Your oilfield accident likely came as a shock. After all, none of us expect these kinds of accidents to happen. You’ve probably had to take time to heal, and the bills from your oilfield accident keep piling up. It could be hard to recover and move forward after your accident if someone else was at fault for the accident.
Knowing what to do after your accident can be challenging, especially considering your legal options in Texas. If your oilfield accident was caused by the careless actions of another person or group, you might be eligible to recover compensation in an oilfield accident case.
A Tyler oilfield accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia is ready to connect with you and start answering your questions.
Working on a Texas Oilfield: the Demands of the Job
Tyler, Texas is located between the Barnett Shale and the Haynesville-Bossier Shale, which means that Tyler residents have many opportunities for employment in the oilfields. There are a variety of positions you could occupy as someone who works at an oilfield, such as a driller or floor hand. Some jobs provide decent pay, but they aren’t always a walk in the park.
For example, some oilfield jobs can involve long hours, and workers are often outdoors. In addition, oilfield workers often use heavy equipment and are on their feet for most of the workday. The job demands become even more difficult because of the multiple hazards present in oilfields. These hazards open the possibility of accidents and severe injury, especially when workplace safety is ignored or overlooked.
Hazards and Potential Dangers in Texas Oilfields
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) identifies potential dangers in work areas and helps develop guidelines to maintain safety. Some of the potential hazards in the gas and oil extraction industry include the following:
- Vehicle collisions while traveling to and from oil well sites: About two-fifths of the oil and gas industry fatalities happen because of vehicle collisions.
- Risk for struck-by, caught-in, or caught-between accidents: These types of accidents could include being struck by moving or falling equipment.
- Exposure to explosions or fires: Because oil and gas are flammable, when fires happen, they can be extremely dangerous to oilfield workers. Fires can start from many sources, such as electrical energy sources, welding tools, or open flames.
- Falling, particularly platforms and equipment high off the ground: For example, workers on drilling platforms are at an increased risk for falls. Considering the height of those platforms, these workers are especially at risk for serious or even fatal injuries due to a fall.
- Dangers from confined spaces, along with possible chemical exposure: Workers may go into areas like storage tanks or reserve pits during their workday. Workers in these situations may risk lack of oxygen or exposure to dangerous chemicals.
- Risks from working with high-pressure lines and equipment: High-pressure lines carrying gas can sometimes burst, potentially exposing workers to dangerous gas.
- Exposure to electrical hazards: Not everything is oil in the oilfield industry. Workers can face dangers from equipment that utilizes electricity when the equipment is not maintained or used correctly or if the worker has not received proper training.
A worker’s exact risk in the oilfield industry will depend on their unique job, circumstances, and experience. In addition, the worker’s safety is often in the hands of their supervisors and fellow workers. And sometimes, the risk increases based on the number of times someone performs a task. For example, workers can be at risk for injuries from repetitive motions or consistently doing a job in a way that can cause long-term damage.
Keeping Yourself Safe as an Oilfield Worker in Tyler
Some accidents are inevitable. However, with everyone working together, it is possible to reduce the number of oilfield accidents. If you work in the oilfield industry or even if you are only visiting an oilfield site, you can take steps to keep yourself safe.
For example, you should follow the safety recommendations laid out by your company’s policies and by your supervisor or boss. You should utilize the safety equipment provided to help minimize the damage from oilfield accidents. If you need special training to use equipment, make sure that you get the training and ask questions to clarify what you don’t understand.
Employers and suppliers can also work to keep everyone safe. For example, suppliers can make and provide oilfield workers with quality safety equipment to reduce the risk of injuries from oilfield accidents.
Employers have a legal obligation to protect their workers by following OSHA guidelines. By doing so, they can maintain a safe working environment. Employers can also work to follow proper reporting procedures when accidents do occur. Adequate follow-up and evaluating why an accident happened can help prevent similar injuries in the future.
If your oilfield accident was the result of negligence, you should reach out to an oilfield attorney to discuss your legal options, especially if OSHA violations occurred.
For a free legal consultation with a oilfield accidents lawyer serving Tyler, call (903) 593-4545
Possible Injuries at an Oilfield
Because oilfields have inherent dangers for oilfield workers, the type of injury you can sustain can vary. Some injuries may require minimal medical intervention, while others can lead to lifelong disability and impairment. Sometimes, you will not realize the full extent of your injuries until more time has passed.
Because injuries may not be readily apparent, if you’ve been in an accident while working at a Tyler oilfield, we encourage you to seek medical help immediately. Your doctor can provide a more thorough examination than you can by yourself, and they may discover an injury that may impact your ability to work or live as you did before the accident.
For example, falls can cause spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries.
Spinal cord injuries involve damage to the nerves of the spine. Depending on the level of damage, you may lose your ability to feel and move below the level of the injury, such as from the waist or even from the neck down to your feet.
Traumatic brain injuries occur when there is significant damage to brain tissue. After a brain injury, you may be unable to communicate as you did prior to the injury. You may also need to relearn specific skills or work to overcome new disability barriers.
Additional injuries or illnesses from oilfield accidents include the following:
- Sprains or strains to muscles: Sprains may take time to heal, and you may have certain movement restrictions as you recover from these injuries. Muscle damage can be caused by repetitive movements, being struck by an object, or falls.
- Fractures: After some fractures, doctors may have to do surgery to properly align the bones and allow for healing. You may have significant movement restrictions while your fractures heal. This typically means you will need to take time off from work or be unable to do some aspects of your job for a while.
- Lacerations or other soft tissue injuries: Some cuts can be life-threatening, such as if you experience cuts or extensive bleeding over major arteries. In some situations, you may need stitches and may not be able to perform your regular duties until the wounds heal.
- Illness from exposures: Exposure to the elements could lead to illnesses like infections. Exposure to dangerous chemicals or asbestos could contribute to cancer.
No matter the injury or severity, you may want to discuss your oilfield accident with an oilfield attorney serving Tyler to ensure that you protect your future. Whether you fully recover or need lifelong care, you may have options to obtain compensation for your oilfield injury.
Deaths in the Oilfield Industry
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 44 deaths occurred in the U.S. in the oil and gas extraction industries in 2020. It is an industry that carries a significant level of risk. After deaths occur in the oilfield industry, the deceased person’s loved ones may have the option of filing a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims help to reduce the chances of these severe events happening to someone else and can help loved ones cover costs related to the death of their loved ones. However, in Texas, the deceased person’s family generally only has two years from the time of the fatal accident to file. So, if your loved one has suffered a fatal accident in a Tyler oilfield, you may want to contact a Tyler oilfield accident attorney as soon as possible.
Tyler Oilfield Accident Lawyer Near Me (903) 593-4545
What Should I Do If I Experience an Accident at an Oilfield?
It is essential to focus on your safety and physical health first, although your specific actions will depend on your circumstances and what sort of accident occurred. Remember to stay calm and take everything one step at a time.
The following steps should take priority over any reporting or legal consultation component.
Get the Medical Treatment You Need
Medical treatment will likely involve both emergency medical care and follow-up. For example, let’s say you fall and hit your head at your job at an oilfield. In this case, you will likely go to the emergency room for an initial evaluation. Doctors may run diagnostic tests like X-rays and CT scans to determine the extent of the damage.
Sometimes, you may need emergency surgery, such as to relieve pressure on the brain. After emergency interventions, you may also require long-term follow-up and care. For example, you may need rehab training to relearn motor skills or learn how to manage new disabilities.
Your care could involve care from multiple specialists, including emergency medical personnel, surgeons, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. This treatment can be both extensive and costly.
As you go through the process of seeking medical treatment, we recommend saving copies of all receipts and treatment plans for any potential case in the future.
Document and Report the Oilfield Accident
As part of your data collection, you can document what happened before, during, and immediately after the accident. Proper documentation may include obtaining photos or videos of where the accident occurred, your injuries right after the accident, and any machinery or other relevant equipment related to the accident. You can also keep track of any paperwork, such as incident reports or documentation of the treatment you received.
In addition, you should report the accident to the appropriate authorities and supervisors, depending on the situation. For example, you may need to report the accident to your employer or an insurance company. Sometimes, you may also need to notify law enforcement and emergency medical services so everyone involved can receive the help they need.
Consider Consulting an Oilfield Accident Attorney
Sometimes, recovering compensation on your own can be challenging after experiencing an oilfield accident. The legal process is often complex, and knowing what options are available to you can be confusing. It can be helpful to consult with an attorney after an oilfield accident.
An attorney from Domingo Garcia can review all possible legal pathways for you. We can help walk you through the process of filing claims for compensation. Additionally, we can provide immediate help by directing you to the appropriate parties to seek care or report the accident as you begin your recovery process.
Who Is Responsible for an Oilfield Accident?
In Texas, more than one person or group can be responsible for an oilfield accident. Therefore, it is essential for lawyers to carefully review what happened, who was involved, and who may share the blame. Depending on the situation, you may receive compensation from more than one party.
Responsible parties may include:
- Manufacturers: If a manufacturer installs faulty equipment in oilfield machinery, the manufacturer may be responsible for any accidents resulting from equipment problems.
uppliers: If a supplier provides inadequate equipment or is misleading about the use of a product, the supplier may be responsible for accidents that result. For example, if a supplier provides false information about protective equipment, workers could be injured because of inadequate protection.
- Individuals involved in the accident: Sometimes, the careless actions of another person can contribute to an oilfield accident. Operators of lifts, the company man supervising the job or a well workover crew are common examples.
- Employers: Employers may be responsible for oilfield accidents as well. For example, suppose they fail to provide appropriate employee training or follow safety measures. In that case, they may be responsible for the accidents that occur.
ompensation from Non-Subscriber Employers
Workers’ compensation offers a certain amount of legal protection from lawsuits to employers, and it often covers many accidents in the workplace. Workers’ comp typically covers a worker’s medical bills after a workplace accident, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It also usually provides workers with a portion of their wages while they are unable to work.
However, in Texas, some employers may not have workers’ compensation. These employers are known as non-subscribers. If your employer is a non-subscriber, you may have the option of filing a lawsuit against your employer for the damages you suffered in your oilfield accident. Though we can help you with this process at Domingo Garcia, we do not handle workers’ compensation cases.
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Possible Compensation You Can Recover in an Oilfield Accident Case
Your exact compensation in an oilfield accident case will depend on your unique situation. Multiple factors will influence your case’s outcome, including what happened, the severity of the damages you sustained, and who was responsible for the accident. Once our Tyler oilfield accident lawyers have taken the time to review your case, we may be able to estimate how much compensation your case is worth.
Compensation should help to cover your expenses after an oilfield accident and help you move forward with your life in the best way possible. We can help you recover compensation for the following:
- Medical bills related to the accident
- Cost of treatment for any necessary follow up
- Property damaged in the accident
- Lost wages during recovery
- Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
Compensation from Traumatic Injury and Wrongful Death in an Oilfield Accident
In the case of a traumatic injury that causes severe impairment in your life, you may be able to recover substantial amounts in compensation. You may be able to recover more for non-economic damages like the pain and suffering you experienced or severe declines in your quality of life.
In addition, if the accident reduced your earning capacity, you may be able to receive compensation for the money you would have been able to make if the accident had not happened.
What Is My Deadline for Filing an Oilfield Accident Lawsuit?
Like any state, Texas has specific deadlines for filing lawsuits called the statute of limitations. In most cases, this deadline begins from the date of the accident. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the timeframe starts from the date of the incident that was the cause of death. Under Texas law, you usually have two years to file any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. This deadline includes oilfield injuries and wrongful death lawsuits.
These deadlines may seem far away, particularly right after an oilfield accident. However, it can be helpful to talk with a qualified oilfield accident attorney shortly after the accident. Early consultation can ensure that you do not miss any deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
How does Working with an Oilfield Accident Attorney Benefit Me?
Oilfield accident attorneys specialize in helping people in situations just like yours. They will be aware of the nuances of your case and the laws and regulations that will apply. At Domingo Garcia, our legal team works to make the process as simple as possible for you.
We will start by reviewing what happened in your case, who may be responsible, and for what compensation you may be eligible. Suppose you choose to move forward with your claim after speaking with us. From there, we would work to collect the evidence that supports your claims, such as documentation of the oilfield accident and expert witness testimony.
After building a successful case, we would then also handle negotiations with everyone in your case. Ultimately, our oilfield attorneys work towards obtaining an adequate compensation amount for our clients. While we work to accomplish that goal, we also want to keep your stress minimal so that you can focus on recovering fully.
What Are the Components of Proving Negligence in an Oilfield Accident Case?
- The defendant like the well site superintendent or operator had a specific duty of care to you as their employee, such as to provide you with proper safety equipment for your job, like goggles or a hard hat.
- The responsible party failed to act as they should have by withholding equipment or not ensuring that you wear the equipment properly.
- You experienced an oilfield accident due to the defendant’s actions or inactions, such as an explosion or a fall.
ou suffered damages in the oilfield accident, like a traumatic brain injury or amputation.
By establishing negligence, we can begin building a solid case for you. We will work to bring forward all the evidence to hold everyone accountable for your oilfield accident.
The Work of Domingo Garcia: Payouts for Our Clients
1,075,000 from an oilfield blowout incident
1,000,000 settlement in gas tank explosion and over pressurization that resulted in death
2,850,000 settlement in an incident of negligent operation of forklifts that resulted in leg injuries and fractures
- $4,500,000 when an oilfield worker was killed as a result of his employer’s gross negligence
- $3,200,000 for an oil field worker injured when a piece of the wellhead broke off resulting in a hand injury
What Our Clients Say After Working With Our Personal Injury Lawyers
We don’t mind discussing our firm’s experience and professionalism. But we aren’t the only ones talking. Many of our clients have been highly satisfied with our services. Check out the following reviews for Domingo Garcia:
- “A big thank you, to the law office of Domingo Garcia, especially Miguel , Cristal and Nzinga, for making our visit and experience smooth and professional. Very attentive to us with anything we might have needed during our case, we were very well informed during the whole process. Overall, an awesome team. Thank you so much for all your help.” ~ G.H.
- “I am so thankful to this firm and everyone in it. Attorney Miguel Cazarez & his assistant Cristal Quiroz did an amazing job with my case. I highly recommend the firm when needed help.” ~ A.L.
- This was my first time hiring a Law Firm, and Amberly was great! She made the process easy and was very informative about everything. She addressed any concerns I had, which made me feel very comfortable. Thank you, guys! ~ M.C.
We want to help you in any way we can and make the legal process as simple as possible. We hope you’ll be the next client to leave a review like one of these.
Begin Your Oilfield Accident Case Today with a Free Consultation
After experiencing an oilfield accident, getting the right legal help is essential to your case. At Domingo Garcia, we focus on several specialty areas, including oilfield accident cases. We also offer our potential clients a free consultation.
At your consultation, we will take the time to review what happened in your oilfield accident case. From here, we can advise you about the legal options available. When you choose to work with our firm, we will represent you in your oilfield accident case and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. You can contact us today to get started with your free consultation.