Thousands of jobs have been brought to Texas by the booming oil industry and increased use of hydraulic fracking. However, it is dangerous and fast-paced work, which leaves workers faced with the risk of death or serious injuries on a daily basis.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an oil field accident, the attorneys at The Willis Law Firm are here to assist you and help keep the people who are responsible for the accident accountable for their actions.
Following an oil field accident, you have certain legal rights, and we will ensure that they are protected. Our personal injury attorneys in Texas will fight to make sure you receive the compensation that you need and deserve for your lost employment income, medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.
You can contact us 24 hours per day, and seven days per week to receive the experienced and aggressive legal representation that you deserve – call (713) 529-9377 or complete our form to receive your free initial consultation today.
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I Was Injured at My Oil Industry Job. What Should I Do?
Just as soon as you are injured, you should report the injury to your supervisor and request immediate medical treatment.
If you are given a hard time by your employer’s insurance company about being treated, you can seek help from a personal injury lawyer who is experienced with handling oil injury cases.
In general, you can also pursue damages from a company that caused your injury when you can show they were negligent. This rule does have some exceptions so we recommend that you call a qualified and experienced oilfield injury attorney so that your specific situation can be evaluated.
If the company at fault did not have workplace safety standards in place, subcontracted jobs to unskilled workers, or used outdated equipment, you might be able to have them held responsible for the injuries you have sustained.
There also might be another party that is responsible. For example, a manufacturer might have made defective machinery that is used by your company. In that situation, you could sue the manufacturer of the equipment used in your workplace.
How Can I Tell Whether or Not I Should Hire an Oil Field Injury Attorney?
Generally, the more severe your injuries are, the more you need assistance from a personal injury attorney. The claim process can be quite complex.
Although it should not be the case, more companies prioritize profit over people, which results in a lot of unnecessary red tape and people being treated unfairly who do not have the proper legal representation.
Insurance companies are in the business to make a profit. Each claim that is made against them reduces their profit margin. So they have a great incentive to minimize the amount they pay out on claims.
So how does that happen? There are several different methods that an insurance company can use to avoid paying out on their claims.
They will often try to claim that you were at fault for the accident or it was someone else’s fault. The reason they can do that is that they hold all of the cards at that point. They have the money and resources and what you need is for your claim to be honored by them.
Even when the insurance company or employer investigates the accident, they may suppress any evidence indicating their own responsibility or fault.
The recourse you have in this situation is to have a lawyer who will advocate for your best interests. If you hire a good lawyer, she or he will be able to conduct an independent investigation to collect evidence in order to hold the right party responsible for their actions.
One of the main reasons why the insurance company would like to blame you for the accident is due to the fact that Texas is a comparative fault state. What comparative negligence or comparative fault refers is when a jury is responsible for determining who is at fault for an accident resulting in an injury.
In the state of Texas, when a plaintiff is found to 51% at fault or more for the accident then she or he will receive nothing. Therefore, the whole battle is over who is to blame – the company or you?
How Much Time Do I Have to Call an Oil Field Injury Lawyer?
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. From a logistical point of you, you should call a qualified personal injury lawyer as soon as you can after your accident occurs.
It helps you remember things and gives people who might have a reason to bury evidence or lie less time to prepare their stories.
Do I Need a Lawyer with Specific Experience Dealing With Oil Field Injury Cases?
Yes, you do. It is because oilfield workers work in a very specialized industry and it is highly possible that there might be several liable parties. In addition, oilfield companies conduct their own internal investigations and you cannot rely on them being accurate. It is absolutely critical to have an independent third-party evaluation to determine what caused your oilfield accident.
We have seen numerous cases where oilfield companies covered up evidence of wrongdoing and blame employees maliciously for accidents they are not responsible for. We conduct investigations to determine what we think has occurred and then bring claims against the parties who are responsible for your injuries and damages.
On What Grounds Can My Claim Be Denied By The Insurance Company?
Injury settlements from oilfield accidents have a tendency to be large. That is because workers can end up having spine-related injuries, paralysis, amputated limbs, and serious permanent scarring from their burns. Those injuries can make it hard for you to go back to work.
Therefore, you may lose your ability to be able to support your family and yourself. There are very high stakes involved.
The stakes are very high for the insurance company and your employer. The insurance company can potentially lose a lot of money and the company can be exposed to higher insurance costs, other lawsuits, and potential liability if found to be negligent.
That is why the internal investigation conducted by the company cannot necessarily be trusted. They will try blaming you.
What are Common Oilfield and Offshore Injuries That Can Result in Legal Claims?
The following are some of the most onshore and offshore oilfield injuries:
- Hand and knee injuries
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
Most injuries that happen could be prevented easily by adequately training employees and implementing safety standards. In most cases, when there is a problem it is because not enough resources were devoted by the oil company to ensure proper safety in the workplace.
Why Do Offshore and Oilfield Workers Suffer So Many Injuries?
There are many reasons why workers in the oilfield industry are 7 times more likely to die while on the job compared to other workers. The high number of employees who can become injured at work is for the same reasons. They include the following:
- Outdated industrial equipment
- Lack of safety equipment
- Lack of supervision and proper training
What are some of the Common Kinds of Oilfield Accidents that Result in a Legal Claim?
In our legal practice, we have seen many clients who were injured in the following types of offshore or oilfield accidents:
- Well blowouts
- Trucking accidents
- Chemical burns
- Pipe related incidents
- Pipeline explosions
Oilfield workers are also at an increased risk for other types of workplace accidents which include:
- Poorly maintained or malfunctioning maintained equipment
- Electrical malfunctions
- Poorly maintained worksites
- Work-related vehicle accidents
In Oilfield Accident Cases, How Does Legal Responsibility Get Determined?
When legal responsibility is being determined in an oilfield accident, there are many complexities involved.
First of all, if your co-worker or employer is at fault for your injury, you need to determine whether or not workers’ compensation covers your injury. If not, then does your company plan require arbitration? This specific area of law changes quickly since companies are always searching for new methods to increase their profit margins s make sure to find an attorney that understands all of the complexities involved in your individual claim.
In some cases, neither your employer or you are responsible for your injuries. It may be the result of another third party or defective machinery. In that case, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the party that is negligent.
How Can I Tell If My Oilfield Injury Case Is Strong?
Contacting an oilfield injury lawyer is the best way that you can determine if you have a strong case. Even when your workers’ compensation claim is honored by your company, you might have cause for bringing a claim against another third party that contributed to or caused your injuries.
If your company does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, in certain cases, you also can file a lawsuit against your company to recover damages. Also, if the equipment that was being used by your company had a faulty design and caused your injury, then you can file a product defect claim against the product’s manufacturer.
However, it is still true, that the best action to take is to consult with an oilfield injury lawyer. We offer free consultations at the Willis Law Firm and we work on a contingency basis. That means we do not charge any legal fees unless we win your case.
Receive a Free Case Review from an Oil Field Injury Lawyer Today
The oilfield injury attorneys at the Willis Law Firm have a proven track record successfully litigating most kinds of oilfield injury lawsuits. We have assisted our clients with receiving fair treatment and have held numerous companies at fault responsible for their actions.
If you have been injured, it is critical that you contact an experienced oilfield lawyer today. We offer free consultations. Contact our work injury lawyers today and we can start working on your case right away.