While oil and gas extraction is an important industry and economic driver, it is also a dangerous occupation that can lead to serious injury or death. If you’ve been injured in an oil rig accident, an experienced lawyer in Austin, Texas, can help you obtain compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
The following are some important statistics regarding the oil and gas industry:
- According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 74 percent of all fatalities in the mining sector take place in the oil and gas extraction industry.
- In 2015, the industry suffered 89 worker fatalities, 45 of which involved transportation accidents.
- A study of the industry revealed that, in 2011, there were around 1,400 nonfatal injuries, equaling 2.1 cases per 100 full-time workers.
- Injured workers in the industry missed a median of 24 days of work as a result of their injuries, compared to a median of 8 missed days for injured workers in all other industries.
- The higher median of missed work days for workers in oil and gas extraction industries was due in part to the severity of the injuries and length of recovery time.
- Fractures, which generally require a long recovery time, constituted 24 percent of injuries that resulted in missed work. Many of these fractures occurred due to workers being struck by various objects.
- Oil and gas extraction workers sustained half of the injuries that were caused due to workplace accidents in the oil and gas industry.
Oil Rig Accidents in the News
KFDM, a local Fox affiliate, reported in late October 2018 that two workers sustained serious injuries in an oil rig accident in Hardin County. The initial call for emergency response came in around 9:15 pm, with three workers apparently trapped. Emergency personnel evacuated the workers and flew them to a Beaumont Hospital, where they were reported to be in stable condition.
As reported by the Houston Chronicle in February 2018, a veteran oil field worker won a lawsuit against a subsidiary of a Houston-based drilling company following a seven-year legal battle. The company denied the man’s accident claim after he fell on an oil rig in Alaska and suffered life-altering head injuries, according to the report. A court awarded the man $80,000 in back pay. The man’s daughter noted that the fight was never about the money, but rather about doing what was right. The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board handed down the award in January, and the company did not file an appeal within the thirty-day window. The accident, which occurred in 2011, involved the man slipping in mud during a midnight shift. He fell and slid on his back toward a chute used to move lengths of pipe. It took nine months for a surgery to take place, which involved putting a shunt in his brain. While the surgery saved his life, the length of time he spent waiting for it resulted in permanent brain damage. He is no longer able to work. The company failed to report the accident, cut off his insurance, and sent him home to die, according to the report. Furthermore, in a seven-year time frame, the company and its subsidiaries reported at least 18 worker fatalities due to work-site accidents.
According to an August 2018 report from KXXV, a local ABC affiliate, as the state’s number of oil rigs increases, so too does its number of associated workplace accidents. A significant number of workplace accidents occur during transport, with fatigue being a large factor. Another reason for the increase, according to the report, is due to inexperienced workers being hired to fill an increasing number of job openings. It is the responsibility of these new trainees’ mentors to provide them with proper training, so that they can understand the hazards of the job.
How to Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
The most common way to obtain compensation after you’ve been injured in an oil rig accident is to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Another way is to file a claim directly with your employer’s insurance company. Workers also may be eligible to file a work injury lawsuit in some circumstances.
Although Texas is one of the only states that does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, most employers choose to carry it. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim is not as simple as one might think, and it is not at all unusual for Texas workers to receive denials and delays when seeking compensation for their workplace injuries. Many claimants face additional obstacles, including employers and insurance companies who try to limit a victim’s workers’ compensation benefits and doctors who make claims regarding a victim’s diagnosis. For example, an insurance company may argue that a victim’s injuries did not occur at work or that the claimant did not need to miss the amount of work that he or she actually missed.
A lawsuit is usually necessary if an employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage. However, because workers’ compensation only covers medical expenses and lost wages, many injured workers choose to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the full cost of their injuries, including past and future financial losses, as well as pain and suffering expenses. A lawsuit should also be filed if a third party was responsible for your injuries.
Contact the Law Offices of George Salinas Today
If you have been injured in an oil rig accident, you may be faced with a lengthy recovery and significant medical expenses. You likely have a lot on your plate, and filing a workers’ compensation claim or a work injury lawsuit is a complicated process filled with deadlines, strict legal standards, and a requirement to prove that your expenses are directly related to your accident. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of George Salinas can help you deal with insurance companies, uncooperative employers, and other aspects of the legal process. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, our attorneys will work hard to develop a strong case and secure compensation for the full cost of your injuries. If the insurance company fails to offer a reasonable initial settlement, we are prepared to take your case to trial. We will also provide you with top-notch communication and careful guidance as you make choices regarding your legal options.
Call the Law Offices of George Salinas today at (512) 851-1004, or contact us online, to schedule your free consultation and case review with one of our experienced Austin oil rig accident lawyers.
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