As the oil industry has boomed in Amarillo, so too has the number of accidents involving employees working on the oilfield. Unfortunately, recovering compensation in these cases can be complex.
Working on an Amarillo oilfield is no easy thing. Oil workers are faced with some of the most dangerous conditions an employee can be. To get the relief they need, injured workers must know whether they are enrolled in Workers’ Compensation. If they are, they will need to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. If not, workers can file a lawsuit against the party that caused their suffering.
Call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. today at (817) 476-1797 for a free case review with our oilfield injury lawyers.
How to Recover Compensation for Oilfield Injuries in Amarillo, TX
It is within the legal rights of oil workers in Amarillo and throughout Texas to sue for injuries sustained while on the job. Texas is one of the few states that allows employees to opt out of workers’ compensation and sue their employers for work-related injuries. Moreover, if an employer has already opted out of Workers’ Compensation, the employee might not need to make any decisions on the matter.
To file a lawsuit for work injuries, the defendant must be proven to be responsible for the injuries sustained. Our experienced oilfield injury lawyers can help identify the parties that should be sued and file a claim on your behalf. Employers can be held liable for creating an unsafe work environment, particularly if safety oversights and OSHA violations are the cause of the injury.
Employers are required to provide training for their employees in a language that is easily understood, ensure that proper protective gear is in place, and take necessary measures to ensure that the work environment and machinery are safe. If they fail to do so, the employer might be held liable, opening them up to the possibility of a lawsuit.
A Workers’ Compensation Claim
When an employee becomes ill or is injured on the job, Workers’ Compensation usually comes into play. It is a state-regulated insurance program that offers limited income and medical benefits to covered employees.
However, these benefits do not cover pain and suffering, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, future medical expenses, and 100 percent of past and future lost wages. If you want to be fully compensated for all your injuries and financial losses, filing an oilfield personal injury lawsuit is your only option.
In Amarillo, Workers’ Compensation is optional for both employers and employees. This means that as an employee, you have the right to opt out of Worker’s Compensation after starting your job and retain your right to sue. Keep in mind that if you keep your coverage, you will need to go through the Worker’s Compensation system.
A Personal Injury Lawsuit
When it comes to seeking compensation for injuries sustained in an accident, personal injury lawsuits offer distinct advantages over Workers’ Compensation. With a personal injury lawsuit, you can hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and recover far more for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
In fact, a personal injury lawsuit is often the best option for a complete physical and financial recovery. You can recover all of your damages, including past and future economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
Additionally, the law allows you to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, and physical disfigurement, providing you with full compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Parties that Can Be Held Liable for an Amarillo, TX Oilfield Accident
Oilfield accidents can have devastating consequences, both for the individuals involved and the surrounding environment. When such accidents occur in Amarillo, it is crucial to understand who can be held responsible when an injury occurs in an Amarillo oil field.
Oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Shell, or British Petroleum, can potentially be held liable for an oilfield accident in Amarillo. While they might not directly operate or own the oilfield, their involvement in the extraction, production, and distribution of oil creates a legal responsibility.
If the accident resulted from the negligence of the oil company, such as inadequate safety protocols or failure to maintain equipment, they could be held liable for any damages caused. Applicable laws for oil company liability include federal regulations on workplace safety, environmental protection, and any specific state or local laws pertaining to oilfield operations.
Oilfield owners have a duty to ensure the safe operation of their facilities. They are responsible for maintaining equipment, implementing safety measures, and conducting regular inspections to identify potential hazards.
If an accident occurs because of their failure to fulfill these obligations, they can be held liable for resulting damages. Oilfield owners must comply with federal and state safety regulations, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards applicable to oilfield operations.
Oilfield operators play a crucial role in the day-to-day operations of the oilfield. They are responsible for overseeing drilling activities, maintaining equipment functionality, and managing personnel.
If an oilfield operator has acted negligently, such as improper equipment operation or failure to enforce safety protocols, they can be held liable for resulting damages. State and federal regulations, including OSHA standards, govern the duties and responsibilities of oilfield operators, all of which they must comply with.
Equipment Rental Companies
Equipment rental companies provide essential machinery and tools for oilfield operations. If an accident occurs because of defective or malfunctioning equipment, the rental company might be held liable.
It is their responsibility to ensure that the equipment is in optimal working condition and meets all safety standards. Failure to properly maintain, inspect, or warn about potential hazards associated with the rented equipment could result in liability for any damages caused.
Oilfield Equipment Manufacturers
Oilfield equipment manufacturers can be held liable if accidents occur from defects or design flaws in their products. They have a legal duty to ensure that their equipment is safe when used as intended. If an accident occurs as a result of a manufacturing defect or inadequate warnings, the manufacturer might be held liable for any resulting damages.
Drivers for Oil Services and Related Companies
Drivers employed by oil services and related companies play a critical role in transporting equipment, materials, and personnel to and from the oilfield. If a driver causes an accident while on the job, they and the employer can usually be held liable.
However, if the driver is an independent contractor, the company that they are contracted with typically cannot be held responsible for the driver’s actions. Fortunately, you can still sue the driver personally, as you have the right to sue third parties regardless of whether you retained your Workers’ Compensation coverage.
Our Amarillo, TX Attorneys for Injuries at Oilfields Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our attorneys for injuries at an oilfield, contact The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.