When to Get a Lawyer for Oil Rig Accidents
Oil rig accidents happen more often than you might think, and definitely more often than they should. Thousands of people are left in pain and uncertainty every year, wondering how they are going to get back to work to feed their families — and that’s if they survive. If you or a loved one has been involved in an industrial accident, a plant explosion, or a construction accident, you may be wondering if it would be worthwhile to get a lawyer involved. The answer is usually yes: if personal injury or wrongful death occurred in the workplace, you should call a lawyer, and we’re here to tell you why.
If you’re looking for an oil rig injury lawyer in Houston, seek justice, and give the personal injury professionals at Grimes & Fertitta a call for top representation.
Accident and injury are everywhere on the job
Working onsite in the oil field is dangerous. Many people enter the field acknowledging this but are unaware of just how dangerous it can be. Here are just a few of the hazards that workers face every time they step onsite oil rigs, drilling sites, and chemical plants:
- Explosions or fires caused by sparks from machinery igniting flammable materials can leave you with burns and lung damage from exposure. There are also production tank fires and well blowouts to worry about.
- Heavy equipment and tools can crush you and leave you with broken bones. Concussions, other head and brain injuries from things like swinging pipes and falls from derricks are common.
- Hazardous materials can leave you with toxic chemical exposure.
- Unsafe work environments encourage injury. Something as simple as tripping on tools or debris can leave you with life-altering spinal injuries.
Not only could these injuries plague a worker for a lifetime, leaving an uncertain future for their families and loved ones, but they can and often do lead to wrongful death.
Continue reading: 5 Most Common Workplace Accidents
How common are oil rig accidents?
OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reports that over 4,000 workers in the oil field are injured on the job every year. And Texas accounts for a high percentage of these: in 2020 Texas accounted for 43% of the nation’s crude oil production. Every year, many of those 4,000 workers have their livelihoods endangered by either their employer or a third party — and some of them lose their lives.
What is the death rate of oil rig workers? Along with more than 4,000 workers being injured every year in oil rig disasters, over 100 are killed.
Danger is endemic to the sector. Should you sustain a serious injury in an oil rig accident, you should hire a trustworthy Houston spinal cord injury lawyer to take on your case for you so that you can take the time necessary to heal.
How can an oil rig accident lawyer help?
Your employers have an obligation to provide you with a safe work environment and are required to closely follow regulations set forth to ensure this. If you were placed at risk because of a violation of any of these regulations, you are owed compensation. Because of the vast amount of resources available to large corporations, this compensation can be hard to actually get, but with the right attorney on your side, you can have a better shot.
These are a few ways in which your attorney might approach the case:
- Workers’ Compensation can be a complex prospect. Texas offers “no-fault” workers’ compensation, meaning you are eligible for compensation even if you are deemed at fault for your own injuries. This sounds like a good thing but can limit your options immensely. Workers’ compensation can be thought of as a settlement; it covers a portion of the cost but does not account for pain and suffering, or lack of ability to work moving forward. Workers’ compensation might be the right option, but it doesn’t hurt to receive counsel.
- The Jones Act applies to offshore drilling only. It also stipulates that liability be established and assigned to your employer.
- Filing a lawsuit happens when your employer doesn’t offer workers’ compensation (or you don’t wish to take it) and it can be assigned to either your employer or a third party claim.
Types of damages that can be pursued in oil rig accidents
There are many possible types of damages in a lawsuit, but in most personal injury cases, the following types are the most common:
Special compensatory damages
- Medical expenses such as hospital bills, ambulance fees, surgery costs, physical therapy costs, and medication costs.
- Damage to your personal property that occurred during the accident.
- Loss of past and future wages as a result of the accident.
General compensatory damages
- Pain and suffering as a result of the accident can refer to physical complications you will endure for an extended period of time. This will be assessed by your medical provider.
- Mental anguish refers to things like depression and PTSD that can result from an accident.
- Physical disfigurement or impairment is reserved for if the accident left you with any sort of disability that would prevent you from functioning the way you did beforehand.
Wrongful death damages
- Funeral expenses can help cover the cost of the service and burial.
- Loss of companionship is most often awarded to spouses.
- Loss of financial contribution can take into account the victim’s income and its effect on surviving family members.
Punitive damages are less common, and are meant to punish the party responsible for the accident, and ensure that they do not repeat their mistakes.
Have oil rig accidents caused pain and suffering in your life? Call Grimes & Fertitta, we are here to help.
Dealing with the aftermath of oil rig accidents can be traumatic, but you are not alone. The personal injury law experts at Grimes & Fertitta believe in justice for the hardworking people that risk their lives every day to work in the oil and gas sector.
Wondering if you have a case? There may be compensation for the hardships you have endured. Call Grimes & Fertitta at 713-224-7644 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
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