More and more workers are traveling to other states, such as Texas, for the well-paying work on oil rigs and in the oil field. However, the demand for oil workers can’t keep up with the rate of injuries working in this industry can cause.
On-shore oil drilling can be just as dangerous as working on an oil rig out in the ocean. Injuries caused by this line of work are some of the worst injuries that American workers have ever seen and can even lead to death.
So you can protect yourself from a serious loss of income, you’re going to want to know your rights if you’re injured while working on an onshore drilling rig. Now, there are more workers than ever visiting a law firm to seek legal advice and decide whether starting a case is possible to receive compensation.
This article will outline all the important aspects to an oil field injury and the lawyers who work tirelessly, as they do with all their clients, to save you and your family from astronomical medical bills.
What You Should Do if You’re Injured on an Oil Field Accident
If you’re ever injured will working for an oil field or if your loved one was killed in a work accident on an oil field, there are important steps you need to take right away.
If you don’t go through the right channels or you don’t hire a lawyer with experience in oil field accidents and injuries, you’re opening yourself up to a minefield of complications and possibly even the run around from the company that you work for.
- Call 911. When a serious accident occurs that leads to an injury, your very first step should always be to call emergency services. Even if the injury seems minuscule, it’s best to be careful. The ER doctor you see can also be a credible witness on the injuries you sustained while working. For follow-ups after the initial visit, your employer may refer you to a company doctor. Sometimes, these doctors want to make sure you don’t receive benefits so when possible, all see a doctor on your own to make sure everything is being done for your injuries.
- Notify Your Employer and Supervisor. Before you head to the ER, your supervisor should know about your accident. You may be asked to file an incident report or your supervisor might be required to fill it out. Every detail and every little pain should be recorded in the incident report. Then it’s both of your responsibility to let the big wigs know of the accident. If you fail to notify your employer of the injury, you can either be fired or not receive all your much-deserved benefits.
- Get Contact Information from Witnesses. It will help you down the road if you have the contact information from every witness there. You never know when you’ll need them to help you with a lawsuit.
- Get a Consultation. As soon as you’re stabilized and home from the hospital, you’re going to want to get a consultation from an experienced lawyer about your accident in the workplace. They can let you know if you have a case against your employer or what you need to do to claim workers’ compensation benefits. Having a professional on your side ensures you get every bit of money you deserve or your family deserves. If a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster comes knocking, you should never speak to them without a proper lawyer on your side.
- Keep Medical Records. This will be an ongoing process so it’s important to keep all relevant paperwork regarding your accident or injury. This includes medical records about your injury and treatments as well as your medical bills from the injury.
What Happens Next?
If Your Employer Has Workers’ Compensation Insurance
What happens next depends on different variables. First of all, if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you’re employed in Texas, you can’t go after your employer in court for negligence.
Once you start receiving worker’s compensation as benefits, you’re denying your right to sue. Well, technically, if your employer has workers’ compensation, they’re legally making sure you can’t sue through a law firm or specialized injury attorneys.
You’ll still want an attorney with knowledge of workers’ compensation to make sure you get all the benefits you deserve for your accident. You’re racking up medical bills and losing out on income on the job, so every penny counts.
Even if you’re receiving worker’s compensation, if a co-worker or a product was at fault for your injury, you can sue a third party for monetary compensation. Your lawyer can help you decided if this is the best route for you.
If Your Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
If you’re working on an on-shore oil drilling operation in the state of Texas, your employer is not required to pay into workers’ compensation insurance.
If your employer was at fault for your injury due to negligence, this gives you an advantage. You can take your employer to court and sue them for much more money than you’d ever be able to get through workers’ compensation.
Better yet, the law is on your side if you sue. Texas courts ensure that your employer can’t use any common law defenses in court. This is a type of punishment for your employer not having workers’ compensation insurance.
Once your employer has been sued and has lost, more than likely they won’t make that mistake again.
This can help any other injured employee that works for the same company.
Oil field workers are at great risk of being involved in an oil rig accident, especially during drilling and fracking, leading to serious injury, or worse still, death. You and your family should be backed by an experienced attorney from a reputable firm, such as a personal injury lawyer or, better still, one of the many specialized oil field injury attorneys who will make sure you get every cent you deserve.