There are many workers working in states like Texas because of the well-paying jobs in the oil industry. Unfortunately, while there is a high demand for oil workers, the rate of injuries for those working in this industry keeps on increasing. Remember that the risk of sustaining injuries while doing on-shore oil drilling can sometimes be the same as working on oil rigs in the ocean. There are various types of injuries that you can sustain in this line of work, and some of these injuries can be severe and can even cause death.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to protect yourself from loss of income. Besides, you need to know your rights in case you sustain injuries while working. This is why it’s important to get an Oil Rig Burns & Explosion Attorney in Texas immediately after you sustain injuries. A lawyer can provide legal advice and tell you whether your case deserves compensation. This post discusses when you should hire an oil drilling accidents personal injury lawyer.
When you should consider hiring an oil drilling accidents attorney
The United States is now one of the leading oil producers in the world, and most of the oil production happens in Texas. There are many people working in these oil fields. Unfortunately, there are some oil companies that don’t put in place the basic safety standards, properly train employees. Some of these companies also don’t take responsibility when their employees are involved in oil rig accidents.
As a result, there are many studies that indicate that oilfield workers are more likely to sustain severe injuries while working than any other profession. There are many common oil field injuries that you can sustain in Texas.
Some of these injuries can happen due to dangerous working conditions in the oil field, and this includes head and brain injuries. You can suffer from head and brain injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, facial lacerations, concussions, and skull and facial fractures.
Other injuries that you can also sustain while working on an oil rig are neck and back injuries. These injuries include severed spinal cords, spinal cord injuries, herniated or ruptured discs, pinched nerves, broken vertebrae, and paralysis.
Bone and limb injuries can also be quite common in oil rig accidents. Bone injuries can include broken bones, hairline fractures, dislocated joints or bones, and compound fractures. Limb injuries can be total amputation, partial amputation, temporary or permanent damages to the functions of legs, arms, hand, and many more.
Burns and skin injuries are also a common occurrence in oil rig accidents. Burns can be blistering, third-degree burns, second-degree burns, and first-degree burns. Skin injuries can be chemical burns, lacerations, punctures, cuts, and bruises.
Therefore, if you sustain any of these injuries, then you can be eligible for compensation from your employer or any other at-fault parties. You need to find an oil rig accident attorney to help you find out the responsible person or entity for your injuries and how much you can expect to receive as compensation.
If you sustain these injuries while working, you should find an attorney who knows how oil companies and their insurance companies operate when their employees are injured. A good oil field lawyer needs to have enough experience helping victims of oil rig accidents recover money for their injuries. The good news is that most of these attorneys offer a free consultation, so you can take this chance to learn how much money you can receive in damages.
Keep in mind that you need to consult an attorney when you sustain any injuries, especially if your injuries are severe. Unfortunately, the claims process can be an overwhelming one. Many insurance companies tend to protect their bottom lines, so they can place unnecessary red tape, and they can even unfairly treat you if you don’t have the right legal representation.
After all, insurance companies are there to make profits. Therefore, each claim against their policy can reduce their profit margins. This is why they make sure that they pay lower compensation for any claim.
There are various ways an insurer can use to avoid paying out compensation. Quite often, they can attempt to put blame on you for causing the accident or they can even blame another party. But insurance companies have the money and you should force them to honor your claim.
Worse still, some insurance companies or employers can investigate the accident, but they can sometimes hide the evidence indicating that it’s their responsibility or their fault that caused the injuries. The best way to handle this is to get a lawyer who can fight for your rights. An attorney can do an independent investigation and collect evidence to prove that the other party was at fault.
Texas uses a comparative fault, so insurance companies always attempt to blame the accident victims for the accident. Remember that comparative negligence or comparative fault is when the jury tries to find out who caused the accident that led to your injuries. Therefore, if the jury determines that you were at least 51 percent or more at fault, then you cannot receive compensation.
Different types of oil drilling accidents
In the oil drilling industry, there are various types of accidents that can happen. In most cases, you can have the right to compensation for the injuries you get in the accident. Some of the common types of oil drilling accidents include the following:
Heavy equipment failure
Workers have to operate heavy equipment on most drilling sites. They use this equipment for drilling, mixing mud, pulling pipes, and any other task that they need to do. Sometimes, this equipment can cause severe injuries.
Equipment failure can occur for several reasons, such as inexperienced or improperly trained workers, inadequate maintenance, mechanical failures, and bad safety inspections. In some cases, equipment failure can also be due to manufacturing or design defects.
The law stipulates that heavy machinery on any job site needs to be safe for the employees to use. Therefore, this equipment must be properly maintained so that there are less chances of accidents happening.
Also, employees who have to handle this heavy machinery need to get safety training and enough operational training to prevent putting other workers at risk. Therefore, if you were injured by a heavy machinery failure, then you can receive financial compensation besides the worker’s compensation benefits you may get from the insurance claim process. A third party like the manufacturer of the heavy machinery can sometimes compensate you, but this can depend on the cause and nature of your accident.
Fires and explosions
Oil industry employees can also have to deal with the risks of explosions or fire at work sites. Trucks, wells, tanks, and other heavy machinery can release flammable vapors and gases. These gases and vapors can be ignited by static electricity, open flames, friction, and many more.
Another huge concern for employees working on a well site is pressure buildup. An explosion or fire in an oil field can cause severe damages to employees and can sometimes be fatal. Hence, if you sustained fire or explosion injuries at an oil site, then you can be entitled for damages from the at-fault person or company.
A well blowout
A well blowout refers to the uncontrollable release of natural gas or crude oil while drilling. These blowouts are usually due to a failure in a pressure control system in a well. There are some modern oil wells that have blowout preventers. These are designed to prevent the risk of blowouts, but these types of accidents can still happen.
An accidental spark or even contact with ignition sources during blowouts may cause dangerous oil or gas fire. Also, if you got injured due to a well blowout, then you can be eligible for compensation for your injuries. However, investigations into this type of an accident can sometimes take a couple of years.
Worse still, employees who are injured in well blowouts may usually wait for long before they are compensated. A good attorney at Corpus Christi oil rig accident law firm can assist you to identify the party at fault for a well blowout. They can also help you get financial damages for the injuries you suffered in the accident.
Truck and vehicle accidents
In most cases, oil workers usually get injured due to truck and vehicle accidents that happen either at or near oil work sites. A truck or a car can overturn, collisions with other trucks, and collisions with stationary heavy equipment are some of the major causes of injuries for most oil workers.
There are various factors that can contribute to truck and vehicle accidents at drilling sites. These include poor driving conditions, drug and alcohol abuse, driver fatigue, and poorly maintained vehicles.
There are many legal questions that can arise after an accident involving trucks and other cars at an oil drilling site. It can be hard to figure out who was responsible for that accident. Also, it can be challenging to determine the insurance company that needs to take responsibility for paying for your injuries.
Likewise, there can be questions about the responsibility of the workers’ compensation insurance or whether recklessness or negligence caused the accident. You need to get an oil field accident attorney to assist you to address some of these questions after a vehicle or truck accident at an oil site. A good attorney can also help you know the right legal option you need to take.
Slips and falls
Slips and falls are also quite common in many oil fields as well as at other oil drilling sites. In most cases, oil field employees are asked to work long hours in some of the challenging outdoor environments, leading to more risks of slip and fall accidents.
Further, many drilling workers are required to use platforms and equipment that are placed high above the ground. Employers are required to follow safety and health regulations to make sure that walking surfaces are safe for their workers. This can prevent falls from their equipment, though slips and falls accidents are considered to be the most common cause of severe and fatal oil site injuries and deaths.
Therefore, if you were involved in a slip and fall accident at an oil drilling site, then you should find an experienced attorney. An attorney can assist you to determine whether or not your employer failed to take enough precautions that may have prevented your injuries.
Working in confined spaces
Employers can sometimes ask you to enter and work in confined spaces like storage tanks and storage containers. There are many workplace safety dangers related to confined spaces like crushing accidents, asphyxiation, exposure to hazardous chemicals, and even ignition of flammable gases or vapors.
You need the right equipment, training, and procedures so that you cannot sustain serious injuries while working in the confined spaces at oil sites. In most cases, your employer can be required to get a written permission to allow you to work in these confined spaces.
As soon as you sustain some injuries at a drilling site, it’s a good idea to report the accident to your supervisor and request them to help you to get immediate medical treatment. However, if the insurance company for your employer is not helping you to get medical treatment, you should contact an attorney who has experience handling oil drilling accident injury cases.
Ideally, you can decide to pursue a claim against the company that was responsible for your injuries when you believe that it was negligent. While you can choose to do this, you can still get in touch with an oil drilling accident attorney so that they can evaluate your specific situation.
If the company is at fault and is sub-contracting jobs, using outdated equipment, or fails to put in place the right workplace safety standards, you can choose to hold it responsible for your injuries. Besides this, there can be another party that was responsible for your injuries. For example, the manufacturer of the heavy machinery that the oil company uses may have supplied a defective product. In this case, then you can decide to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the machinery that caused the accident.