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Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

When the oil and gas industry began to boom on the Continental Shelf, workers had no way of recovering compensation for injuries because they were not covered under any federal laws. This left them with expensive medical bills and no wages.

Thankfully, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act was enacted in 1953. This act allows certain maritime workers injured in the outer continental shelf to receive compensation for injuries and wrongful death.

It’s advised you contact a maritime attorney to assess your case if you were injured in the outer continental shelf.

Maritime Personal Injury Lawyer in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

As an injured maritime worker, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries sustained at sea. Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC is a well-respected maritime firm who will stop at nothing to ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Schedule a time to speak with us. Call 1 (800) 262-8529. Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC represents injured maritime workers along the Pacific Coast including Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.


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What is the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act?

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act designed to compensate maritime workers injured on the outer continental shelf.  According to the act, the outer continental shelf is all submerged lands outside of state jurisdiction but under federal control.

This marine area is broken into four regions:

  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Atlantic
  • Pacific
  • Alaska

The OCSLA also has jurisdiction over injuries taking place on offshore platforms and offshore drilling rigs. However, the act doesn’t protect seamen injured on vessels in any of the four continental shelf regions. Generally, seamen injured on a vessel can seek compensation under the Jones Act.


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Compensation Under OCSLA

The oil and gas industry is dangerous, and offshore accidents can result in serious injuries. When these injuries occur, you will need compensation to cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

The nature of your injuries must meet the following criteria to be eligible for compensation under the OCSLA:

  • The accident took place on a permanent or temporary structure on the subsea or subsoil of the OCS
  • The accident occurred while exploring, developing or extracting natural resources
  • The accident did not take place on a ship

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act allows injured maritime workers to receive compensation under the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. If you remember, the OCSLA is an extension of the LHWCA. How much compensation you recover depends on the extent of the injuries. Generally, the LHWCA provides compensation for the following:

  • Medical cost
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earnings capacity
  • Disability
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

The act also allows compensation in the event of wrongful death. Loved ones of maritime workers who lost their lives in the outer continental shelf can seek compensation under the LHWCA.

By law, an employer is required to make claim payment promptly and directly to the entitled worker. It’s not uncommon, though, for an employer to undercut or fail to make payments altogether, but they will be penalized for doing so. For instance, compensation not paid by an employer, or their insurance company, within 10 days after it’s due will result in 20% being added to the unpaid compensation.

Contact a maritime attorney if your employer or their insurance company is failing to make compensation payments.


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Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act acts as a catch-all for maritime employees who are not crewmembers on a vessel, a federal or state employee or an employee of a foreign government.

Broad ranges of maritime workers are covered under the LHWCA. Some of the workers covered include longshoremen, shipbuilders, welders, cargo handlers, dockworkers and crane operators. The injuries must have taken place on navigable waters in the United States to be eligible for compensation under the act. Adjoining areas are also covered. This includes injuries taking place in terminals, docks, piers, wharves and areas used to load and unload vessels.

Compensation under the act is the same as if you were injured while working in the outer continental shelf.


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Additional Resources for Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act | U.S. Code – Follow the link provided to read through the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. You can jump to section 1333 (b) of the act to learn more about compensation from the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. You can gain access to information about oil and gas operations in the four regions.

Compensation for Disability | U.S. Code  – Visit the official website of Cornell Law School to read the section of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act over compensation for disabilities. You can find out how total and partial disabilities are compensated based on injury.


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Maritime Personal Injury Attorney in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska

Navigating the rules and regulations of federal maritime law is complicated. You will need an advocate on your side with experiences when up against your employer. Find that attorney at Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC.

Call 1 (800) 262-8529 to schedule a confidential consultation. Anderson Carey Williams & Neidzwski, PLLC has been representing injured maritime workers for over 40 years in Oregon, Washington, California and Alaska.


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Client Testimonials

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.