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Houston Oil & Gas Worker Injuries

houston oilfield injury attorneys

Due to the harsh environment and nature of the work of an oilfield or oil rig employee, careers in this field pose the risk of serious danger. Because of this, injuries in this line of work are not uncommon. Accidents that occur in the oil and gas industry can result in catastrophic, often devastating injuries. There are a number of parties that may hold varying degrees of fault for accidents that occur on the site. The Houston oilfield injury attorneys with Reich & Binstock are here

A Houston oilfield injury lawyer can help to determine which parties are at fault for your injury and who ought to be held accountable. In addition, they will work to recover the maximum amount of compensation for you to ensure that you have the financial means to properly recover.

Dennis C. Reich and Robert J. Binstock, founding attorneys of Reich & Binstock, are board-certified in personal injury trial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Each attorney on our team is trial-tested and familiar with oil and gas worker injuries. We work to maximize your deserved compensation and represent your best interests in every step of the legal process.

Oil and Gas Companies Can Prevent Accidents

Unfortunately, due to the nature of oilfield accidents, they frequently result in injuries. An oilfield accident can be, quite literally, explosive. It is for this reason that following all safety precautions is so important. As any experienced oilfield accident attorney will know, many oilfield accidents are preventable.

By following all mandatory safety regulations, employers, workers, and maintenance personnel can help reduce the risk of accidents. While the risk is never completely eliminated, it is crucial to understand the potential gravity of an oilfield accident.

Serious injuries and fatalities are common when oilfield accidents occur. In many cases, these accidents are triggered by negligence or a relaxed adherence to safety regulations. Failing to properly maintain sites, failing to provide adequate training, and other lapses in judgment are common forms of negligence that can lead to oil industry accidents.

Oil and Gas Industry Safety Regulations

Oil and gas companies have a duty to uphold and adhere to all regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA regulations exist to protect oil field workers from dangerous and unhealthy working conditions. Some crucial regulations for the oil and gas industries include the following.

  • PPE (personal protective equipment): All workers must wear the appropriate PPE, and companies must provide them with that PPE. Common forms of PPE include hard hats, safety goggles, safety boots, gloves, and flame-retardant clothing.
  • Fire safety: Oil rigs have inherent risks of fires. However, companies are expected to have the proper fire prevention and suppression measures at job sites.
  • Fall prevention and protection: Guardrails, safety nets, and harnesses are essential for preventing falls from elevated areas.
  • Hazard labels: Many oil rigs and other work sites store chemicals and gasses that are both necessary for the work and toxic. These toxic substances must be properly labeled, stored, and handled at all times.
  • Equipment safety: Much of the equipment used in the oil and gas industries is heavy and dangerous. Regular maintenance, inspections, and certifications are necessary for preventing equipment-related injuries.

Unfortunately, many of the above regulations have made it onto the most common OSHA violations list.

What To Do If You Are Injured in an Oil Field Accident in Houston?

houston oil rig injury lawyer

If you receive injuries from an oilfield accident, the first thing you need to do is notify your employer about the incident. If possible, complete an incident report so that you have a written record of the accident. Failing to report the accident can result in the loss of your job and could significantly affect your ability to recover damages for your injuries.

Seek Medical Attention

You should seek immediate medical attention. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may require transport via ambulance or helicopter to get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible. Your employer is required by law to make sure you receive proper and immediate medical care for an injury that occurs on the job site.

Even if your injuries are not severe enough that you need immediate medical attention, you should still seek medical care soon after the accident. Schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure your injuries are properly assessed and diagnosed. Not only is it imperative for your own health and wellbeing, but having these medical records on hand is important to the success of your case, as well.

Consult With an Experienced Oilfield Accident Lawyer

The next thing you should do following an oilfield injury is to contact an experienced oilfield accident lawyer. Do not speak to a claims adjuster until you have spoken with your attorney. Any statements you make may be used against you later.

Your employer’s insurance company’s main goal is to take as little responsibility as possible and therefore, pay you as little as possible. Your oil field injury attorney’s main goal will be the opposite: to make sure the right parties are held accountable and that you receive the maximum amount of compensation available.

Types of Oil Field Accident Cases

oil rig injury lawyers

Our oilfield injury lawyers have seen and litigated many types of oilfield accident cases. Some examples of these include the following.

It is true that oil and gas companies can help create economic booms in the communities they operate in. However, it is also true that not all companies completely follow environmental standards. Many well drillers and fracking crews leave toxic chemicals behind. This can result in groundwater contamination and soil contamination, which are exceedingly difficult to remedy.

Oil rigs are frequently located offshore, a location which poses unique threats for workers. If a blowout, fire, or explosion occurs on an offshore rig, workers can suffer severe burns and other injuries.

Sometimes, land rigs and oil derricks explode. These explosions can be triggered by equipment malfunctions combined with highly flammable materials. Oil and gas explosions are highly capable of causing serious burns and other injuries to workers.

What Are Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents in Houston?

oilfield accident lawyer

Although there is an inherent risk in working in oil and gas, this risk can be mitigated through strict adherence to safety precautions. Unfortunately, many companies put their bottom line above the safety of their employees. When this happens, the chances of an oilfield accident skyrocket.

Below, we outline some of the most common oil field accident causes.

It’s no secret that oil and gas are highly combustible materials. Along with those, the chemicals used in the industry also tend to be flammable. Sparks, electrical shortages, and open flames can be a deadly addition to these work sites. If a fire or explosion occurs, multiple workers could suffer serious and fatal injuries.

A well blowout occurs when pressure control systems fail and crude oil or natural gas is uncontrollably released from a well. Blowouts can increase the risk of fires, explosions, and fall accidents, thus resulting in injured oil field workers.

Many oil field injuries result from slip and fall accidents. While working on rigs, platforms, or scaffolding, fall prevention and protection are essential. Unfortunately, when someone introduces negligence to the mix, this can lead to fall injuries or injuries from falling objects.

It is also possible for an oilfield accident to occur due to equipment failure. The equipment that oil and gas workers use is often large and dangerous, requiring the proper skills and training to wield. Failing equipment can lead to serious oil field injury cases.

What Are Common Injuries Suffered by Oilfield Workers?

texas oilfield accident lawyers

Many of the most common oil field injuries are life-changing or potentially fatal. Fire and explosion risks, heavy machinery, toxic chemicals, and hazardous equipment can all lead to injured workers. When this happens, the victims often have costly medical expenses to deal with, all through no fault of their own.

Some of the most common injuries in the oil and gas industries include the following.

Who Is Responsible for Oilfield Accidents in Texas?

When our oilfield accident lawyers investigate your case, we will gather evidence of the negligence that caused your injuries. Various parties could be held liable for an oil field accident, including the following.

Your Employer

In most cases, the oilfield company (your employer) is liable for any accidents that occur on the premises.

It is the company’s responsibility to comply with all safety regulations, provide their workers with secure equipment and safety training, and conduct regular inspections and maintenance.

Failure to meet these standards can result in serious injuries and the employer’s liability.

However, there are also additional parties that might hold responsibility for injuries occurring on an oilfield, as some oil rig injuries might be a result of equipment issues.

Equipment Manufacturer

Malfunctioning machinery and equipment can contribute to a variety of injuries such as burns, breaks and fractures, and crush injuries. If an employee received injuries due to faulty equipment, the company that manufactured that equipment may be held liable for the design and production of defective machinery.

Third-Party Providers

In addition, those responsible for inspecting and repairing equipment could also hold some liability.

There are some cases where an additional third party may be liable. For example, in an accident involving transportation, another driver might be responsible for the injuries sustained to an oilfield worker.

What Damages Can I Recover from an Oilfield Accident Lawsuit?

texas oil rig accidents

Workers who suffer injuries due to another person’s negligence deserve fair compensation for their medical treatment and lost wages. Accidents like these can place immense financial burdens on injured workers and their families. It is for this reason that we will fight both the responsible party and the insurance company for the compensation you deserve.

Examples of common forms of compensation in oilfield accident cases include the following.

  • Current and future lost wages
  • Current and future medical bills
  • Assistive devices and home modifications
  • Physical or occupational rehabilitation
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death benefits, such as funeral expenses, burial expenses, and loss of financial support

Personal Injury vs. Workers’ Compensation Claim

What many injured workers don’t know is that they may be able to file both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim. However, it is important for an injured oil rig worker to understand the difference between the two claims.

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program regulated by the state of Texas. It provides limited income and benefits to covered employees if they suffer an illness or injury on the job. It also provides benefits in the event of a wrongful death.

Personal injury claims, however, are more focused on proving negligence so you can secure a recovery for your losses. While worker’s compensation benefits are a good starting point, they often do not cover all the damages after oil and gas accidents.

When you file a personal injury claim, you have the opportunity to recover all of your damages resulting from the accident.

Can I Still File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against a Third Party if I Already Accepted Workers’ Compensation?

It depends. If you have a valid personal injury lawsuit against a third party whose negligence caused your injuries, you may be able to seek both personal injury and worker’s comp benefits. You cannot, however, submit both types of oilfield injury claims against your employer. If you accept the worker’s comp benefits, you are barred from filing a claim against your employer.

How Do I Know If I Should Hire an Oil Field Injury Lawyer?

It is critical that you speak with an experienced Houston oil field injury attorney as soon as possible following your oilfield injury. Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance provider may tell you one side of the story, but the full truth about your medical, legal, and financial options is entirely different.

Workers’ compensation is generally limited when it comes to paying the full amount that is needed to cover an injured worker’s bills. If you were injured while on the job, you deserve the compensation you’re entitled to. An oilfield injury attorney can help ensure that.

At Reich & Binstock in Houston, we represent injured workers and families that have lost loved ones in fatal oilfield accidents. We can help you overcome economic hardships and secure compensation for past, present, and future damages, including wrongful death benefits.

Do I Need an Attorney With Specific Experience Handling Oil Field Injury Cases?

You should always seek an attorney that has specific experience in handling cases similar to your own. So if you have an oilfield injury case, you’ll want a lawyer that is qualified and specializes in that area.

The oil and gas industry is a highly specialized field and there may be several liable parties involved. Oilfield companies will conduct their own investigation into your accident, but they do not work in your best interest. Therefore, you cannot rely on their accuracy.

The company’s mission is to save themselves as much money as possible. An evaluation by an independent third-party like an oilfield injury lawyer is crucial in determining the true cause of your injuries and obtaining the proper amount of compensation for them.

How Long Do I Have to Contact an Oil Field Injury Attorney in Texas?

You should always contact a qualified oilfield injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident. The sooner you reach out, the better. This is because your attorney will be able to gather evidence while it is still fresh and get started in establishing your claim.

In the state of Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. This means you will have two years from the date of the accident’s occurrence to file. Once this time has expired, you will no longer be able to pursue your claim or seek compensation for your injuries.

Is Fracking Dangerous?

fracking water contamination

The oil and gas industry in Texas will continue to prosper and employ a large workforce across the state for years to come. However, much of the workforce faces very dangerous working conditions each day, and serious injuries are a constant risk. Oilfield work, specifically fracking, is one of the most dangerous work environments in the nation.

There are several ways that oilfield workers can receive injuries while on the job. For one, workers are constantly exposed to toxic chemicals and gasses such as sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. Repeated exposure to these chemicals can lead to serious illness and even death. Working with these chemicals can also bring permanent injury or fatalities due to oil rig and pipeline spills, fires, and explosions.

In addition, oil rigs are notorious for their risk of slip and fall accidents. Falls on oil rigs can cause severely broken bones, internal bleeding, head injury, or death.

Workers may also receive injuries due to vehicle accidents while on the job. Work-related truck accidents and other vehicle accidents in this industry are just as consequential as they are anywhere else, if not more so.

Improperly maintained or defective equipment can also cause devastating injuries. It is important that all workers in this field are properly trained and equipment receives regular maintenance and upkeep. A lack of proper training, planning, safety equipment, and safety infrastructure can lead to very preventable injuries.

Even though many companies operating in the oil and gas industry are making money hand over fist, employers still cut corners and a number of service providers and contractors do not use proper safety precautions while on the job.

While fracking is dangerous, injuries are still preventable.

It’s for this reason that the experienced personal injury attorneys at Reich and Binstock are passionate about protecting oil field workers who have been injured due to negligence.

Contact an Oil Rig Accident Lawyer in Houston at Reich & Binstock Today

At Reich & Binstock, our Houston oilfield injury attorneys are experienced in handling oilfield injury cases. We know what it takes to prove liability and obtain our clients the money they deserve. Our Houston attorneys handle all upfront costs of litigation. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if you receive a recovery on your claim. Please call us at 713-622-7271 or complete our confidential online form for a free case evaluation.

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