Working on an oil rig off the coast of Texas is undoubtedly exciting, which is likely one of the reasons you were drawn to such a career. However, it also presents a number of inherent risks, which is why drilling and excavation ranks among the most dangerous industries. Those who work in the same environment as you often come to us here at The Law Offices of Miller & Bicklein, P.C. after having been involved in workplace accidents expecting their expenses to be covered by traditional workers’ compensation. Depending on the circumstances of such accidents, assistance may actually come from a different source.
When working offshore, you may technically qualify as a maritime worker, in which case you are covered under a federal law known as “The Jones Act.” Per this law, you are entitled to maintenance and cure benefits if you happen to be injured in the service of your vessel (or in this case, your rig). According to details of The Jones Act (as shared by the Cornell Law School), maintenance payments cover your daily living expenses while you are out of work, while cure payments are meant to pay for your medical treatment.
One important distinction to be made between maintenance and cure benefits and traditional workers’ compensation is that the former may be limited by your union membership. If you do participate in a union, then your union representatives may have capped maintenance and cure benefits in the union’s contract with your employer. Often, unions will say that such benefits do not need to exceed $250-$400 per month. You might need to initiate your own action if you find that you need more compensation than that.
You can discover more about your rights as an oil rig worker by continuing to explore our site.