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Oil Field Injury Lawyer in Lubbock, TX
If you or a loved one works in the oil extraction industry, it is important to retain your right to sue after a workplace accident. Many oil workers take workers’ compensation coverage from their employers, which limits their right to sue after a serious accident. To sue after being injured by your employer’s negligence, it is vital to talk to an attorney about your right to sue and the injuries you sustained.
After a serious oil industry, call The Queenan Law Firm. Our Lubbock, Texas oil worker injury attorneys represent roustabouts and roughnecks in lawsuits against their employers. Our attorneys also represent the surviving family members of oil workers who died from on-the-job accidents. For help filing a case and learning more about what compensation you might be entitled to, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797 to schedule a free legal consultation.
When Can I Sue after an Oil Accident?
Typically, you have an unlimited right to sue the parties responsible for your injuries after a serious accident. However, things like insurance rules might limit your right to sue under some circumstances. In the oil industry, many employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay workers a fraction of the damages they might otherwise be entitled to. If you do not opt out of workers’ compensation, your right to sue might be restricted.
Workers’ compensation is designed to get injured workers quick coverage to pay for medical expenses, but this program usually restricts what doctor you can use and limits you to receiving only 2/3 of your typical wages. Workers’ comp. also blocks other areas of damages, such as damages for pain and suffering.
When you start a new job in Texas, you have 5 days to opt out of workers compensation coverage. If you do, you keep your right to sue your employer after an accident. Suing your employer or the oil company can give you access to claim the full value of any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you faced after the accident.
If you do not waive workers’ comp, you may still be able to sue under some circumstances. Many offshore oil workers can sue under maritime law, but land-based oil field workers can also sue their employers for intentional harm, and they can sue third parties. That means that if a coworker caused your injuries or the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective piece of equipment caused your injuries, you can still sue those third parties, even if you accepted workers’ compensation.
Common Types of Oil Field Accidents in Texas
Many common accidents on oil rigs and at oil fields do not cause enough harm to be worth a lawsuit. Things like bumps and bruises are common for many oil workers, but more serious injuries commonly lead to personal injury lawsuits and damages.
One of the most common types of accidents you can face at an oil rig are injuries from falls. Falling from high ladders or other high places can cause traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries as you hit the ground. If your supervisor failed to provide a safe ladder or a coworker to spot you, your employer may be at fault for unsafe practices.
Additionally, injuries caused by tripping over loose wires or debris and injuries from slipping on wet or dirty surfaces could be the employer’s fault, since they are the owner of the property. Property owners must keep the premises safe for workers to prevent injuries from hidden dangers.
Your employer is also responsible for hiring safe staff, providing you with proper safety gear, and training employees adequately. If your employer allows dangerous coworkers to take a job, they could be putting you at risk. Especially since many oil workers stay at the site for an extended period of time, putting you in close quarters with someone with a history of violence or dangerous crime is unacceptable. Similarly, it is important for employers to screen workers for drug and alcohol use on the job. If a coworker is drunk or high, they could be a danger to other workers, especially if they are responsible for driving or operating heavy machinery.
Failing to provide workers with adequate safety gear or safety training is also outright negligent. It is typically the employer’s responsibility to provide a worker with things like masks and goggles, safety vests, hard hats, and other safety gear. If your employer fails to provide gear that is in good condition, you could face serious injuries.
If your employer fails to train coworkers (in a language they understand), they could fail to uphold safety protocols, potentially putting others at risk. This lack of training is often the employer’s fault, and courts can hold your employer liable for this kind of negligence.
Lubbock, Texas Oil Worker Injury Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
For help with your potential oil injury case, contact the Lubbock oil field injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm today. Our attorneys have decades of experience fighting for compensation for oil workers and their families after serious injuries. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your right to sue and what your case is worth, call us today at (817) 476-1797.