How Maritime Law Applies To Oil And Gas Workers

maritime law apply oil and gas workers O&G rig employees drilling dangers

Maritime work is considered to be one of the most difficult and dangerous types of employment in the world. Almost any employee who is injured at work can file a worker’s compensation claim. If the employee is not happy with the amount of insurance compensation they are offered they can also sue their employer for damages. 

Maritime workers have special circumstances. Not only is their work much more dangerous than most peoples, but a lot of it takes place on international waters. Hence, maritime workers would file a lawsuit under something called The Merchant Marine Act of 1920. 

Section 27 of the MMA is called The Jones Act. This act requires that ships that carry goods from one American owned port to another American owned port must be American built and crewed. It also gives sailors the right to sue the crew, captain, or shipbuilder on a boat, if they are injured in the line of duty. 

An oil rig worker performs a good deal of their duties at sea and is therefore covered under the Merchant Marine Act just as long as they are a U.S. Citizen who performs their duties on an offshore rig or floating platform that is not permanently attached to the ocean floor. A person who works on a rig that is attached to the ocean floor is more likely to be covered by Longshore law

How To File An Injury Claim 

If you are injured on the job, you should tell your supervisor about it immediately. Be sure to read the accident report very carefully. Make sure the report is not worded in a way that would suggest you are culpable for the accident. 

You should take pictures if you are able to and go to the doctor’s office right away. It is a good idea to keep a personal injury journal. Be sure to save every medical bill you acquire as a result of the accident. You should also save receipts for all medications that you take, both prescription and non-prescription. You will want to document all the hours that you miss from work. 

Finding An Attorney 

According to one maritime attorney in Houston, every maritime case is different from an ordinary personal injury case. Laws that govern semen and ships are very complex and will require the assistance of a professional attorney. A qualified attorney will have many years of experience in dealing with personal injury law as well as maritime law. 

The law firm in which your attorney works should be staffed with a team of legal assistance who will have plenty of time to research your case. 


Oil rig work is extremely dangerous, and it is also very necessary and beneficial to people that need fuel. If you risk your life for a job, you deserve compensation if you are injured. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 can help to protect O&G workers in 2023 and beyond.

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