There is no disputing that working in an oil field is an extremely dangerous job. This occupation presents numerous hazards, including heavy equipment and machinery, which could lead to crush injuries and sometimes fatalities.
If you suffered an injury at an oil field job, it is important that you go to the hospital and seek ongoing medical treatment for your injuries. However, it is equally important that you involve a skilled workers’ compensation or personal injury lawyer in your case as soon as possible. This is especially true when it comes time to negotiate a favorable settlement offer with the insurance company adjuster.
The skilled and compassionate legal team at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law understands the complexity of workers’ compensation and personal injury claims that involve oil field injuries. Our legal team can help you gather the necessary records to present a claim to the appropriate insurance company adjuster. We can then help you during settlement negotiations and litigation in pursuit of the highest possible monetary recovery available in your case.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Texas work injury attorney, please give us a call or contact us online to learn more.
Why is Working in an Oil Field So Dangerous?
Working in an oil field presents numerous dangers, given the nature of the machinery and equipment that workers must use on a daily basis. Most oil field equipment is large, heavy, and complicated. Oil field workers must also spend long hours on the job each day, increasing their exposure to this hazardous equipment – and increasing their chances of suffering an injury or death.
Accidents can also happen when work supervisors and others fail to regularly inspect the oil field machinery and when machinery is defective.
If you suffered an oil field injury while you were on the job, an experienced attorney at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law can explore your legal options with you and determine if you are eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits – or a personal injury claim against a third party. In either instance, we can advocate for you and help you file the necessary claim documents to pursue the monetary compensation and benefits you need.
What are Some Common Oil Field Injuries?
Whenever individuals have to work around dangerous and heavy equipment in an oil field, they are prone to suffering serious injuries. In some instances, an individual could fall off a piece of equipment, such as a high ladder, and suffer a fracture or broken bone. If the worker lands on their neck or back, they could also suffer a spinal cord injury, such as full or partial paralysis. Soft tissue injuries, including muscular contusions, are also common among oil field workers injured on the job.
Equipment that malfunctions could also lead to a crush injury that causes broken bones and other serious complications. Moreover, blowouts may cause a fire hazard which leads to various burn injuries. Burn injuries can also result from exposure to toxic chemicals in an oil field. Finally, workers who suffer exposure to oil or gas while on the job may suffer heart disease and other serious illnesses.
If you suffered any of these injuries while working in an oil field, it is vitally important that you obtain the ongoing medical treatment that you need. You should begin treating your injuries at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room. You should then follow up with other providers, as recommended by your emergency room doctor.
Obtaining the treatment you need helps to ensure that your oil field injuries do not become worse as time progresses. Moreover, it gives your lawyer time to begin assembling the necessary documents to handle your workers’ compensation claim or personal injury case. At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we can begin handling the legal components of your case while you focus your attention on getting better and obtaining the treatment you need for your oil field injuries.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Following an On-the-job Injury
If you currently work in an oil field and you suffered an injury while on the job and while working within the scope of your employment, you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim for various benefits. As part of your claim, you may be eligible to recover damages, depending upon the circumstances of your accident, the specific injuries which you suffered in the accident, and other factors.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you will deal with the insurance company for your employer. You should keep in mind that these insurance companies are never on your side or looking out for your best interests. Rather, they are looking out for their own interests – and those of their insureds.
The skilled legal team at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law could help you pursue workers’ compensation benefits after your oil field accident. We can do this by obtaining copies of your medical records and other important documents and forwarding them to the insurance company adjuster who is handling your claim. We could also help you recover various benefits, including compensation for your lost wages, compensation for your related medical expenses, and in some instances, permanency benefits if you suffered a permanent injury while on the job.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim for my Oil Field Injuries?
If you suffer an injury while working in an oil field – or in some other employment capacity – you must typically rely upon the Texas Workers’ Compensation System to recover monetary damages and benefits. In other words, you cannot file a claim or lawsuit directly against your employer. However, if you suffered injuries in an oil field accident that resulted from a third party’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit directly against the at-fault party.
First, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against a third-party contractor who failed to supervise the job operations and that led to your accident. Alternatively, you could file a claim against an equipment manufacturer. Manufacturers and product distributors must use reasonable care when constructing and assembling products, ensuring that they are fit for use by workers on the job. When manufacturers, designers, and others fail to take the appropriate safety measures, and an accident occurs, they may be liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
In most instances, a third-party claim is filed with the insurance company for the at-fault individual or entity. Your lawyer can help you assemble the claim documents, including copies of your medical records and bills, lost wage statements, and photographs of your injuries, and submit them to the insurance company settlement adjuster in charge of your case.
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, our team can gather the appropriate records on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company adjuster. Since insurance companies are primarily looking out for their own interests, they may not offer you sufficient compensation right away. When that happens, litigation may be a viable option for you.
Litigation begins when we file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in the court system. While most cases settle out of court at some point, we could take your case to a civil jury trial, or binding arbitration hearing, if that becomes necessary. Our legal team can help you make informed decisions about settlement or litigation and effectively handle every stage of your case from beginning to end.
What Damages Could I Recover as Part of a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?
If you need to file a personal injury claim arising from your oil field accident and injuries, you could receive various damages. If your case settles out of court, the insurance company should compensate you based on the nature and extent of your injuries. A judge or jury should do the same if your case goes to trial. Some of the most common damages that accident victims receive for injuries arising from oil field accidents include:
- Compensation for all related medical expenses
- Lost wage damages, compensating accident victims for their missed work time
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of spousal companionship and consortium
- Wrongful death, if the accident victim suffered a fatal injury in their oil field accident
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we make it our priority to help accident victims maximize the monetary damages they recover via settlement or litigation. We will fight for your rights to recover the full monetary damages you deserve from insurance company adjusters and juries.
Speak to an Experienced Texas Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a person you care about sustained injuries in an oil field accident, the skilled legal team at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law is ready to meet with you promptly and discuss your legal options going forward. When you retain us to handle your workers’ compensation or personal injury case, you can rest assured that we will actively and aggressively pursue your legal interests – both at the settlement negotiating table and in the courtroom.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, please call us or contact us online to learn more.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.