore drilling vessel. Our firm helped to recover $8.9 million on his behalf.
  • $8Million Massive Settlement Reached Before Trial Began Our firm represented an offshore worker (a steward) who seriously injured his back in an accident. The injury prevented him from making a living. While other lawyers told him his case was only worth a few hundred thousand dollars, our attorneys knew better. Due to intense negotiations by the firm, Arnold & Itkin was able to obtain a settlement for $8 million from his employers.
  • $7.2Million Millions Won for Brain-Injured Client in Louisiana Arnold & Itkin recovered more than $7 million in a settlement for a severely injured Louisiana client. Our client suffered brain injury and memory issues while working on an offshore platform. The defendant settled his case during jury selection, and our client now has the money he needs to receive quality medical care for the rest of his life.
  • $7.1Million Concussed Worker Received a Massive Settlement after Accident Arnold & Itkin represented an offshore worker with a concussion and a herniated disk from an accident on the job. These injuries inhibited our client’s ability to make a living, requiring him to pursue a claim. His employers eventually resolved the case by settling for $7.1 million.
  • $6.9Million Settlement Obtained for Family of Deceased Offshore Worker Arnold & Itkin negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement for the family of a man who died offshore. Though the defendant attempted to get away with an extremely low offer, our team obtained a settlement that was many times larger.
  • $6.6Million Settlement Obtained for Wife & Family of Deceased Offshore Worker Arnold & Itkin helped a woman and her family get justice after her husband was killed in an incident offshore. Despite undue pressure from the defendant, our firm made sure our clients were taken care of for the rest of their lives.
  • $6.5Million Settlement Secured for Injured Crew Member on Barge Arnold & Itkin obtained a seven-figure settlement for an offshore worker who was injured off the coast of Florida while working in needlessly dangerous conditions. His settlement will help him move forward after irreparable damage was done to his head and face.
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“What I feel is that he never considered me as a number, never looked at me as a number. He looked at me as a person, as an individual who needs help, who needs guidance.” - Mildred Solar Cortes