East Texas Oilfield Injury Lawyer
Injuries and accidents are sadly common in the oil and gas industry. If you’ve been hurt while on the job, speak with an East Texas oilfield injury lawyer to discover if you can file a personal injury claim seeking financial compensation.
The United States is the largest oil and gas producer in the world, producing more liquid petroleum and natural gas than any other nation. Texas is the most oil-rich state, accounting for almost a third of the nation’s crude and natural gas reserves.
With Texas producing nearly 33 percent of US oil, the oil industry’s injury and fatality rate is higher in Texas than in any other state. These accidents often result in horrific injuries for workers, leaving many unable to work and facing massive amounts of medical debt.
If you were involved in an oilfield accident, it’s important to contact an experienced East Texas oilfield injury lawyer from Colley & Colley, LLP to help you determine if you have grounds for a personal injury case and how much your claim is truly worth.
Oilfield Workers Take Risks Every Day
Oilfield workers are exposed to a wide range of hazards on a daily basis. From heavy machinery and electrical hazards to toxic and flammable chemicals, these jobs demand hard physical labor, and employees are often overworked, putting in long hours without breaks.
According to the US Department of Labor, from 2003 to 2011, 935 oilfield workers suffered fatal injuries while on the job, exceeding the rate for all other US industries by more than seven times. These risks often take the form of malfunctioning or defective equipment, as well as employers failing to train their workers properly.
Whatever danger caused your injury, your East Texas oilfield injury lawyer will help you determine who was at fault for what happened. The most common safety hazards that may result in serious and fatal injuries at an oilfield include the following:
- Explosions and fires
- Trench collapses
- Being struck by a falling object
- Getting caught in equipment or machinery
- Getting stuck between pieces of machinery
- Toxic chemical exposure
Contributing Factors to Oilfield Accidents
The governing agency that creates and maintains safety guidelines for the oil and gas industry is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although employers are required to follow these regulations, many third-party contractors fail to observe these guidelines, focusing on profits over safety.
These are just a few of the elements that may have contributed to your accident:
- Hazardous Working Conditions – Oilfield workers work on high platforms; handle heavy equipment and machinery, electrical equipment, and flammable chemicals; and may work in hazardous weather conditions. They also work long days without breaks and may be forced to ignore safety protocols to keep profit margins high.
- Inexperienced and Untrained Workers – OSHA reports that the majority of workers injured at oilfields have been on the job for less than one year. Someone else’s lack of experience may very well have caused you harm.
- Inadequate Safety Standards – It’s not easy for OSHA to enforce the rules and regulations when it comes to contractors and freelancers. If your accident was caused by one of these parties, your East Texas oilfield injury lawyer will help you hold them accountable.
- Machinery Failures – Oilfield equipment may fail due to several reasons, such as improper use, poor maintenance, corrosion, inadequate welding, and manufacturing and design defects, some of which may make the manufacturer responsible for your injuries.
- Malice – It’s unfortunate, but sometimes injuries happen because someone lost their temper or intentionally created a situation where a coworker would be harmed.
Oilfield Injuries Can Be Serious
Oil and gas drilling jobs are extremely dangerous, and the injuries workers suffer are often severe, life-threatening, and even fatal. Many victims suffer permanent, life-altering injuries that impact their everyday life.
Large, heavy machinery can strike and crush a worker, a gas explosion can cause severe burns, a worker can fall off a drilling rig, and electrical shock may cause injuries due to faulty or poorly wired equipment. And these are just a few of the potential injury scenarios.
Common injuries sustained on oilfields are as follows:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal injuries and broken bones
Furthermore, workers are often exposed to toxic chemicals for long periods of time, leading to hidden illnesses that may not show symptoms or be diagnosed until long after the initial exposure. An East Texas oilfield injury lawyer can help you determine if your illness can be traced back to your oilfield work.
When to File a Personal Injury Claim for an Oilfield Injury
The medical expenses and loss of income resulting from oilfield injuries are often more substantial than the typical workers compensation claim will cover. Typically, workers compensation is capped and will often not compensate the total amount of damages suffered in oilfield accidents. Additionally, noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress are not covered by workers compensation.
To receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries, including damages not covered by workers compensation, an East Texas oilfield injury lawyer can file a personal injury claim on your behalf against any contractors or individuals other than your employer who may have contributed to the accident that caused your injuries.
The only time you may file a personal injury claim against your employer are as follows:
- Your employer doesn’t carry workers compensation insurance
- Your injury or illness is the result of toxic exposure
- Your injury was caused by an act of malice committed by your employer
Who Caused Your Oilfield Accident?
Oilfield injury claims are complicated by the details and complexity surrounding each accident. With many individuals and contractors involved in the process of extracting oil and gas, more than one party is often partially liable for an accident.
The expertise of an East Texas oilfield injury lawyer from our firm will allow you to name all of these parties in your lawsuit, thereby maximizing your potential financial compensation.
Even if you yourself were partially responsible for the oilfield accident, you might still be eligible for compensation. In Texas, as long as someone else was at least 51 percent responsible for what happened, you could receive a settlement—however, your compensation will be reduced by this same percentage, which is why working with an experienced attorney is so important.
East Texas Oilfield Injury FAQ
You probably have a number of questions after suffering your oilfield injury. Below, we’ve briefly answered a few of the ones we hear the most often. If you would like additional information, please give us a call to arrange a time to speak with an East Texas oilfield injury lawyer directly.
What damages can I receive compensation for in an oilfield accident?
After an oilfield injury, a personal injury lawsuit could allow you to receive compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and decreased quality of life.
How soon do I need to file a personal injury claim for an oilfield accident?
Whether you were the one injured or you are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased oilfield worker, Texas only provides a statute of limitations of two years in which to file.
Can I sue if an equipment failure caused my oilfield injury?
It depends on what caused the equipment failure. If the fault belongs to your employer, then you may have to file a workers compensation claim, although there are exceptions. If the failure belonged to the manufacturer, you can sue them for product liability.
How Can An East Texas Oilfield Injury Lawyer Help?
Oilfield accidents can cause devastating injuries. Medical expenses, lost wages and income, and the psychological damage of pain and suffering can affect you and your family indefinitely.
An experienced East Texas oilfield injury lawyer from Colley & Colley, LLP will be dedicated to fighting for your right to recover the maximum compensation possible for your case. Our consultations are free, and we will evaluate your case and advise you on the necessary steps to help you move on with your life. Call 1-877-411-2001 or contact us online through the form below.