Oilfield Accident Lawyers
The Texas oil and natural gas industry is the largest in the nation from oilfields to natural gas extraction facilities to refineries across the state. Many of these jobs are dangerous for workers and the top of the list includes Texas oilfield workers. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), oilfield workers are seven times more likely to face a serious injury at work than any other industry. If you suffer an injury while working on an oilfield, you have the right to compensation for that injury. Experienced Texas oilfield accident lawyers can help you recover for your injuries and get the treatment you need.
Types of oilfield injuries in Texas
Oilfield workers in Texas face dangerous conditions from heavy machinery to toxic chemicals and employees working long hours. Injuries from oilfields can result in severe and long term disabilities or even death. Your inability to work may result in lost wages and difficulties providing for your family. You will also face expensive medical treatment. Common oil worker injuries include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries
- Amputations of limbs, hands, feet, fingers and toes
- Crushed limbs, hands and feet
- Electrical, gas and chemical burns
- Broken bones
- Lung damage
If you suffered an oilfield injury in Texas, you need help dealing with medical treatment and lost income. You deserve compensation. An experienced oilfield injury lawyer can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Oilfield injuries and deaths can occur from many types of accidents and often are specific to oilfield operations. You need an attorney experienced with these types of accidents and the injuries they cause. These accidents can include vehicle collisions or rollovers, equipment malfunctions, drilling rig malfunctions or misuse, collapsing platforms, explosions and fires. Additionally, you may face more common types of accidents like car accidents involving work vehicles or slip and fall injuries. Oil companies have a duty to maintain safe work environments. When oilfield workers are injured on the job, the oil company should pay. A Texas personal injury lawyer experienced with oilfield accidents can help make them pay.
Can I get worker's compensation for oilfield injuries?
Texas law provides a system for worker’s compensation when you suffer an injury on the job. Under Texas law, an employer does not have to provide worker’s compensation coverage to its employees. If your employer is part of worker’s compensation (a “subscriber” to work comp), worker’s compensation may be your only remedy for an oilfield accident injury. Texas law makes worker’s compensation the exclusive remedy for many workplace injuries. Some workplace accidents and injuries are not covered by work comp. If your employer is not a subscriber to work comp, then you cannot file a work comp claim and must pursue other options for compensation.
Worker’s compensation is generally a no-fault system, so even if you cause the accident, you can still recover under work comp. That means if you fall off a ladder or spill a chemical that causes a burn, you can recover in most cases. Work comp also covers most accidents caused by your employer, coworkers, or other people in the workplace.
Worker’s compensation pays for medical treatment and lost compensation while your injury prevents you from working. Unlike most personal injury claims, worker’s compensation pays for treatment bills and lost wages while you obtain medical care. Work comp can also pay long term benefits if you experience a long term or permanent disability.
Whether you can or must recover under worker’s compensation is not always an easy question to determine. If your accident is covered by worker’s compensation, you may face problems with your oilfield employer. An experienced oilfield accident injury lawyer can assess your situation and help you pursue the best course of action for your case.
Can I file a personal injury lawsuit for my Texas oilfield accident injury?
In some cases you can file a personal injury lawsuit for your oilfield accident injury, even if your employer has worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation does not prevent you from suing a coworker who intentionally attacked you or a third party who caused your injuries. If your employer is not a work comp subscriber, then you must file a lawsuit to seek compensation.
To file a lawsuit against your employer, your employer must have intentionally caused your injuries or acted negligently which led to your injury. For example, the employer failed to properly train employees or a coworker neglected to secure equipment safely. If negligence caused your injury, you can file a lawsuit against your oil employer only if it does not carry work comp coverage.
Often oilfield accidents result in lawsuits when a third party causes injury or death. You might be injured in a car accident with a third party while driving in a work vehicle going to a job site. In that case, your personal injury lawyer can sue the at-fault driver. A manufacturing defect to equipment or supplies may cause your injury. In those cases, your personal injury lawyer can file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. A product liability case against the manufacturer might involve a design defect, manufacturing defect, or failure to warn users of the dangers.
Your oilfield accident injury lawyer can investigate the accident and determine your options to pursue compensation. Sometimes you can pursue both worker’s compensation and sue a third party for your injuries. Let your injury lawyer help protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
What should I do if I am in an oilfield accident in Texas?
If you suffer injuries while working on a Texas oilfield, your first step is to seek medical care right away. Even if you believe your injuries are not serious, you should obtain a medical evaluation of your injuries. Pain, loss of mobility and other symptoms may become worse in the days or weeks following the accident.
You should also report the injury to your supervisor as soon as you can. If you can file a worker’s compensation claim, you must inform your employer you were injured on the job.
Then you should contact a Texas oilfield accident lawyer to discuss your case. Your oilfield accident injury lawyer will assist you with determining what claims you can pursue and help you through this terrible experience.
You should not speak with any representatives from the oil company without your oil rig injury attorney agreeing. The oil company may want to coerce you into giving a statement that hurts your case or push you to accept an unreasonable settlement.
Do I need to hire an oilfield accident injury lawyer?
Yes, if you suffered an injury at work on an oilfield, you need somebody on your side to fight for you and the compensation you deserve. The oil company and its insurance company will hire insurance attorneys to represent them and attack your case. They will try to take advantage of you by offering you what might seem like a lot of money, but probably isn’t a fair amount for your case. If you accept a low and unfair settlement, you can’t change your mind and ask for more money. The oil company might also convince you not to file a worker’s compensation claim, hoping you don’t know your rights. You might end up paying for extremely expensive medical care out of your own pocket.
Your oilfield accident injury lawyer will investigate your accident and make sure you receive fair compensation for your case. Your injury lawyer will take these steps:
- Investigate your accident
- Advise you of your rights to file claims and pursue lawsuits
- Interview witnesses
- Review your medical records
- Calculate a fair damages request
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Take your case to trial if necessary
Most oilfield accident injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, even for worker’s compensation. That means you owe nothing until your personal injury attorney settles your case or wins at trial. That lets you focus on taking care of yourself and your injuries while your lawyer works on the legal side of your case.