Oil and Gas Drilling Accidents
Information for Injured Roughnecks, and for Families of Those Killed in Texas Drilling Accidents
If you've been injured while working on a Texas oil rig, you've likely found this article while seeking answers to your questions and concerns regarding who is required to pay for your medical bills and how you will be compensated if you're not able to work after recovering from your injuries.
Covered in This Article
- Common Oil and Gas Drilling Injuries
- Who is Responsible or Liable?
- Workers' Compensation Coverage
- You Need and Experienced and Aggressive Attorney
Our experienced DFW personal injury attorneys and staff at Grossman Law Offices understand your concerns, and we want you to know that we may be able to help you address them. Although this article gives a general overview of the types of injuries and the possible avenues of recovery for them, it's important that you know that all workplace accident injury cases are different. As such, it's important that you contact an experienced workplace accident attorney, like ours at Grossman Law Offices, for a personalized consultation based on the particular facts of your case.
The Most Common Types of Oil and Gas Drilling Injuries
As you are likely well aware, people employed in the oil and gas industry are exposed to the potential of suffering severe injuries every time they go to work. Our firm, through our 20 years of experience representing injury victims like you, has recognized that cuts, crush injuries, and burn injuries are among the most common suffered workers employed in the oil and gas industry.
Cuts and Lacerations
Among the most common injury in the oil and gas drilling industry are those caused by cuts and lacerations. Although everyone knows what a "cut" is, lacerations are torn or jagged wounds caused by blunt force trauma, such as by a fall or from a severe blow.
Cuts suffered on the job site can vary in size and depth, and range in severity from routine and minor to life threatening. For example, rotary drill operators are prone to suffer small and minor cuts while performing routine maintenance on the drill rig, but face the possibility of suffering severe, life threatening cuts when recovering broken bits of well casing from the well or equipment.
As a large percentage of the equipment used in the oil and gas industry is extremely heavy and/or sharp, lacerations also pose a serious danger. For example, a roustabout is exposed to the potential of suffering a serious laceration on the job while cleaning or repairing equipment or when he is inspecting flow lines.
Another common injury we've observed at oil and gas work sites are crush injuries
. As the name suggests, crush injuries are caused when a part of a worker's body is squeezed between two heavy objects or strong forces. Unfortunately, crush injuries are often the most severe injuries suffered by oil and gas workers, and often require amputation or cause debilitating injuries.
For example, pump operators are exposed to the possibility of suffering a crush injury while using the tools and equipment required to pump oil and gas from the ground. As some of the equipment and materials are suspended above the ground, there is a possibility they will fall on the operator and a crush injury will result.
Moreover, oil and gas employees are exposed to the possibility of injury from the extreme pressure associated with extracting oil and gas. For example, service unit operators face the possibility of suffering a crush injury from the extreme pressures they may be exposed to while operating pumps and installing pressure control devices.
To state the extremely obvious, burn injuries
caused by hot equipment and fires are a very real danger for people working on oil and gas rigs.
For example, derrick operators are exposed to the possibility of burn injuries caused by equipment that has become red-hot through the friction associated with drilling and operating the well. Moreover, derrick operators and welders on oil and gas job sites also face the possibility of suffering burn injuries by catching on fire due to the flammable nature of oil and gas and the chemicals necessary to lubricate and cool the equipment. When this happens your best option is to contact one of our Dallas burn injury attorneys.
Who's Responsible For Injuries Suffered on Oil and Gas Drilling Rigs?
Determining who's responsible for the injuries you've suffered while on a rig can be a complex web to untangle, as numerous parties are involved in the production of oil and gas. For example, different companies often own, control, and operate the land and platform components (e.g., different companies may construct different parts of the well. Moreover, different companies are often responsible for casing the well, extracting, transporting, and refining the oil and gas).
Any one of these parties may be entirely or partially liable for your injuries by using improperly maintained or repaired equipment or through their general negligence. In order to ensure that you're put in the best position to recover full compensation for your injuries, you need a smart and resourceful attorney to ensure that each party responsible for causing your injuries is held responsible for their actions.
How Do Texas' Workers' Compensation Laws Apply to the Oil and Gas Industry?
If you were injured on the job due to your employer's reckless or gross negligent conduct, Texas' workplace injuries laws afford you the ability to assert claims against them to obtain compensation for your injuries. However, the procedural mechanisms you will be required to employ to recover compensation for your injuries depends on if your employer has chosen to participate in Texas' workers' compensation program or has abstained from participating.
Employers who have chosen to participate in Texas' workers' compensation program have done so to insulate themselves from lawsuits arising from injuries they've caused through their negligent actions. Employees who are injured while employed by a participating employer will benefit and suffer from their employer's election. While their participation ensures that you'll receive medical attention for your injuries and a portion of your lost income, you'll be prevented from recovering compensation for the entirety of your lost wages, pain and suffering, and your physical disfigurement.
However, employees who were injured by the negligent or reckless actions of an employer who has chosen to not participate in Texas' workers' compensation program are eligible to recover compensation for the full extent of their physical, emotional, and economic damages. These employers are known as "non-subscribers." Among the damages for which these employees may have the possibility of recovering include the wages they lost while recovering from their injuries, the costs of their current and future medical needs, and the value of the emotional trauma and embarrassment they may have suffered as a result of their injuries.
Regardless if your employer participates in workers' compensation or is a non-subscriber, you should promptly seek medical attention for your injuries. Despite of the roughneck image that characterizes oil and gas workers, all workplace injury victims should take care to quickly have their injuries examined by a trained medical professional to avoid aggravating them or causing additional injuries.
You Need and Experienced and Aggressive Attorney
Our attorneys have over two decades representing workplace injury victims like you, and may able to put their experience to work for you. Regardless of your job description, our attorneys have the skill, talent, and industry knowledge necessary to recover compensation workplace injury victims deserve from their negligent employers.
To see how we can help, our attorneys at Grossman Law Offices invite you to give them a call any time, day or night, for a free consultation regarding your injuries at 1-855-326-0000.