Oil drilling accidents are common, especially if the site you work at has poor management, oversight, safety procedures, or other risks. In many cases, those who employ oil drillers and pump operators may not take the proper safety precautions to keep their workers safe, and the blame for accidents and injuries may fall to them. If you were injured in an accident, it is important to get medical treatment for your injuries – but it is also important to take your case to an attorney.
You may be entitled to file a lawsuit for your injuries and get compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In many cases, workers’ compensation will not cover all your needs, and you will need a personal injury attorney to file your case in a court. For a free consultation on your case, contact the Pecos oil drilling injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm. Our number is (817) 476-1797.
Types of Injuries in Oil Drilling Accidents
Oil drilling accidents are prone to a variety of injuries. Many of the dangers with drilling are related to the drills and other machinery, oil pressure, and the dangerous conditions where oil drilling takes place.
The mechanical parts of drills and other heavy machinery involve moving parts. As drills themselves can crush and destroy rock and dirt, the damage they can cause to a human body is also immense. Fortunately, these drills are not usually exposed to the surface while drilling, but the machinery used to operate and move drills can still cause serious injuries. These mechanisms can crush and break bones, so if your arm or leg becomes entangled in the machinery, you could very well lose the limb.
The oil itself is under very high pressure in the ground. Whether you are drilling on land or offshore, the pressure can cause serious injury if it is suddenly released. The pumps and pipelines used to extract and move crude oil are also under enormous pressure. If the metal buckles or seals burst, the high-pressure oil can cause serious injuries. If this oil pushes or surprises you, you can easily fall. Falling to the ground carries its own injury risks, but falling into dangerous conditions or moving machinery carries even greater risks of injury.
Many of the conditions of drilling are also quite dangerous. Narrow passages, high catwalks, and other obstacles can easily cause you to trip or fall without proper handrails, lighting, and other safety features. Especially on offshore oil platforms, metallic surfaces could be slick with oil, rain, or ocean spray. Falling down may not seem like a severe injury, but if you land on your back or head, you could face serious back injuries, slipped discs, whiplash, concussions, or even traumatic brain injury. This can stop you from returning to work for a significant period of time, or prevent a return entirely.
Suing for Oil Drilling Accidents
If you or a loved one is involved in an oil drilling accident, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Many times, Texas law requires you to file through workers’ compensation rather than a court of law, but filing through workers’ comp. may not fully cover your needs. While workers’ comp. can pay for medical bills and lost wages, they may require you to use a doctor they choose, seek preapproval for procedures, and accept only a fraction of your normal paycheck.
Alternatively, a lawsuit may entitle you to full compensation, and may open the door to additional areas of damages for your benefit. A personal injury lawsuit can entitle you to receive full compensation for any financial or physical injury you suffer because of the accident. That means that if you suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for any related medical procedures and pain and suffering.
Medical expenses paid during a personal injury lawsuit can cover not only the costs of things like surgery and doctor’s visits, but also diagnostics and rehabilitation. While you may need pre-approval under workers’ compensation, you may use a doctor of your choice and seek reimbursement later if you file a lawsuit. Talk to an attorney for more information about what medical care would be reasonably related to your accident.
If you miss work or are unable to return to work entirely, a lawsuit may cover your lost wages. Both past and future missed paychecks may be fully compensated in a lawsuit, rather than a fraction of what you would have received with workers’ comp.
Lastly, you may be entitled to two additional areas of damages. Direct compensation for your pain and suffering may be available in many cases. Moreover, Texas law has no caps or limits on these damages, and this may be the largest part of your injury case. If your employer’s actions were especially negligent, part of a pattern, or intentional, you may be entitled to additional damages to punish the wrongdoers in your case. These “punitive” or “exemplary” damages are rare, but may be available.
Pecos Oil Drilling Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one works at an oil rig, you may be able to sue the employer for serious on-the-job injuries. Contact the Pecos oil worker injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., today for a free consultation on your case. Our number is (817) 476-1797.