An oilfield accident is a type of workplace injury that may entitle you to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. When deciding how to pursue this compensation, you may wonder who you can sue in an oilfield accident. On this page, we will try to answer this question so that you better understand your options and rights.
Potentially Liable Parties
The oilfields of Texas offer opportunities and employment to many workers throughout the state, but these jobs come with inherent risks. Faulty equipment, explosions, and falling objects can leave you with serious injuries that prevent you from working while causing you pain and suffering.
In a situation like this, you may be entitled to compensation to help cover your expenses. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, then you can file a claim for benefits. However, according to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), not all employers are required to carry this coverage.
If the amount of coverage is not enough to compensate you for your injuries, or if your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, that does not mean you are out of options. You may be able to sue several different parties for damages.
Suing Your Employer
When you file for workers’ compensation, you are filing a claim that does not require you to prove fault. No matter who or what caused the accident, you can still recover damages. However, when you pursue a lawsuit against an employer without workers’ compensation coverage, you will have to show that they are at fault for your injuries.
This can be accomplished by proving negligence on behalf of your employer or coworkers. If they had knowledge of dangerous conditions or had reason to believe an accident would likely occur, then they may be held liable for your injuries.
Suing the Property Owner
If you have already filed a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against your employer, then you may still be able to recover additional damages by suing third parties. This could be helpful if the amount you got from your employer or workers’ compensation was not enough to cover what you need.
The property owner may be held liable for dangerous conditions on their land if their negligence led to your injuries. By failing to maintain the property, they put you at risk and failed to meet the duty of care they owed to you. These kinds of lawsuits are called premises liability cases, the specifics of which are described in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 75.002.
Suing Contractors and Subcontractors
If you work with contractors or subcontractors whose negligence led to your injury, then you may be able to sue their employer instead of or in addition to your own.
Suing Equipment Manufacturers
When an oil rig explodes or malfunctions, it may be due to improper or irregular maintenance, mistakes in the original manufacturing, or design flaws. You may be able to sue the manufacturers and owners of the faulty equipment.
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The Impact of Oilfield Accidents
Types of Oilfield Accidents
Types of oilfield accidents that may lead to injury are as follows.
- Fires and explosions: These kinds of catastrophic events can result in death and serious injury.
- Falling objects: When coworkers drop tools or debris falls off of faulty equipment, it can result in traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
- Oil refining accidents: The refining process involves dangerous chemicals that can cause damage if not handled safely.
- Fracking accidents: These can cause a blowout, the release of toxic chemicals, and explosions.
- Oil transport accidents: Trucks and trains filled with oil are dangerous due to the volatile nature of their cargo.
Consequences of Oilfield Accidents
Some injuries that you or a loved one might suffer as a result of an oilfield accident are as follows.
- Burns: Severe burns over a significant portion of your body can require years of medical treatment and rehabilitation.
- Loss of limb and disfigurement: Damage to your extremities could lead to amputation or disfiguring impairment.
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI): If you are struck on the head at an oilfield, you may get a concussion or even enter into a coma.
- Toxic chemical exposure: The dangerous chemicals used to extract and refine oil can cause life-long medical issues.
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to your neck and back can affect your nervous system and lead to paralysis.
How You Can Pursue Compensation When Injured in an Oilfield Accident
A personal injury lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you fight for your rights after you are injured in an oilfield accident. Call us today at (877) 239-4878 to learn more about who you can sue in an oilfield accident and to receive your free consultation about your Dallas personal injury case.