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Recovering after an oilfield accident is a difficult process. Injuries can leave victims scrambling to try to figure out how to get their lives back on track. If you were considering seeking financial compensation after being injured in an oilfield accident, it is important that you understand you don’t have to fight that battle alone. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience with these types of claims and may discuss your claim with you today.
Common Injuries in an Oilfield Explosion
According to date from the Center for Public Integrity, 1,566 American workers died trying to extract oil and gas between 2008 and 2017. In Texas, the oil and gas industry is growing. In 2018, there were 2,400 more people working in the industry than the year prior.
As with most hazardous work environments that lead to injury, those injuries can come in many different shapes and forms. Sometimes they border on more severe, sometimes less severe, and in the most serious of cases, injuries may even prove to be fatal. However, there are some common injuries that may follow an oilfield injury accident. These injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Head injures
- Brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Impairment to motor functions
- Cuts and scrapes
- Emotional trauma
Common Causes of an Oilfield Explosion
There are a few common causes of oilfield injuries that have been identified over time. Some of these causes may include:
Oilfield and drilling sites often utilize complex, heavy, and dangerous equipment and other tools. For this equipment to do what it is supposed to do, it requires proper maintenance, training, and upkeep. When one of those factors fails, there may be a situation where equipment failure causes injury.
In addition to heavy machinery, oilfields often emit a range of flammable gases. This can be attributed to the different trucks, wells, or tanks in use. These flammable gases run the risk of ignition and subsequently causing explosions and fires, which may cause injury to those working within range.
Improperly Maintained Work Environment
When working with toxic chemicals, flammable gases, and other potentially dangerous materials, maintaining a safe work environment should be the priority. Working in too confined of a space or without the right materials can lead to injury.
A well-maintained work environment won’t do much if the employees in that work environment are not adequately trained. Lack of proper training on how to dispose of materials, handle certain materials, or operate equipment can create a lot of risks that may fall on the employer.
What to do After an Oilfield Explosion
Seek Medical Attention
The most important thing to do after an accident is to seek medical attention for any injuries. Regardless of whether the injuries are big, small, or virtually unnoticeable to you at the time, it is still always advisable to seek medical care after being involved in an accident.
Notify the Police or Authorities If Necessary
If appropriate, you should always call the police in the aftermath of an accident. This is especially true if you foresee yourself filing a future legal claim for compensation. A police report can be an important initial piece of evidence in a legal claim for compensation.
Document What You Can
An experienced attorney can help you launch an investigation into the accident that led to your injuries. They can pull important documents and help you figure out what you need. However, if there is anything you can document on your own in the initial aftermath of the accident, you should. This could include taking photos of your injuries, getting the contact information of anything who may have knowledge about your accident, or keeping your medical documents well-organized.
Speak with an Experienced Attorney
One of the most important steps you can take after an oilfield explosion in Texas is to reach out to an experienced attorney. Having an attorney is not necessary to file a claim for compensation, but an attorney can be an invaluable resource on the road to your recovery. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have dealt with oilfield injury claims before and may be able to help you today.
After speaking with an experienced attorney, you will now begin a negotiation phase with the other party or persons involved in your legal claim. If you were injured in an oilfield accident, you were most likely on the job at the time of the accident. In Texas, workers’ compensation is not mandatory for employers. If your employer subscribes to workers’ compensation, a workers’ comp claim may be your only way to receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages. However, if the employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, you may be able to bring a personal injury suit. An experienced attorney may help you determine your best path to seek compensation for your injuries.
Compensation in an OilField Injury Lawsuit
If you file a workers’ compensation claim, you may generally be limited to recovering medical bills and lost wages. However, if you bring a lawsuit against your employer, you may be able to seek economic damages and non-economic damages for your injury.
Economic damages cover bills that are easily quantified with a set amount of money. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and other incidentals like gas money for driving to and from doctor’s appointments.
Non-economic damages are based on the impact the injury is going to have on your life going forward, and are therefore less concrete. These types of damages generally cover things such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are not as quantifiable and are heavily dependent on the accident and your injury.
Important Legal Time Limits
Each state places a statute of limitations on personal injury claims. A statute of limitations is a time limit on your ability to file a legal claim for compensation after suffering some type of injury or property damage. In Texas, you have two years to file a personal injury claim and one year to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Failure to file your legal claim within the permissible time limit could result in your claim being barred entirely. That means you may not be able to recover anything simply because you waited too long to make a claim. Time is of the essence. The sooner you can file your claim the better.
Zinda Law Group’s Oilfield Injury Attorneys Can Help
The legal process is complicated. Trying to handle your claim on your own will only make matters worse. Even the smallest mistakes can ruin your chance to pursue any compensation you may be entitled to from your accident. You don’t want to miss out on the chance to secure financial compensation for your injuries due to a simple mistake.
Having an attorney on your side may help you seek the maximum compensation you may be entitled to because attorneys know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies. Your attorney will combine your medical costs, lost wages, and any pain and suffering to negotiate an appropriate settlement. If the insurance companies don’t want to offer an appropriate settlement, your attorney may be able to advise you on the process of going to trial.
The insurance companies pay a lot of money to have attorneys fight for them on all fronts and do everything they can to make sure they pay you as little as possible. You can have an experienced attorney fight for you too. Our Texas attorneys at Zinda Law Group believe that everyone should have access to quality legal representation. We offer free initial case consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. That means that unless we win your case, you don’t owe us any money.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.