When an accident occurs on the oil field, the resulting injuries can turn an oil field worker's life upside down—or even cut it tragically short. If you sustained serious injuries, or lost a loved one, in an oil field accident, you may find yourself confused, frustrated, angry and unsure of what to do next.
Here are some of the most common questions we receive from clients after an oil field accident.
Q: What are the most common types of oil field accidents?
A: With potential hazards everywhere, oil field workers face the risk for a number of different types of accidents. However, the most common types of oil field accidents include falls, fires and explosions, equipment defects or malfunctions, oil and gas truck accidents, slip-and-fall accidents, inclement-weather events, deck and scaffolding collapses, exposure to dangerous chemicals, and "struck by," "caught in" or "trapped between" machinery accidents.
Q: What are the most common injuries associated with oil field accidents?
A: Oil field accidents can result in a wide variety of injuries that range from minor to life-threatening and even deadly. Some of the most common injuries sustained in oil field accidents include broken or crushed bones, amputations, severe burns, hearing or vision loss, eye injuries or loss, spinal injuries, paralysis, neck, shoulder and back injuries, concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and scarring and disfigurement.
Q: What causes oil field accidents?
A: Oil field accidents can be attributed to a number of factors, such as unsafe workplace conditions, inadequate training for workers, defective or poorly maintained equipment, blowouts and value failures, a rushed work environment, insufficient safeguards, falling equipment, lack of communication between operators, and mistakes made by tired or intoxicated workers.
Q: Who's liable for oil field accidents and injuries?
A: Determining fault in an oil field accident case can be challenging, as there are a number of potentially liable parties. If site owners or employers failed to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the oil field workers, they may be responsible for accidents and injuries that occurred as a result of their lax safeguards. If a fellow worker operated machinery while tired or intoxicated, leading to an accident and injuries, they could be at fault. However, if the accident was caused by defectively-designed or manufactured machinery, the manufacturer may be found liable.
Q: Can I seek compensation for injuries sustained in an oil field accident?
A: Oil field accidents can deal significant physical and financial blows to the people involved. Workers who were injured as a result of another person's negligence, rather than their own, may be eligible to seek compensation for their accident-related injuries and losses.
Q: What damages are potentially available in oil field accident cases?
A: Oil field accident victims can seek compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses and wages lost during recovery; as well as non-economic damages like physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, permanent disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and other damages.
Q: Should I seek workers' compensation benefits or file a personal injury lawsuit?
A: Injured oil field workers whose employers offer workers' compensation programs may be entitled to benefits for medical expenses and lost wages. However, not all Texas employers offer workers' compensation. When workers' compensation isn't available, or for someone injured by employer or third-party negligence, filing a personal injury lawsuit may result in a more robust financial recovery.
Q: What if my loved one died in an oil field accident?
A: Family members who lost a loved one in an oil field accident may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue compensation for a wide range of damages that includes medical expenses incurred before death, funeral fees, burial or cremation costs, loss of income, loss of guidance and support, loss of consortium (for spouses), and other damages.
Q: Do I need to hire an oil field accident attorney? How much will that cost?
A: Hiring a personal injury attorney with experience handling oil field accident cases is the best way to protect your rights and interests. A skilled attorney can level the playing field during negotiations or in the courtroom, and ensure that you receive a settlement offer that's fair.
Don't let financial concerns prevent you from pursuing the justice you deserve. McGartland Law Firm's award-winning attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you don't pay unless the case is resolved in your favor. Contact McGartland Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case with a legal professional.