Oilfield jobs are among the most dangerous, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept injuries as part of the job. If you were injured during oilfield work in Wichita Falls, an oilfield accident lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help apprise you of your rights, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Workers’ Compensation Vs. Personal Injury Damages
Oilfield accidents can leave you saddled with bills and losses as you attempt to regain your health. Some potential expenses are:
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital stays
- Medical devices
- Prescription medication
- Burn treatment
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Lost wages
These aspects can be paid for through workers’ compensation, an insurance program for employees injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is not based on fault—you can receive benefits without having to prove someone’s negligence caused your accident. You can also be eligible for various forms of disability benefits:
- Temporary partial disability
- Temporary total disability
- Permanent partial disability
- Permanent total disability
However, Texas does not require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and you may not receive any medical benefits through your employer after an oilfield accident. In that case, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if the accident was caused by negligence, allowing you to collect compensation for any of the above costs.
Personal Injury Lawsuits Offer Non-Economic Damages
If your employer does not offer workers’ compensation and you must file a personal injury lawsuit to pay injury costs, you can pursue additional damages beyond just bill reimbursement. Injury lawsuits allow you to seek non-economic damages – monetary compensation for how the injury affected you personally. This includes:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of independence
- Loss of consortium
For example, if your leg was crushed by equipment, requiring amputation and preventing you from returning to the same job, you could pursue damages to compensate you for the wages you will lose over your lifetime due to that injury. Likewise, if your injury affects your ability to be intimate with a spouse, you can pursue compensation for loss of consortium.
Personal injury lawsuit damages can be deeply personal, reflecting your specific struggles following your accident. Work with one of our oilfield injury attorneys to assess your legal options.
If You Lost a Loved One to an Oilfield Accident
Texas consistently ranks as the state with the highest rates of fatal occupational injuries, with 608 workers losing their lives to workplace accidents in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If your spouse or family member was killed in an oilfield accident, you could be eligible for death benefits through workers’ compensation. Alternatively, you can file a wrongful death suit to pursue damages. These avenues can help with:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Remaining medical bills
- Additional compensation
Just as with personal injury, you won’t receive non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, through a workers’ compensation claim. Get in touch with the team at Loncar Lyon Jenkins to learn more.
How We Defend Your Right to Treatment and Compensation
It comes as no surprise when an insurance company does its utmost to avoid shelling out after a car accident. The approach is no different when the case is a workplace accident. Even if your employer has insurance, that doesn’t mean your health and financial well-being are a priority. Instead, you could face excuses to dismiss or undervalue your claim, such as:
- Blaming a third party for the accident
- Claiming your injury is minor
- Denying your injury’s existence
- Preventing access to certain doctors or treatments
- Providing insufficient compensation
- Insisting you return to work too early
In other words, having workers’ compensation doesn’t always guarantee that you receive the help you need.
You may not even realize that you have the power to ask questions or appeal. For example, the Texas Workforce Commission highlights that refusal of “suitable light-duty work” can affect your workers’ compensation benefits. However, this does not mean your employer or insurance company can insist you return to work in some capacity when you are not recovered enough.
This is where the Strong Arm can help. For Wichita Falls victims, an oilfield accident lawyer from our team can stand up for you against your employer and their insurance company to help you receive benefits and return to work only when ready.
If You Need to Pursue a Personal Injury Suit
Without workers’ compensation, you may be able to hold your employer liable for injuries through legal action. Nonetheless, you will face opposition on this path as well, particularly because personal injury requires demonstrating negligence. This means someone’s recklessness led to the accident that caused your injuries. Proving that may require:
- Photos from the scene
- Documentation of your injuries
- Witness and coworker statements
- Expert analysis and testimony
- Research into safety conditions
- Accident reconstruction
Our goal is to link your injury to a specific act of carelessness. This could be:
- Loose railings or platforms
- Faulty equipment
- Leaks or puddles
- Vehicle crashes
- Lack of monitoring
- Manufacturing or design defects
- Overly long hours or lack of breaks
- Insufficient safety measures
- Lack of employee training
Burns and explosions can be especially dangerous risks in oilfield jobs. Furthermore, the rate of fatal workplace falls and transportation accidents rose 11 percent and two percent in 2019, respectively, according to the BLS. However, any of the above scenarios could make the employer, company, or even coworkers liable. We can also explore other possible negligent parties, such as equipment designers, manufacturers, sellers, and maintenance workers.
Call in the Strong Arm if You Were Injured While Working in an Oilfield
You can consult legal help immediately following your accident, even if your employer has workers’ compensation. Don’t let anyone pressure you to return to work while injured. If you are a victim in Wichita Falls, contact Loncar Lyon Jenkins today to learn how one of our oilfield accident lawyers can defend your rights.
Call us at (877) 239-4878. We are not afraid to take on a fight against this industry. Call for your free consultation now.