78-year-old Houston retiree hires VB Attorneys after being hurt in car crash

hurt in car accident
car accident attorney

An injured, 78-year-old Houston retiree has retained our law firm after she was hurt in a crash following Hurricane Harvey.  On August 30, 2017, our client was driving along Highway 6 near West Park in Houston when she was hit from behind by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.

 The impact pushed her car into the median and then caused it to flip upside down. She was suspended for several minutes by her seatbelt until bystanders helped turn her car upright.

Our client was taken to the emergency room at Memorial Hermann in Katy, Texas where she was treated for her injuries. Since then, she has undergone treatments for a torn ligament in her left arm, for which surgery may be required. We are currently still investigating this case  but we will provide updates as it progresses. 

Car accidents can be life changing events for those involved. Learn how VB Attorneys helped a family injured in a drunk driving accident win their case. 

Contact us today for a free, confidential case evaluation.

If you have been in a similar type of car crash, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.

Injured Houston real estate agent hires VB Attorneys after car crash

broken windshield from car accident

A Houston real estate agent has hired VB Attorneys after being injured in a car accident. On August 21, 2018, our client was traveling north on Attingham Road in Houston, Texas when she was struck in the right front side of her vehicle by a driver coming out of a private driveway.

The at fault driver received a citation for failure to yield right of way. Our client’s vehicle has been considered a total loss by the insurance company. 

Since the accident, our client has been undergoing treatment for serious injuries she sustained in the crash. These injuries have interrupted her personal and professional life as she has had to limit time spent working in her real estate business. We are currently still investigating this case  but we will provide updates as it progresses. 

Time is not on your side after a car accident. Learn how VB Attorneys settled a Houston legal assistant’s claim in less than two months.

If you have been in a similar type of car crash, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.

How to prove your employer is responsible for your maritime work injury

If you have been injured while working offshore and have been reading up on your rights under the Jones Act, you may be unsure if your injuries were caused by the negligence of your employer, the unseaworthiness of the vessel where you were working at the time of the accident, or just plain “bad luck.” In the seconds it takes for you to get hurt, it can be very hard to figure out what happened at all—just that someone who was up and working a moment ago got seriously hurt as a result.

However, although it may not seem to matter how you got hurt, it is important to determine the cause. There are many ways employers can prevent accidents and injuries at sea, and you, as a mariner, can hold your employer financially responsible for your medical care and expenses if they contributed to your injury.

While there are many different ways that workers get hurt at sea, but the root causes usually boil down to:

  • Employer negligence. Working on the water is a dangerous job, whether it’s near the coast or in 50-foot seas. While most people understand that it’s a risky industry, employers still have a duty to make sure that workers are reasonably safe while they do their jobs. “Negligence” has to do with what your employer did (or failed to do) that led to your injury. The decisions an employer makes can affect the safety of every man and woman working on a vessel or rig, even when it isn’t directly obvious how their choices might have an impact. A crew’s safety can hinge on even small decisions about how relevant warnings are distributed, how potential problems are reported and addressed, what routes are taken, or how often vessels and equipment are inspected and maintained. Under the Jones Act, when employers make decisions that put profits or convenience over the safety of the men and women they employ, the workers affected may have the right to hold those companies financially responsible for their injuries and losses.
  • Captain and crewmember negligence. The decisions that captains and crewmembers make can also have a big impact on how safe seamen are at work. If a captain decides to ignore important warnings, or if a crewmember is unqualified to do the work or becomes violent, it can create the conditions for very serious accidents and injuries. While they can’t always predict what people will do, companies have a responsibility to adequately screen, train, and supervise employees to avoid potential problems. If they fail to do so, then the workers who get hurt may be able to file a Jones Act claim and get payment for their expenses related to an injury.
  • Unseaworthiness of vessel. “Unseaworthiness” has to do with the state of the vessel itself. Employers are responsible for making sure the vessels they operate are seaworthy. This might mean that they been properly maintained, have enough trained crewmembers to adequately operate the vessel in expected conditions, are safe for employees, and are functioning correctly. Vessels that don’t meet these standards can be dangerous for workers and cause accidents—even when workers performed at the very best of their abilities.
  • Unsafe working conditions. Beyond issues with the vessel itself, the conditions seamen must work in can contribute to accidents. This is especially the case when employers cut corners on safety to save money, putting workers in danger. Leaks that are allowed to leave slippery puddles, unlit stairways, malfunctioning equipment that isn’t repaired, long shifts in cramped workspaces, and even coworkers who haven’t been screened before hire can all contribute to unsafe conditions and tragic accidents.
  • Safety policies or procedures not followed. There are the safety rules on the books, and then there are the safety rules that are actually followed in practice. In offshore workplaces, workers can be put under pressure to skip steps or ignore the policies and procedures designed to keep them safe. Safety rules exist for a reason. When those standards aren’t followed carefully, it’s no wonder that people get hurt or killed as a result.
  • Lack of training and improper training. Of course, employees can’t do their jobs safely if they haven’t been trained. Companies must make sure that all employees get adequate training on job duties, safety procedures, and other important issues. If employees don’t know what they’re doing or how to do it right, accidents and injuries are almost inevitable on most vessels, tugboats, and drilling rigs.
  • Equipment malfunctions, defective equipment, and improper use or storage of equipment. If the equipment isn’t maintained or inspected, there’s no way to know that it will work right or work safely when it’s used. If it isn’t stored or secured correctly, then it could be a threat to workers. When faulty or potentially dangerous equipment is reported, employers need to take action to address the problem before someone gets hurt—and they should also be checking up on equipment every so often to prevent potential injuries.
  • Worker fatigue. Tired workers cause accidents. They aren’t able to focus on their jobs or react as quickly when something goes wrong. Although the seamen in this situation often blame themselves, the truth is that employers can prevent some accidents related to fatigue. A lot of workers on vessels and rigs are scheduled on long shifts, often with very little time to sleep or rest in between. Employers who create these schedules should be aware that they’re creating the perfect conditions for a serious accident.
  • Inclement weather. Unpredictable weather often plays a big part in accidents and injuries. Sometimes, injuries from bad weather are just bad luck. However, while employers can’t always predict exactly what the weather will be, they can take steps to plan for the possibility of adverse weather and have policies in place for reacting to unexpected conditions. Employers need to think about safety at sea and provide safety equipment and emergency protocols to deal with issues like slick walkways, high winds, rough waters, extreme temperatures, weather-affected equipment, and other conditions.

Ultimately, there are a lot of reasons why accidents happen and seamen get hurt. The question of whether an employer is liable for an injury and must pay an injured seaman benefits often comes down to whether or not that accident—regardless of what happened—could have been prevented with appropriate care.

If you need help proving that your employer was negligent to win your maritime work injury claim, contact us today. Our attorneys will review your case, answer all your questions, and give you their opinion based on decades of winning maritime injury cases. Call us now at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on our site to get started today. 

VB Attorneys wins appeal for maritime welder

We have won an appeal for our client, a maritime welder who was injured working for Superior Energy Services. The company in our client’s case had tried to argue he didn’t qualify to be compensated under the Jones Act for two reasons:

  1. That because the ship he was assigned to was not “in navigation” when our client got hurt, he wasn’t a Jones Act seaman.
  2. That, as a shore-based welder who did not contribute to the mission of the vessel, he should be prevented from filing a Jones Act lawsuit.

The trial court agreed with the company without allowing a jury to decide these issues, which is why we filed an appeal on behalf of our client. In Jones Act cases, normally it is the jury’s job to decide these issues. In their decision, the 1st Court of Appeals ruled that the trial court “abused its discretion by granting summary judgment on [our client’s] Jones Act claim because a question of material fact exists that precludes such relief.” They ruled against the company on both issues, arguing that a jury should decide these questions, not a judge.

Superior Energy Services failed to make the law fit their agenda

The Court of Appeals disagreed with Superior Energy’s argument that because he’d been hired as an onshore welder and that the injury had occurred in Superior’s warehouse onshore, he didn’t have a Jones Act claim. The Court found that our client’s job duties weren’t just land-based. That he wasn’t just an onshore welder. He had participated in multiple sea trials as part of the vessel crew, according to the company’s Vessel Manager.

The Court also disagreed with Superior’s argument that the vessel wasn’t a vessel “in navigation” because it was being overhauled when our client was injured. The Court clarified that the Jones Act doesn’t separate the vessel from “in navigation.” It refers to a “vessel in navigation” the same way general maritime laws in the United States refer to a “vessel.” This ruling helps all maritime and offshore workers who are hurt when the vessel may not be sailing, but still hurt on the job.

Appellate Court’s decision in favor of welder helps all injured maritime workers

This appeal is a big deal for anyone who is assigned to work on a vessel but was hired for a shore-based job. This is also a big deal for maritime workers who are hurt but their companies are arguing the vessel wasn’t in navigation. This decision helps all maritime workers. It strengthens maritime workers’ legal rights.

Instead of companies interpreting and twisting pieces of the Jones Act to fit their narrative, this decision forces them to remain true to the law.

Our client’s case will now proceed, and a jury will rightfully decide if he qualifies as a seaman under the Jones Act. He will get his day in court.

If you were injured in a similar situation and want to find out if you have a case, consult our team of maritime injury attorneys. We will answer all of your questions, help you determine your legal rights, and help you make an informed decision about what to do next. Call us at 877-724-7800 to get started now.

Proving negligence in a Jones Act case

What do you have to prove in a Jones Act negligence case?

 
Unlike workers protected by workers’ compensation laws on land, seamen really are saddled with proving that an employer should pay for their injuries. Although the Jones Act is meant to protect seamen in many lines of work, complicated laws can make it hard for them to take advantage of those protections and prove that they should be compensated.No matter how clear the facts of your Jones Act claim may seem, employers will take steps to reduce their legal responsibility and argue against evidence that they broke the law. You need to be prepared, and you may need an experienced lawyer’s help. A lot of work must go into proving all the facts of the situation and your injury, even when the facts of your case seem like they should be obvious.

Proving who is legally responsible for your injury at sea

Determining negligence for an injury under the Jones Act often takes a thorough investigation into a complicated web of laws, regulations, and policies, which might include:

  • Safety provisions under the Jones Act
  • Specific industry regulations
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards
  • Coast Guard regulations

In fact, there are so many laws and regulations that a team of lawyers and experts may be needed to identify what highly specific rules apply in the case and what the employer’s responsibility truly is. In some cases, the liability for an injury may even fall on someone other than the employer. Even if you believe you know who was responsible for your injury, it’s worth talking with a lawyer about how the law affects negligence in your case and what might be needed to prove your claim.

Proving your Jones Act case with evidence

Collecting evidence and documentation is a huge part of any Jones Act claim, and it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the stacks of forms, letters, medical reports, photographs, and other documents that become a part of everyday life for workers injured at sea. You may believe that it’s obvious that your employer or a vessel owner was responsible for your injury, but you still need extensive documentation and solid evidence to prove your claims through a Jones Act lawsuit. If you can’t legally prove—with evidence—that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injury, then you won’t be able to win your case.

The problem is that evidence can disappear quickly after someone is hurt at sea. Employers may even attempt to cover up evidence of negligence, and witnesses may be unwilling to help you after you’ve been hurt. However, before you give up hope, realize that obtaining the proof you need to win your case may not be easy for you, but it may be possible for a lawyer who is skilled in Jones Act cases. While circumstances can make it very difficult to get the evidence you need in your case, an experienced lawyer has the resources and knowledge needed to find the information and evidence that supports your claim and help you win the compensation you truly deserve.

Three points that must be proved to win your Jones Act lawsuit

While it might seem like a lot to keep track of, keep in mind that all this collected information will eventually serve as evidence that helps prove your claim. All these documents, pieces of evidence, and legal arguments are steps toward helping you and your lawyer prove three necessary points in your Jones Act case:

  • Your injury is covered under the Jones Act. To qualify for Jones Act benefits, you must meet certain requirements. While many workers on vessels, offshore rigs, and other offshore work environments do meet those requirements, there are some workers who may be excluded or covered under other laws or regulations. To even get started with your claim, your lawyer must be able to prove that you qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act and that you were injured.
  • Your employer or the vessel owner contributed to your injury. If you hope to win a Jones Act lawsuit, you must be able to show that the responsible parties’ fault or negligence contributed to what happened to you. However, employers have experienced legal teams ready to fight these kinds of claims, and you will need extensive evidence to prove fault and win your case.
  • You deserve financial compensation for your losses. You and your lawyer will have to show what you’ve lost since you’ve been injured, whether it is the financial, physical, or emotional strains of your injury. To do this, you and your lawyer may need to collect pay stubs, tax returns, occupational assessments, statements from economic experts, medical records, and more.

Get experienced help with your Jones Act case

Our maritime injury lawyers have the experience and track record you need to win your Jones Act case. If  you are having trouble getting the compensation you need after an injury, don’t wait any longer to get help. Call us directly at 877-724-7800 to speak with a Jones Act lawyer. It is free and confidential. We will answer all of your questions, walk you through our case strategy, and help you make an informed decision about your future.

Company tricks in Jones Act cases

If you’ve decided to wait for your company to do the right thing about your injury claim, you may be getting tricked. People who work in the maritime industry and offshore are very loyal to their fellow crew members and to their companies. We’ve helped hundreds of mariners and offshore workers. Our clients tell us they felt betrayed by their company after they were injured. They tell us that they expected their loyalty and hard work to be respected and repaid by the company.

Our clients say one of the reasons they waited to contact us is that they felt as if the company was taking care of them and watching out for their best interests. At least, this is what their company told them. Then, after most of the deadlines on a Jones Act claim expire, the company suddenly turned its back on them. Companies will stop benefits, stop helping with medical care and wages, and may even fire you. The truth is, companies don’t care about your loyalty and hard work when you get hurt. All you are to them is a giant burden. We’ve seen every trick on the planet when it comes to ways maritime companies try to avoid following the Jones Act.

Common “tricks” your employer may use to defeat your Jones Act injury claim

Once you get hurt, you’re a threat to your company’s profits. Employers and vessel owners need to minimize their liability for accidents and injuries—and they don’t always play fair in the process. You need to know what to watch out for so you have time to take legal action to protect your rights. Injured Jones Act workers should watch out for:

  • Company attempts to get you to see a company doctor. The good news is that, as a Jones Act mariner, you have the right to see your own doctor after you’ve been injured at work. And your company, under maintenance and cure, will cover your medical bills.
  • Company attempts to offer a low settlement. Your lost wages, medical bills, and living expenses add up quickly. If you accept a settlement offer before you’ve fully recovered from your injuries, and the money runs out, you’re stuck. If you accept a settlement offer before you find out that your injuries are career-ending, you’re really stuck. The true cost of your injury could be tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the company is offering.
  • Company attempts to have you sign away your rights. If you sign forms you don’t understand or accept the company’s initial settlement offer, you might be signing away your Jones Act rights. These are valuable rights that allow you to recover your lost wages, medical bills, expenses, future medical bills, and future lost wages. If you aren’t 100 percent sure what you’re signing, review it with an attorney.
  • Company attempts to prepare an inaccurate report about your injury. Typically, the company will downplay their own fault for causing your injury. They may blame you for your accident and claim you were not seriously injured. For these reasons, usually the company won’t give you a copy of your own accident report.
  • Company attempts to take recorded statements. The company will try to take recorded statements from you and your co-workers, and those statements could hurt your claim. The company tricks you and your fellow employees into giving statements that are bad for your claim. Your co-workers feel obligated to go along with what the company says about your accident because they don’t want to jeopardize their jobs.
  • Company attempts to hire a private investigator. The company may hire a private investigator to follow you around and secretly videotape you. Then, when you assert a Jones Act claim, they will pull up these videos and claim they show you were not injured as seriously as you claim.
  • Company attempts to get copies of your private medical records. The company probably didn’t tell you that you are not required to sign forms for release of personal records. They will try to get you to give up your full medical record, then send the records to a company doctor, who will write a report that downplays your injuries and returns you to work prematurely.

These are just some of the things your employer may be doing behind your back while you are trying to recover from your injuries. While they are doing these things, they are telling you that they are looking out for you, and looking out for your best interests. They are also probably telling you not to talk to any attorneys about a Jones Act claim. The truth of the matter is this: your company is only looking out for itself and trying to find ways it can pay you as little as possible for your injury. The company tells you one thing, and does the opposite behind your back.

Don’t wait any longer to talk to an attorney if you’ve been injured working offshore

If one or more of the above scenarios sounds familiar, talk to an experienced maritime injury attorney right away. The reason why you should get legal advice immediately is because there is no doubt the company ‘s adjusters and lawyers are working to make your claim disappear. The longer you wait to get help, the more time the company has to make evidence disappear or trick you out of your legal rights. They’re hard at work finding ways to pay you nothing while you’re thinking they’re going to repay your loyalty.

Even though companies have legal obligations to compensate you and provide you with the medical care you need to recover if you qualify as a Jones Act seaman, that doesn’t mean they will follow through. Chances are you were hurt because the company put profits over safety. That means they probably won’t turn around and prioritize your legal rights over their bottom line.

When you consult with our maritime injury attorneys about your case, we not only give you our advice, we will work with you behind the scenes if you aren’t sure if the company is trying to trick you out of your legal rights. Your company won’t know we’re helping you unless and until we have to file a Jones Act lawsuit on your behalf. It is completely free for you to have us help you behind the scenes. You have everything to gain. And if you know your company is trying to trick you out of your legal rights and want to file a Jones Act claim right away, we will get started right away.

At VB Attorneys your case is reviewed for free, with no obligation, so that you can make an informed decision about what to do next. We will answer all your questions, make recommendations based on our experience helping hundreds of maritime workers, and help you get the best result in the shortest amount of time possible. Call us now at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form on our website.

What to do if you think you have a Jones Act claim

If you believe you have a Jones Act claim, here’s what you need to do next:

  1. Make sure an accurate incident report has been filed with the company. If the company wouldn’t let you fill out an incident report, or if they made you sign a blank one, write down your own on a blank sheet of paper. Include the names and job titles of everyone who witnessed you get hurt, was on board when you got hurt, and who interacted with you after you got hurt.
  2. Do not sign any paperwork, give a statement, or agree to anything. Some companies will ask you to sign a form so you can access your benefits, see a doctor, or go to shore. The only thing you should have signed is an accurate incident report. Anything else is suspicious. You do not have to sign anything or give any statements in order to go to shore or receive medical care.
  3. Consult an experienced Jones Act and maritime law attorney. When you discuss your case with one of our attorneys, we will help you understand if your company is treating you fairly or if it’s time to get help.

Once an attorney has confirmed that you do have an injury claim, find out what to expect in your Jones Act settlement

Jones Act claims and maritime injury claims can be very valuable. That’s why some companies fight you every step of the way. They think it will be cheaper if they can convince you to take a settlement that’s worth a fraction of your actual medical bills and injuries. They think they can trick you into signing away your legal rights. But you know what company tricks to watch out for and how to protect your legal rights.

Once you know you have a claim, it helps to know what to expect in the lawsuit process and what your settlement may be. While no lawyer can guarantee you anything about how long your case will take or what amount you will receive in your pocket, we can tell you what to expect to happen based on our years of experience.

Whether you work on an oceangoing vessel, tugboat, or drilling rig, you know you work in a potentially dangerous environment every day. Here are some crucial things you should know in order for you to collect Jones Act benefits. First, you must be able to prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to what happened to you. If you are successful, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past, present, and future medical care and therapy
  • Emotional or psychological suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment and engagement in life
  • Lost wages while you are unable to work
  • Loss of your ability to work in the future

However, there are some benefits that seamen have access to regardless of the part their employer may have played in their injuries. In many cases, the right to maintenance and cure goes hand-in-hand with your Jones Act rights.

Your rights to maintenance and cure

Under maritime laws, a seaman who is hurt or becomes ill while working on a vessel is eligible for “maintenance and cure.” You do not have to prove negligence or wrongdoing in order to receive these benefits, which cover the payment of reasonable medical and living expenses until you reach maximum medical “cure.” If you have questions about these rights, or if you have been hurt at work without receiving compensation, don’t hesitate to start investigating your rights with an experienced attorney.

If you have seen doctors for your injuries, you may make a claim to get your medical bills paid. Under the Jones Act, this might include the following costs:

  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Specialist doctor and therapist visits
  • Lab testing
  • X-rays and imaging studies
  • Surgeries
  • Physical therapy
  • Medical equipment
  • Other medical needs

While it makes sense for an employer to help pay your medical bills after an injury the company is responsible for, you should be aware that there is sometimes more to your costs than just doctor and hospital visits. Bills pile up when you get hurt. From car payments and mortgages to grocery bills and your power bill, your life continues even though you’re not working.

Part of maintenance and cure is that, for maintenance, your company is supposed to pay you a daily, living wage. What the company calls a living wage and what the average person calls a living wage can be very different. If your company is not paying you any maintenance, or they are trying to get away with paying you $27 a day, consult a lawyer immediately. An experienced Jones Act lawyer will fight the company to get your maintenance increased to a reasonable amount. Some maritime companies will stoop to playing tricks on you to avoid paying you what you are owed under federal law.

How offshore employers try to deny benefits to injured Jones Act seamen

Despite the Jones Act and other maritime laws, some offshore employers will go to great lengths to avoid paying seamen the compensation they deserve after they’ve been hurt. Some employers may try to minimize injuries, mislead workers about their rights, or even blame the injured workers for the accident. For example, an employer may try to claim that you aren’t eligible for Jones Act benefits for an injury because:

  • You lied about a preexisting condition on your medical history forms.
  • You have private insurance coverage that covers some or all of your medical care.
  • The injury was your own fault.
  • The injury did not happen at work.

Whether or not an employer is telling the truth, seamen who find themselves in this situation may accept the denial because they aren’t sure about their rights and don’t want to face potential retaliation from their employers.

Steps to take if  you have been denied medical care for an injury at sea

Although some workers have no problem seeing a doctor and going through the process of filing for Jones Act benefits after an injury at sea, there are many others who are surprised to find that their employers won’t help them get the medical care they need. Whether you have been prevented from seeing a doctor entirely or subjected to a biased or cursory examination by a company doctor, you still have a right to get the care you need. Here are two steps you can take to make sure you have the best chance at recovery:

  • Seek medical attention on your own. Your health should be your priority. As soon as you are able, see a doctor of your own choosing for treatment. Make sure you tell your doctor that the injury happened while you were working at sea, and give him or her contact information for your employer.
  • Contact an attorney who has experience with Jones Act claims and injuries at sea. While your employer is required to pay for your medical care under the Jones Act, some employers don’t play by the rules. If your company is refusing to pay for your care, speak with an experienced legal representative as soon as possible about protecting your rights to treatment.

If you’ve been hurt while working on a vessel or rig, your company may not be telling you everything you need to know. It’s up to you to get informed about your rights under the law—and what you can do to get the help you need.

If your Jones Act benefits have already been denied, VB Attorneys may still be able to help you. Call now.

If you are eligible for compensation under the Jones Act, you may be able to fight an unfair denial, even if your employer has refused to take responsibility for your medical bills. However, to do so, you will need the assistance of a skilled attorney who has experience in successfully pursuing Jones Act and other offshore injury cases. An attorney can help by:

  • Explaining your rights and options after a denial of Jones Act benefits.
  • Making sure your rights are protected.
  • Taking care of your claim so you can focus on recovery.

Ultimately, whether or not you can successfully fight a denied claim depends on the details of your situation. If you have been denied benefits under the Jones Act or only received partial benefits, there may be a good reason—or there’s a good chance that your employer is simply attempting to avoid paying you the benefits you deserve.

You don’t have to swallow your employer’s excuses for not paying you the benefits you are entitled to under the law. To start taking action today, reach out to us at 877-724-7800 or fill out the contact form on this page. In a free and confidential case review, an experienced attorney will investigate the details of your injury and help you get answers.

Houston construction worker retains VB Attorneys after driver runs red light and crashes into him

red light crash

We have recently been hired by a Houstonian hurt when a driver ran a stoplight and crashed into his vehicle. On September 29, 2018, our client was traveling southbound on the 6300 block of SHP in Houston when he was struck in the passenger side by a driver failing to stop at a red light. 

The Houston police department and ambulance were called to the scene. Both vehicles sustained significant damage. 

Our client is currently undergoing medical treatment for injuries to his back, knee, and head, and more. VB Attorneys is currently still investigating this case  but we will provide updates as it progresses. 

Houston currently leads the nation in fatal crashes. The Houston Chronicle recently published a series of articles about why Houston’s roads are so dangerous. Learn more about what makes this area so hazardous for drivers. 

If you have been in a similar type of car wreck, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.

ENSCO and Rowan Companies announce $2.38 billion merger

ensco and rowan companies announce $2.38 billion merger, ensco plc, rowan companies, second largest floating rig fleet

Through an all-stock transaction, ENSCO Plc will acquire Rowan Companies. The announcement of the merger of these Houston-based companies came on October 9, 2018. This $2.38 billion deal benefits shareholders.

Rowan shareholders will receive 2.215 Ensco shares for each Rowan share. Combined, the companies will form one of the largest offshore drilling fleets in the world, with over 80 rigs distributed globally. After the merger, ENSCO will have the second largest floating rig fleet in the world.

How will the ENSCO and Rowan merger affect employees?

All of this news makes shareholders, investors, and executives happy. How it will affect Rowan and ENSCO’s employees is another story. Employees tend to get the short end of the deal in mergers and acquisitions. As of right now, employees have questions than answers, including:

  • What happens to their jobs? Typically, downsizing the workforce is the next step in a merger. Will that happen here? If so, who is going to keep their job and who is going to get a pink slip? Employees deserve answers to these questions now.
  • What will happen to their health insurance? Will plans get more expensive? Will they lose coverage? Will it be better?
  • What will happen to pensions? Will retired ENSCO or Rowan workers have a say in what happens to their pensions? Will their pensions be protected?
  • Will their certifications transfer over? If a Rowan worker is kept on to work for ENSCO, will all their certifications count? Will they have to get recertified?
  • How will the merger affect pay scales, promotion schedules, and more?
  • How will the merger affect training systems, schedules, and safety rules? What happens if a Rowan employee doesn’t have the same training as ENSCO crewmembers and it causes a safety issue? Will everyone have to be retrained under a new system? Will that affect productivity?
  • What happens to work assignments? For workers who don’t get laid off, will their work schedules stay the same? How will the blending of the workforces occur?

These questions, and more, are running through the heads of every ENSCO and Rowan employee. Employees always suffer the consequences of corporate decisions. While this merger will be beneficial for ENSCO and Rowan’s clients, it may not be so beneficial for ENSCO and Rowan employees.

ENSCO’s acquisition of Rowan will create second largest floating rig fleet in the world

After acquiring Rowan, ENSCO will  have 82 rigs spanning six continents. 90% of the fleet will consist of generation VI and VII assets, including:

  • 28 floating rigs  (drillships and semisubmersibles)
    • Within this fleet are 25 ultra-deepwater rigs capable of drilling in depths greater than 7,500 feet. 11 of these ultra-deepwater rigs are seventh generation rigs.
  • 54 jack-up rigs, including 38 units equipped with many of the advanced features commonly requested by clients with shallow-water drilling programs. These features include increased leg length, expanded cantilever reach and greater hoisting capacity. Among the fleet of jackup rigs are seven ultra-harsh environment units and nine additional modern harsh environment rigs.

Press releases boast of the benefits this fleet will bring to shareholders, including new drilling locations and a more versatile fleet, all of which translate to money in shareholders’ pockets. They do not address the concerns of the employees of these two companies. At the end of 2017, ENSCO employed 4,611 people worldwide. Rowan employed 2,800 people. This is a massive workforce that deserves answers about their futures and their careers. Answers that put their best interests first, not the interests of the shareholders.

We have helped offshore workers employed by both ENSCO and Rowan over the years. In each case, the dedication and loyalty of these workers stood out to us. These workers deserve to be given a seat at the table for these discussions about their futures. They deserve to get the best outcome possible. We hope that happens.

Find out more about how we have helped offshore workers injured on board Rowan and ENSCO rigs. While these companies invest in training and a safety culture, injuries happen. We take the stress out of recovering from an offshore injury. Find out how we can help you get the medical care you need and the compensation you deserve so you can get back to work. To talk to our attorneys now about your offshore work injury, call now at 877-724-7800 or fill out a contact form.

18-wheeler crash injury victim hires VB Attorneys to represent him

18 wheeler truck accidents

A driver injured when an 18-wheeler crashed into him has hired VB Attorneys to ensure that his rights are protected. On September 5, 2018, our client was driving on Aldine Westfield Road, near Beltway 8 in Houston, Texas when an 18-wheeler exiting from a private driveway crashed into the passenger side of his vehicle.

The impact caused serious damage to our client’s car for which the 18-wheeler’s insurance company has accepted liability. Since the crash, our client has dealt with extreme soreness and pain and is currently undergoing medical treatment.     

This case is currently in the investigation stage but we will provide updates as it progresses. 

Trucking companies are responsible for following federal safety rules and ensuring their drivers do as well. However, all too often serious 18-wheeler accidents happen.  Find out the top 5 causes of 18-wheeler crashes.

If you have been in a similar type of 18-wheeler wreck, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.

Injured welder hires VB Attorneys after falling 32 feet on the job

injured welder

Recently, an injured welder hired VB Attorneys to represent him in an injury claim against his employer. On August 11, 2018, our client, who worked for a steel erector in Huffman, Texas was assisting in the building of a new warehouse in Virginia when he was seriously injured.

While putting down aluminum sheets he fell 32 feet through an opening in the roof. Our client was taken by ambulance to the hospital  for internal injuries and damage to his back, wrist, and ribs. He was hospitalized and underwent surgery to repair complex fractures to his pelvic area using screws.

Our investigation is ongoing but we will provide updates as the case progresses.

Proper safety and training is important to keep you safe from workplace injuries. Learn more about why time is not on your side after a workplace injury.

If you have experienced a similar type of work injury, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form

Texan hires VB Attorneys to represent her in 13 vehicle 18-wheeler crash

An 18-wheeler crash causes lumber to crash into cars.

VB Attorneys is representing a Cleveland, Texas resident after she was one of 13 vehicles involved in an 18-wheeler wreck on a Texas freeway.

On October 5, 2018, our client was driving on Eastex Freeway near Kingwood, Texas when a big rig swerved, spilling thousands of pieces of wood. Pieces of the dropped load smashed into cars, some even impaling the windshields of several vehicles.

The accident took several hours for crews to clear and resulted in a traffic nightmare for rush hour commuters. Our client was transported by ambulance to Kingwood Hospital to be treated for her injuries. 

Trucking companies are required to follow federal safety rules to prevent incidents such as these from happening.  Learn five reasons why you should consult an attorney if you or a loved one were involved in a truck accident.

Our investigation is ongoing but we will provide updates as the case progresses. If you have been in a similar type of 18-wheeler wreck, find out how we can help you! Call us at (877) 724-7800 or fill out our free, confidential contact form.