The Cost Of Offshore Injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), onshore and offshore oil and gas extraction industries have a collective fatality rate seven times higher than all other U.S. workers.

Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana are overrepresented by oil and gas extraction fatalities; however, the public rarely hears about these accidents unless a significant disaster occurs.

Below, the maritime injury lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson discuss how these devastating accidents impact families and our community.

Loved Ones Lost

In October 2017, an oil rig exploded in a Louisiana lake just west of New Orleans. Seven offshore workers were hospitalized for burns and serious injuries.

Twenty-four hours after the explosion, the coast guard called off the search for a missing 44-year-old contractor.

The missing man, Timothy Morrison, was found several days later. In a statement from his family, Morrison was a “beloved father, husband, brother, and friend.”

When maritime workers die, dependent family members may be eligible to receive certain benefits. For example, the Jones Act or the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHS) allows surviving family members to file a lawsuit against a negligent employer.

Maritime law and compensation can’t replace a loved one, but it can pay the bills and ensure children receive adequate care. An experienced offshore injury lawyer can help navigate maritime laws that offer financial support to families.

Over a five-year period from 2007 to 2011, there were 529 fatal injuries in oil and gas industries; 62 of these deaths occurred in Louisiana.

Scott Eustis of the Gulf Restoration Network, an environmental group said: “It’s always the workers who pay. And Gulf Coast workers will pay with their bodies, their lives, their children, who will grow up without fathers.”

Maritime Injuries Run Deep

Most people remember the Deepwater Horizon disaster, an explosion that took place approximately 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven maritime workers died, and 17 were injured.

This offshore disaster made headlines around the world because of devastating oil spills—the most significant environmental disaster in U.S. history.

This April, on the eighth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, thousands of BP-hired cleanup workers petitioned in New Orleans following exposure to oil and toxic chemicals.

Tiffany Odoms, a widow now, says her husband was exposed to toxic chemicals on a shrimp boat near Dulac and died of multiple myeloma, a type of cancer.

“It’s not right,” Odoms said, “…to hear my baby cry…and wonder why she can’t go to heaven and visit her dad.”

More than 22,000 claimants have been paid under the 2012 class-action settlement, but the average claim only paid out $2,940. Thousands more claimants are awaiting their day in court.

The BP oil spill dumped at least 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, which spread across 1,300 miles of shoreline spanning five states. Environmental disasters impact tourism in coastal states like Texas, Louisianan, and Florida.

“It’s not consistent with our vibrant tourism, fishing and recreation,” said Frank Knapp, president of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast. “…We all saw what happened to the Gulf Coast with Deepwater Horizon.”

Rolling Back Offshore Rules

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, smaller oil and gas extraction companies suffered after new regulations were adopted to improve worker safety and environmental controls. According to The New York Times, many of these companies oppose the new rules.

President Trump is rolling back drilling restrictions in nearly all coastal waters and limiting safety rules in the Gulf of Mexico specifically.

One investigation found that “…several of the independent companies seeking the rollback…had been cited for workplace safety violations in recent years at a rate much higher than the industry average.”

Many of these small oil and gas extraction companies are backed by Wall Street or private equity firms that invest in old or deteriorating platforms. Many of these rigs were left behind by larger companies like Chevron, who have since “moved to deeper, more lucrative waters.”

Louisiana’s economy is tied to rich oil deposits that span from the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico to beneath the sediment of the Mississippi Delta.

Offshore and maritime positions are among the most dangerous in the world, but they remain an important part of Louisiana’s culture and economy. But at what cost?

If you’re an offshore worker, be sure to ‘like’ Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson on Facebook for important maritime updates and legal news you need to know.

Texting And Driving Statistics

Cell phone use while driving is a problem in Louisiana: according to one report, nearly half of all drives in Louisiana include unsafe phone use—that’s more than any other state.

When drivers get distracted, people get hurt. And when people get hurt in Louisiana, the lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson can help. Our car accident attorneys know how devastating a crash can be, especially one caused by a distracted driver.

Below, we’ve outlined state texting laws as well as important facts and statistics to underscore the importance of focused driving.

Share this information with your family and friends (especially teen drivers) to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Continue reading “Texting And Driving Statistics”

Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana

In September, The Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), an influential advocacy group raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the 2017 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States. This annual report evaluates state liability systems through the economic lenses of corporate America and attempts to persuade state and federal changes through pragmatic research and reporting.

According to the report, the New Orleans or Orleans Parish in Louisiana ranks last among all states for its liability system. Louisiana respondents who include general and corporate council attorneys, corporate business owners, and executives graded judges’ impartiality, jury fairness, as well as the overall treatment of tort litigation worst overall.

ILR is attempting to shed light on the economic cost to the public of “frivolous” litigation and hopes to use survey data to initiate change at every level of government. According to ILR’s website, “frivolous” litigation discourages businesses from operating or expanding in certain states if the climate doesn’t benefit corporate interests.

Among other things, the report also highlights why people should seek professional counsel if an injury is suffered or property damage is incurred in Louisiana. Continue reading “Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Louisiana”

Louisiana HS Football Participation Increases While National Numbers Decline

As the national number of high school football players decreases, states like Louisiana are actually seeing an increase in high school football participation.

Since 2014, nationwide participation in high school football dropped 2.3 percent; in Louisiana, however, participation reached an all-time high in 2015. Continue reading “Louisiana HS Football Participation Increases While National Numbers Decline”

The Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action Lawsuits

Taking on a corporation to receive compensation for an injury is as intimidating as it gets. Pharmaceutical and consumer product companies seem to have an endless supply of resources to suppress and dismiss individual cases.

So, what are people supposed to do if they’ve legitimately suffered harm?

Class actions and mass torts are common procedural actions used to implement corporate change or discipline on behalf of large groups of victims. In theory, these actions help expedite court cases and ensure individual victims receive fair representation.

While class action and mass tort are often used interchangeably, they are not the same type of procedural action, and they serve very different functions for individual victims. Continue reading “The Difference Between Mass Tort and Class Action Lawsuits”

Do I Have a Case?

Do I Have a Personal Injury Case?

Do I Have A Case?

Were you injured in an accident?

Depeding on the circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries and damages.

The following questions can help you decide if you want to persue a personal injury claim.

 Was the responsible party negligent?

Negligence is when the other person failes to use reasonable care and their actions result in injuries to yourself or another person.

Did Their Negligence Cause an Injury?

You can be negligently injured by:

  • an individual
  • a doctor or nurse
  • a coworker or employer
  • a business owner or landlord
  • a manufacturer or seller of a defective product

Did your injures require mecical attention?

If your injury required a hospital visit, make sure to follow all instructions regarding ongoing care, medication, and rehabilitation.

Did your injury cause a financial burden?

After an injury, you may find yourself dealing with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.

If you can answer “Yes” to these four questions, you may have a personal injury case. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney any time you’ve been hurt in an accident.

Call our Lake Charles law firm toll free at 1-800-836-3702 to schedule a free consultation.

How To Start A Personal Injury Claim

One of the biggest questions people have after an accident is, “what do I do now?” It can be very difficult to know where to start when you’re filing a personal injury claim if you’ve never done it before.

This article will help you file a claim by detailing what to do after an accident and what to expect in the days to come. Continue reading “How To Start A Personal Injury Claim”