Deepwater Horizon and the Hurricanes of the 2000s

NOVEMBER 17, 2010 by Bill Abbott

The Gulf of Mexico seems to be a hot bed for disaster over these past few years. First, Hurricane Katrina and subsequent hurricanes such as Ike spread millions of dollars worth of damage and loss of human life from Florida all the way over to Texas. Hurricane Ike was the most expensive hurricane to ever hit the United States, causing around 195 deaths. 112 of those happened in the United States alone.

Just when the Gulf’s residents may have felt they were recovering from some of the extensive damage and loss of life caused by these hurricanes, the 2010 BP Oil Spill hit the Gulf. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill gushed gallon after gallon of oil into the Gulf for approximately three months. The damage to the ecological system, including wildlife, was extensive. Gulf area businesses also suffered a great deal due to the loss of tourism on the Gulf. It’s hard to convince someone to take a vacation on an oil-laden beach, with devastated wildlife and seafood imported from elsewhere.

The Deepwater Horizon spill is the largest accidental petroleum spill in history, killing 11 workers. The Gulf is still being cleaned from the spill. Over 62,000 barrels per day were dumped into the gulf during the initial stages of the spill, and the Deepwater Horizon well wasn’t declared dead until September of 2010.

What does this mean for all involved? For the residents of the Gulf, another period of mourning awaited them. Oil spills have an impact on humans, animals, nature, as well as financial losses that will simply never be recouped.

Between Katrina, Ike, and the Deepwater Horizon spill, Gulf residents have suffered many recent tragedies. Many workers were injured while working during these tragedies, which makes the situation much worse. Fortunately, maritime workers who were injured while working during the Gulf hurricanes or the oil spill are covered under the Jones Act, and can seek the help of an experienced Jones Act attorney.

Maritime attorneys Texas understand the unique challenges to maritime workers presented by natural and man-made disasters, such as the Gulf hurricanes and Deepwater Horizon. A Texas maritime lawyer understands that compensation provided to injured maritime workers is much different than what’s outlines in workers compensations laws, on both a state and national level. The Jones Act is a federal law that covers injured maritime workers and provides room for a possible higher compensation than what you’ll often see as part of ordinary workers comp laws.

Workers injured in natural or man made disasters can rely on a Texas maritime lawyer to understand the unique set of circumstances, both personally and legally, that an injured worker is facing. The Jones Act protects injured maritime workers in ways that many workers and families do not anticipate. A Jones Act attorney can help families understand the Jones Act, what the legislation means for their families, career future and health, and how best to benefit from the often misunderstood legal and financial protection the Jones Act offers.

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