The offshore industry has its own unique culture, and one of the unfortunate elements of that culture is an offhand attitude toward serious injuries. Say you're out swabbing the deck on a merchant marine vessel, there's a sudden surge of wind, and a piece of equipment loosely secured to the wall falls over and hits you on the head. Your employer, and fellow workers, may well insist that “it's all part of the job,” and you should chalk the incident up to bad luck; they may even consider your head injury a kind of baptism at sea, and you've finally become a real sailor!
This is all nonsense. Just maybe, 100 years ago, a merchant marine would have no choice but to laugh off a serious accident and chalk it up to the inherent dangers of working at sea. Today, though, there are laws in place to protect the rights of offshore workers—most notably, the Jones Act, which allows an injured sailor to file a claim against his employer after a serious injury (no matter whose fault the accident was). The only reason your employer is telling you to “get over” your injury is because it doesn't want to shell out any money for your medical bills and time off from work, not because “real sailors” don't make a big deal out of serious head wounds.
At V&B Attorneys, we know that many offshore jobs are indeed more dangerous than comparable mainland jobs—but that doesn't mean you should expect to be injured, or not expect to receive any compensation if you wind up in a mainland hospital. Questions? Contact our Jones Act and offshore law experts at 877-724-7800 for a free consultation today!