Texas is one of the country’s largest oil and natural gas producers.
While that means more jobs for Texans, it also means more Texans work in one of the most hazardous industries worldwide.
Oil and gas workers face daily dangers despite safety training and strict standards. And they are more likely to be injured or killed in the course of employment because of them.
In 2020, the rate of job-related injuries and illnesses in the oil and gas industry in the United States was 1.4 per 100 workers.
Between 2013 and 2017, 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job. And in 2017 alone, Texas amassed 44 fatalities in the oil and gas extraction fields.
Common Types of Oilfield Accidents and Injuries
An oilfield accident can occur for numerous reasons. Some causes include employer negligence, worker fatigue, inadequate safeguards at drilling and refinery sites, and trench or mine collapses.
The most common types of oilfield accidents involve:
- Slip and falls;
- Drilling operation blowouts;
- Fire and gas explosions;
- Boating, aircraft, and truck accidents;
- Toxic chemical exposure; and
- Crane operation mishandling.
The most common kinds of injuries include:
- Chemical burns;
- Combustion burns;
- Torn muscles and ligaments;
- Back and spinal injuries;
- Loss of vision or hearing;
- Traumatic brain injuries and head trauma; and
Because oilfield injuries differ considerably from one accident to the next, so do oilfield accident lawsuit settlements.
Types of Oilfield Accident Settlements
The first thing that will help determine a settlement amount is ascertaining the party responsible for your injury.
If the responsible party is a coworker or your employer, the usual remedy is Texas workers’ compensation.
If your employer opted into Texas workers’ compensation, you could not also sue them for negligence.
However, you may be able to sue your employer for negligence if:
- Your employer does not provide workers’ comp insurance or
- You are an independent oil contractor and not covered by workers’ comp.
Also, if someone other than your employer caused or contributed to your injury, you might be able to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit against them.
A third-party lawsuit is separate from a workers’ compensation claim and may entitle you to additional money.
Workers’ compensation amounts vary depending on the type of injury you sustained.
They often include your past and future lost earnings, future medical treatment needs, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you’re able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, damages can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses,
- Disability and physical limitations,
- Scarring and disfigurement,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Reduced earning capacity, and
- Reduced quality of life.
Texas also allows for punitive damages if you can prove that the at-fault party acted recklessly, intentionally, or maliciously.
Consulting an experienced oilfield accident attorney may help you receive the maximum compensation available.
A skilled attorney can help you fight for the full award you deserve.
Contact the Oilfield Experts at the Zimmerman Law Firm
While an oilfield injury lawsuit is mainly about financial recovery, it’s also about your life.
At the Zimmerman Law Firm, we pride ourselves on our personalized service.
Over 85 years of shared experience have taught us to combine compassion, passionate representation, dedicated know-how, and essential financial resources to maximize your economic compensation.
Call us today at 254-237-5620 or contact us online for a free consultation.