Oil Field Injury Lawyer in San Antonio
Offering Over 65 Years of Combined Experience
Texas has many oil field injuries and accidents, serious personal injuries, and fatalities because it has a high number of oil field employees. Due to the contact with explosive and flammable liquids, the difficult working conditions, and the exotic locations, oil exploration includes naturally dangerous working environments. If injured in such an accident, you’ll need an experienced San Antonio oil field injury lawyer.
Many oil field exploration companies have been successful at lowering the rate of injuries for their employees. This focus has helped to bring the injury rate below those of other industries. For example, the injury rate in the construction industry for accidents is about 5.7 lost days of work for every 100 full-time employees, while the rate for oil field exploration accidents is about 1.6 lost days of work per 100.
However, due to a naturally dangerous environment, employers must take precautions to protect the oil field workers from injuries. Not all employers strive to provide a highly safe work environment. The employers could eliminate numerous unsafe conditions if proper steps were taken. Oil field employees sometimes get hurt due to the negligence of the employer, therefore a San Antonio oil field injury lawyer can help guide you.
To begin, schedule your free initial consultation by contacting our firm today.
Let Us Handle Your Case
Oil field injuries can be severe, and you need to ensure you get the compensation necessary to take care of yourself and your family. Your San Antonio oil field injury attorney will be your advocate, ensuring you are treated fairly by your employer and the insurance company.
- Obtain all of the evidence related to the case, including accident reports, eyewitness statements, photos, video surveillance, and more
- Have your medical records evaluated by a trained healthcare professional
- Properly calculate your total damages in the case
- Work to negotiate a fair settlement for all of your injury-related expenses
Oil Field Injury Facts & Statistics
The gas and oil industry sees thousands of serious injuries and worker deaths in the U.S. each year. Stories are often in the news about tragedies such as transportation accidents and oil rig explosions. According to the most recent statistics available, 112 workers lost their lives in the private mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries in 2017. This was a 26% increase from 89 deaths in 2016. Eighty-one (81) workers lost their lives in the oil and gas sector specifically. Texas is consistently at the top of the list for number of fatal oil and gas occupational injuries in the U.S.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 489 workers in the oil and gas extraction sector died on the job from 2013 to 2017. OSHA states that the most common types of accidents included transportation mishaps and fires. Some of the greatest safety hazards in this industry that cause injuries are motor vehicles, heavy equipment, fire risks, and falls. OSHA has many federal laws and safety regulations to help prevent serious worker injuries in this industry. Unfortunately, tragic oil field accidents can and do still occur.
What Are the Most Common Oil Field Injuries?
The very nature of oil field work means that injuries tend to be severe.
Whether using heavy equipment and tools or operating a motor vehicle, our San Antonio oil field injuries attorneys often help clients suffering from the following:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Loss of or damage to bodily organs
- Dismemberment or amputation
- Fire and explosion injuries
- Burn injuries
- Blunt force injuries
- Chemical exposure
- Significant disfigurement
- Other injuries that inhibit a person’s daily activities
Each of these injuries requires extensive medical attention. In many cases, victims are left with major medical bills. Due to the severity of many oil field injuries, victims may need extended or lifelong care and may not be able to work. Losing their income can be detrimental.
In some cases, oil field workers suffer from repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) that develop over time. RSIs are caused by repetitive motions performed for months or years. In many cases, injured workers do not realize they have an RSI until severe damage has been done.
Common Types of Oil Field Industry Accidents
Although many different hazards and problems can cause oil field industry accidents in San Antonio, certain reasons are more common than others. Problems such as lack of training and poor equipment maintenance cause common types of oil field accidents. If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in one of these accident types, our law office can help.
We have experience with a wide range of oil field accident types, including:
- Confined space injuries and illnesses
- Crane accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Falling loads
- Fires and explosions
- Fracking accidents
- Gas leaks and oil spills
- Heavy equipment failures
- Rig collapse
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Truck and vehicle accidents
- Well blowouts
No matter how your injuries happened or who you believe is responsible, contact an attorney from the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C. for a free case review. We will listen to your version of events and let you know if we believe you have grounds for a personal injury claim. If we agree to take your case, we can help you identify the defendant(s) and file a claim within Texas’ deadline. In general, you will have one year from the date of your accident to file a workers’ compensation claim and two years to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Being Struck By Large Oil Field Objects
Extensive steel rigging and heavy pipes are commonplace on the oil derricks. Particularly in the early stages of oil field development, these materials are constantly being hoisted into place. It is little surprise that the highest percentage of oil field-related fatalities results from laborers being struck by large objects. Workers are asked to construct and tear down riggings and to insert and remove pipes on a regular basis. This contact can lead to injuries and death during the oil exploration process.
Oil Field Transportation
In the oil field exploration industry, it is common for employees to be transported great distances for work. Travel to and from the oil fields accounts for a large portion of the oil field-related accidents and fatalities. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that highway transportation accidents, including car accidents and trucking accidents, account for 1 in 5 of the worker fatalities associated with oil and gas exploration.
One of the downsides of Texas’ large oil and gas economy is the high risk of injuries, accidents, and deaths associated with this occupation, even for nonworkers. People driving through oil and gas production zones are at a high risk of transportation accidents. The Texas Department of Transportation states that almost half of all car accident deaths in the state in 2018 occurred in Texas’ five major oil and gas regions. These energy regions saw 198,645 total traffic accidents, 6,179 serious injuries, and 1,673 fatalities in 2018 alone. The Barnette Shale saw the highest number of accidents and deaths.
Oil field transportation is so dangerous because it is difficult for the drivers of both large trucks and motor vehicles to navigate energy work zones. Truck drivers may have limited visibility and require more distance to stop. Motor vehicle drivers may underestimate the risks of driving near big rigs and engage in dangerous practices such as speeding or distracted driving. Commercial truck drivers in the oil industry may not pay attention to the road or operate their rigs as safely as they should. Either way, Texas’ energy sectors see a high number of accidents each year.
Who Is Liable for These Injuries?
Because these are considered work injuries, most oil field injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation in Texas. Workers’ compensation requires coverage of an injured worker’s medical costs and a portion of their income if they cannot work while they recover. Workers’ compensation is generally available to anyone regardless of who was at fault as long as the injury happened at work or while performing work-related duties.
However, there are times when it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to recover compensation. This could be because the employer or their insurer has denied or disputed your claim. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if your injuries were caused by a third-party.
What Is the Difference Between Workers’ Comp and a Personal Injury Case?
Workers’ compensation is not a mandatory type of coverage for employers in Texas. It is up to an employer whether or not to purchase this type of insurance. If your oil field employer does offer workers’ compensation, you can file a claim under this insurance policy to request coverage for your medical bills and partial lost wages. If not, you may need to turn to a personal injury claim instead.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you will not have to prove fault for your oil field injuries. It will not matter whether or not someone else was negligent in causing your injuries. You could receive financial benefits through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance regardless of fault for the accident. The benefits available will cover your related medical expenses and two-thirds lost wages. It could also provide death benefits if you lost a loved one in an oil field accident.
Once you accept a workers’ compensation claim, you give up the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. If you reject this coverage, a third party other than your employer caused your injuries or your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, however, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. A successful personal injury claim could result in greater compensation for your oil field injury than workers’ comp. However, you and your San Antonio oil field injury lawyer will need to prove someone’s fault to receive this type of award.
A civil lawsuit against your employer, a coworker, a product manufacturer, a property owner, or another at-fault party could result in payment for both your economic and non-economic damages. The negligent party may owe you a financial award for your medical bills, 100% lost wages, disability expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, lost enjoyment of life, and legal fees. You could also receive a punitive damage award if a judge decides it is a fair punishment for the defendant’s gross negligence.
Was There Negligence on the Oil Field or By a Manager?
Negligence is one person’s lack of proper care or prudence, resulting in injuries to someone else. Negligence is a breach of the duty to exercise reasonable care. When negligence causes a preventable oil field accident, the negligent party could be legally responsible for damages. If you think someone was negligent in causing your recent accident, you could have grounds for a civil claim against that person or entity.
Many types of negligence in this industry could contribute to an accident, such as:
- Unsafe drivers
- Poor equipment maintenance
- Improperly stored hazardous substances
- Damaged pipes and gas leaks
- Too much pressure buildup in wells
- Lack of employee training
- Lack of appropriate safety gear
- Poor communication in the field
- Ignored industry regulations
- Cutting corners during shutdown procedures
- Dangerous premises
- Intentional crimes or wrongdoing
It is worthwhile to discuss the question of negligence with an attorney after a significant oil field disaster in Texas. If someone was negligent, it is important to bring that party to justice – not just for your financial gain but also for the safety of the industry as a whole. Shedding light on dangerous or illegal practices at your workplace could force the employer to do better in terms of employee safety in the future. You and your San Antonio oil field injury lawyer could have the power to prevent similar incidents. Ask an attorney whether your case might have involved negligence.
Representing Victims of Oil Field Accidents in Texas
At the Law Offices of Pat Maloney, P.C., we have years of experience helping injured workers and surviving loved ones with oil field accident claims. Our personal injury lawyers can help you work through the laws and details of your case in the pursuit of a fair recovery.
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