Experience You Can Depend On

Our trial attorneys, licensed to practice personal injury law in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico, bring over two decades of experience in fighting for our clients’ rights. We provide vigorous legal representation in all types of work-related injury cases, including Jones Act claims, maritime accidents, offshore accidents, oilfield accidents, industrial accidents, railroad accidents, and wrongful death cases. Reach out to us today for a free consultation.

We Get Results

Maritime Lawsuit
Traumatic Brain Injury – Oilfield Injury
Oil & Gas Burn Injury

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Our experienced Houston personal injury attorneys want to understand your unique situation so we can provide legal guidance that will help you obtain a favorable result. We have experience handling a wide variety of personal injury cases. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today! You don’t pay us unless we win your case.

No Fee Unless We Win

At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we understand the hardships of trying to heal and make sense of an accident. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis, which means no fee unless we win the case. Our fee is a percentage of the verdict or settlement we obtain for you.

Common Questions About Personal Injury

There are three main things that go into evaluating a personal injury case:

  1. Deadlines. You have to file your personal injury or wrongful death case in time. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In most states, the deadline to file a claim is triggered by the date the accident occurred. Below we have listed some deadlines we often see in states where oilfield accidents commonly occur. But different things could make your specific deadline shorter or longer. That’s one of the reasons it is important to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an incident, and it is one of the reasons our law firm consults with potential clients, confidentially, for free, 24/7.
  2. Negligence Or Wrongful Conduct. To recover for your personal injury, or a loved one’s death, a company or person that was involved in the incident typically has to have done something that was not “reasonable” under the circumstances. Whether someone acted “unreasonably” may not be obvious at first. In many, many cases, our personal injury lawyers (or experts we have hired) uncover a violation of industry standards or defective product that the clients did not know about when they first came to us. That is another reason it is important to consult with lawyers who have handled oilfield cases. You have to know what to look for.
  3. Damages. The third key element in a personal injury case is damages.  If there is a wrongful death, amputation, head injury, burn, or broken bone, the damage is obvious. But something like a herniated disc in the back or neck may not be apparent at first, and may get worse over time. The severity of mental injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) may not be apparent. Other afflictions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS”) can go undiagnosed and untreated if you do not visit the right doctors and experts. Our oilfield lawyers have seen these things before, and we are experienced in helping clients find the right doctors and experts to make sure such conditions are not missed.

Short answer: While no two cases are the same, because we have handled so many personal injury cases, we often can provide a rough estimate of your likely case value relatively early on in the process, after we file your case and secure relevant information. We have handled cases worth more than $20 million for a single client. We have also evaluated potential cases that were not worth anything. There is no guidebook or list that sets out how much your case is worth, but our experience often allows us to give you an educated estimate.

Every personal injury client wants to know how much their case is worth. Every good lawyer will hesitate to answer this question. And they should. The whole purpose of the lawsuit and claim process is to figure out how much each case is worth. No two cases are the same, and it is impossible to know how much your case is worth without going through at least some of the process.

With that being said, our personal injury lawyers have handled enough cases to spot the things that companies and insurance carriers look for when they evaluate personal injury and wrongful death cases. These factors include how bad the defendants’ conduct was, how severe (and obvious) your injuries are, the amount of your past and future medical bills and lost wages, what juries typically award in the court where your case is assigned, and the strength and track record of the lawyers involved.

When you consult with us, we will gather as much information as we can. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will be able to compare your case to others we have handled, as well as databases of cases that have been handled in the area where your case will be filed. When we have this information, we may be able to give you a rough estimate of the value of your case.

As your case proceeds, we will continue to refine and adjust our evaluation, because (again) the whole point of the lawsuit process is to get the information needed to value your case.

Short answer: Generally, you do not have to pay anything out of pocket to our personal injury attorneys.

In most cases, we represent personal injury and wrongful death clients on contingency fee. That means our law firm advances all the costs and attorneys’ fees of bringing your personal injury case, and we only recover our fees and expenses if you win. Clients on contingency fee do not pay our personal injury lawyers out-of-pocket.

You can learn more about contingency fees and our “no fee” promise here.

To better understand your rights, we respectfully suggest that you take advantage of the free and confidential consultations with one of our personal injury attorneys, who are available 24/7 to evaluate your potential case.

Short answer: To figure out who was at fault, our personal injury lawyers typically conduct a detailed and through investigation, which will usually include things like an analysis of industry standards, hiring experts in the field, serving document subpoenas and freedom of information requests (FOIAs), and conducting witness interviews.

Because we have handled so many personal injury cases, our law firm can often quickly figure out who was at fault for an incident. It may be a company man who gave improper instructions, a drilling crew who improperly assembled a rig that collapsed, or a service company that negligently operated a piece of machinery that crushed or burned someone.

Other times, the cause of an oilfield accident or explosion may be more subtle. It may have been unreasonable for a company to use a particular piece of equipment, because a newer, safer version existed. Workers on the ground—including the injured people—may not have even known about the safer alternative, because management didn’t tell anyone, usually because management was not yet ready to spend money on the alternative, even though it was safer.

We look for these sometimes hidden, contributing causes by consulting with industry experts from around the country. As an example, we have hired NASA scientists, safety experts who used to work in the oilfield, industrial hygienists who have designed safety programs for large companies, OSHA experts, and even ex-military personnel who have special knowledge about a particular product design or safe work practice.

We also consult with a library and database of industry standards and information we have at our personal injury law firm. This includes things like industry standards put out by the American Petroleum Institute (“API”), International Organization for Standardization (“IOS”), and American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”). In many catastrophic oilfield cases, we have discovered oilfield workers were violating standards they didn’t even know about, because management and corporate safety departments failed to pass along the information. That may be hard to believe in this day and age, but it happens more often than you think.

If this kind of investigation sounds expensive and difficult, that’s because it is. But it is not your burden to bear. In a standard personal injury or wrongful death case, we work on a contingency fee, which means we front the costs to hire such experts. You do not have to come out of pocket for these costs. We take the risk because we believe in your case, and we believe you should get justice.

Short answer: Most personal injury cases we have handled take 6 months to 3 years to resolve or get to trial, depending on the types of things outlined below.

Sometimes our personal injury lawyers are able to make a demand and negotiate a settlement before a lawsuit is even filed.  But most times, oil & gas companies, service providers, and product manufacturers will not admit fault without a fight.

What does this “fight” entail?  After we file a lawsuit on your behalf, your case usually enters the discovery phase. This is when we work to figure out what happened. We demand documents from the companies we believe may be responsible. We take sworn testimony or “depositions” from witnesses who were present when the incident happened, or who may know about policies and procedures that relate to an incident. We hire experts who are familiar with the work going on and the equipment involved, and will testify on your behalf. We may also hire medical experts who will establish your injuries were caused by the incident, economists who to figure out your lost wages and earning capacity, and lifecare planners to figure out how much your future medical care will cost.

When the discovery process is complete, your lawsuit will typically go to a mediation. That is when a former judge or lawyer who is not involved in the case tries to help both sides come to an agreement on your compensation.

If mediation and negotiations are unsuccessful, your case will go to trial. We have had cases settle during trial. Other times, we have to get a jury verdict, and after that, sometimes there is an appeal.

We have had cases settle in less than 6 months. Other cases can take a few years. The court your case is assigned to, the strength of your case, and your (the client’s) wishes and expectations can be important factors in how long a case takes to resolve. We do our best to push cases forward to verdict or settlement as quickly as we can, and make sure you are supported along the way.

Based on our clients’ experiences and feedback, as well as the large recoveries and settlements we have obtained for our clients, we believe our approach works. We would be privileged to make our method work for you and your family.

The second most common type of work injury is fatality. The most common cause of death is a fall from heights. This can happen when someone is working on an oil derrick, but it also happens when workers are on the ground below. Other common causes of fatality include exposure to toxic chemicals and gases, electrocution, and burns from fires or explosions.

In the old days, a person’s personal injury claim died along with them. Now, most states have passed “wrongful death” statutes. These laws entitle the surviving family members or executor of a dead workers’ estate to bring claims for compensation on behalf of the worker who has died. For example, the following states have wrongful death statutes that may provide compensation to the wives and family members of oilfield workers who die on the job:

  • Louisiana. § 2512.2 of the Louisiana Civil Code.
  • New Mexico. New Mexico Statutes Section 41-2-1.
  • North Dakota. North Dakota statute Section 32-21-01.
  • Oklahoma. Oklahoma Statutes § 12-1053.
  • Pennsylvania. 42 Pa. C.S.A. Section 8301.
  • Texas. Chapter 71 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code.
  • West Virginia. WV Code §§ 55-7-5; 55-7-6.
  • Wyoming. Wyo. Stat. § 1-38-101.

You can learn more about wrongful death actions on our website. For legal advice, and to better understand your rights, we encourage you to consult with one of our personal injury attorneys, confidentially and without any cost to you.

Short answer: Typically not, unless you decide to.

Over 90 percent of personal injury and wrongful death cases settle. The ultimate decision whether or not to settle is up to the client.

If a settlement offer is made, we will give you our advice. Sometimes we may recommend turning down an offer, either because we think you should hold out for a better offer, or because we think your case should go to trial. Sometimes we may believe an offer is acceptable and recommend that you take it. In either case, you ultimately decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer, within reason.

A case can settle at any point. Some cases settle early within the first 6months or even sooner, before a lawsuit is filed. Some cases take years to wind themselves through the trial and appeal process. More often than not, clients have a say in how long the process takes, because clients decide whether or not to accept the settlement offers that are made.

Cases that involve millions of dollars typically take longer to resolve than small cases. Clients who want top dollar in large cases typically have to hold out for longer. In catastrophic, multi-million-dollar cases, corporations and insurance companies often dangle less than fair value early on, and right up until the bitter end, hoping that injured people will become desperate. Our personal injury lawyers do our best to support our clients in such cases, make sure they understand what is going on, and prepare them to do what is necessary to get full and fair value for their cases, which in serious injury cases often means millions of dollars.

Many workers who are injured assume that workers’ compensation insurance will take care of them if an injury occurs. They are rightfully disappointed when they learn that, instead, workers’ compensation only pays a small portion of their lost wages.

Further, in some cases, workers’ compensation attempts to force injured workers to treat with doctors in the workers’ comp “system” who tend to under-diagnose injuries to save the corporations and insurance carriers money.

To recover lost wages, and be made whole, most workers have to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is often only possible if a “third party” is responsible for the incident, because in most cases, a worker cannot sue the employer that provides the workers’ compensation insurance.

The good news is that, in the oilfield, a “third party” is often at least partly responsible for the incident. An oilfield services company, oil company, or equipment provider may have been onsite and made a bad decision. A safety company may have prepared inadequate policies and procedures which contributed to an incident. A piece of equipment may have been defectively designed or manufactured. In such cases, oilfield workers and their families are often entitled to recover lost wages and earning capacity from these “third parties.” To calculate lost wages and earning capacity, our personal injury lawyers typically will retain an expert economist, who will take into consideration things like your past earnings, the rate of inflation, and U.S. Department of Labor statistics regarding work-life expectancy.

Importantly, you may not immediately recognize that a “third party” was responsible. That is why it is important to consult with our top-rated personal injury lawyers, who have handled many oilfield accident and refinery explosion cases, so that we can help you spot a potential responsible party. That may be the only way to help your family get back on their feet.

In a serious injury case, such as those involving brain injury, amputation, burns, paralysis, and spine (neck and back) injuries requiring surgery, an injured worker may need medical care for the rest of their lives.

How do you make sure the medical care for those injures is provided for? Our personal injury attorneys will frequently consult with experts whose job it is to figure out what treatment is necessary, and estimate how much it is going to cost.

Here are a few examples. If a refinery explosion or chemical spill has caused you burn injuries, you may need to consult with a burn expert, often a plastic surgeon who works in a burn hospital. On the other hand, an oilfield worker struck by a piece of falling equipment who is paralyzed or partially paralyzed may need to consult with a neurologist or physical rehabilitation doctor familiar with the future medical needs of such patients. A person who has had a limbs caught in between pieces of moving equipment or a falling rig structure may have limbs amputated, and they may need to consult with experts who specialize in cutting-edge prosthetics, including what may be coming on the market in the future, and how much the prosthetics are likely to cost. A head injury victim may need to have a neuropsychologist evaluate and determine what kinds of rehabilitation and future attendant nursing care will be needed. An oil & gas worker with a neck or back injury requiring surgery may need a spine surgery expert who can analyze what follow-up procedures may be needed down the road.

After those consultations are done, and recommendations are made by the field experts, our experienced personal injury attorneys often retain a life care planner to estimate the likely cost of the future treatment. Those costs are then submitted to the defense (and, if there is a trial, to the jury) to evaluate, and ultimately award compensation. In a serious injury case, it is often critical to have these issues evaluated, to make sure that you are able to get the care you need going forward. Our oilfield injury attorneys have years of experience finding and retaining medical experts. We have consulted with hundreds of doctors and lifecare planners, and we have identified those who (we believe) are most qualified to give the opinions needed to maximize our client’s recovery and ensure their needs are met. We generally work on a contingency fee, which means in most cases, we front the costs of retaining these experts, and we only recoup those costs when we win your case. We work hard to make sure your medical needs are estimated by the right experts, and that your future is provided for.

Generally, the answer is no.

Our personal injury lawyers regularly handle cases for injured workers who receive workers’ compensation from their employers. These workers cannot bring claims against their employers, but they are able to bring “third party claims” against other companies who may be partly or wholly at fault for accidents that occur in the oilfield. Bringing these third party claims is critical to oilfield families, because most workers’ compensation insurance programs pay only a fraction of what is needed to make ends meet.

In the oilfield, several contractors typically work alongside the oil company (operator) that owns the well. An injured worker typically cannot bring a lawsuit against his or her direct employer, the company who purchased the workers’ compensation insurance. However, the worker is often entitled to recover from the other companies who were involved in the incident, or from a company that is involved in providing a piece of equipment that fails or is defective. Our firm has found that the at-fault party may not be obvious at first, which is why consulting with a personal injury lawyer who handles oilfield injury cases is important, and in many cases can be critical.

Here’s an example. You work for a wireline contractor at a drillsite. You are inured because of a bad decision or mistake made by an employee of a different company, such as the drilling contractor, mud company, cement company, water truck hauler, or even the oil company. In most states, you are entitled to make a claim and recover damages from the other company’s insurance. Also, you may not know that the equipment involved in your injury did not meet industry standards, was defectively designed, or was provided by a rental company that knew the equipment had problems. In such a case, the product manufacturer or rental company may be legally responsible for making you and your family whole.

In these cases, you may be entitled to bring a third party claim. If your injuries are serious or catastrophic, hiring a reputable personal injury attorney who is skilled at identifying these third party claims can mean the difference between living a comfortable life, and having no food on the table.

The hazards and dangers in the workplace can lead to a variety of injuries when proper safety protocols are not followed. The most common workplace injuries our personal injury lawyers see include:

  1. Neck and back injuries, including strains, herniations, and fractures along the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar parts of the spine.
  2. Paralysis and partial paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia. Paralysis can result from things like falling objects, falls from height, and high velocity impact.
  3. Amputation of arms, fingers, toes, and legs. This often results from crush injuries as well as limbs being caught between pieces of moving oilfield equipment.
  4. Burns of different severity, including first, second, and third degree burns. In the oilfield, burns can be caused by fires and explosions, as well as chemical exposure (even cement used in drilling casing can cause severe burns.)
  5. Head injuries, including closed head injuries as well as open fractures. Most commonly, head injuries are caused by falling objects, although our oilfield attorneys have also handled cases in which head injuries were caused by moving equipment strikes, vehicle accidents, and slips, trips, and falls.
  6. Chemical exposure including lung and inhalation injuries.
  7. Broken bones and ligament damage including knees, arms, legs, wrists, and ankles.

Before the injured worker gets medical attention, they must report what happened to their supervisor. If there are any witnesses to the incident, they should also be interviewed by an accident investigation team. A complete investigation will help determine liability for injuries sustained in a workplace accident. A personal injury attorney can investigate the circumstances of an accident and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. This includes:

  • Talking to witnesses and reviewing any records that may be relevant to the incident
  • Performing a physical inspection of the area where the accident took place
  • Reviewing any incident reports and photographs of the scene. They may also review its maintenance records if the incident involved a vehicle or piece of a heavy equipment.
  • Reviewing any medical reports and statements the injured party provides
  • Reviewing any safety policies and procedures related to the incident. They may also review training records for those involved in the incident, including supervisors and workers on duty that day.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

John Sheppard and Chris West did an outstanding job in representing me following a rear-end collision. Highly recommended!
Michael J.
Michael J.
Nick and Laura are the best..They helped every step of the way.Can’t recommend them highly enough.Not only do they get results but they care and make you feel like family.
Jeff S.
Jeff S.
They were very professional and understanding. The have patience and do their job well. If I had to return I would with no hesitation
Cassandra M.
Cassandra M.
4 months agoI am Extremely Happy with Morrow & Sheppard Lawfirm. I worked closely with Nick Morrow end Laura on my case With the rest of his staff. They were diligent in handling my law case matter to resolution. Laura end Nick would keep me up to date with the status of my case … More , They... fought for me to get the best settlement possible.. I am happy with the outcome Thank you Nick and the staff Of MORROW END SHEPPARD LLPread more
Juber M.
Juber M.
Chris West is an excellent addition to the Morrow & Sheppard team. His skill set, dedication, and overall reliability he brings to the firm and clients are uncanny. You will not be disappointed.
Candace M.
Candace M.
I highly recommend the Morrow & Sheppard to anyone. They are an incredible group that did an outstanding job to make sure I got the highest settlement for my case. Attorney Daniel and his staff are all outstanding professionals with some serious case law knowledge and skill. His group went the... extra mile for me and because of that, my life has forever changed. Thank you Attorney Daniel and everyone that’s a part of his firm that worked so hard. I really appreciate you!read more
Melis R.
Melis R.
I am Extremely Happy with Morrow & Sheppard Lawfirm. I worked closely with Daniel Sheppard and Chris on my case. They were diligent in handling my law case matter to resolution. Daniel would keep me up to date with the status of my case and Chris would also ensure all my paper work was submitted... in a timely manner. I am Very Happy with the Outcome! Thank you Daniel and Chris. I highly recommend their services and would not hesitate to use them again.read more
D P.
D P.
Very strong and courageous law firm I recommend to anyone who has suffered a injury from companies who need to be held responsible for lack of safety and security, my family is set for life and with these lawyers never backing down and fighting for truth behind every case and seeking the best... future for our family has given our family a second chance at being able to make it in life and holding companies accountable lifting burdens off our lives, very proud and beyond blessed to have had them fight the fight and have a tremendous outcome for our future. Along with a great and kind staff we HIGHLY recommend this law firm.read more
Nikki L.
Nikki L.
I was a client for 2.5 years after a car accident in 2019 and represented by Patrick McGinnis. He was knowledgable, compassionate, and level headed.His assisting paralegal, Ramona Anaya, was reliable, knowledgable, and kind in all our interactions.They went above and beyond to help me navigate... everything that unfolded after my car accident. They were able to secure a favorable settlement before trial.I’m very happy to have had Morrow&Sheppard Firm represent me.read more
Marceline A.
Marceline A.
Professional and knowledgeable with years of experience.
angel martinez J.
angel martinez J.
I had a accident and I chose morrow&sheppard they was great from the start to the finish Chris was real informative and helpful was the whole process and got me a fair settlement they really care about there Clients if you in a car accident call them
Richard L.
Richard L.
After a car accident last year I went to Morrow & Sheppard for assistance. Jose and Chris were exceptionally accommodating and handled my case with professionalism. They're primary concern was my well being and they went above and beyond to ensure I would receive the best settlement possible. A... very efficient and dedicated team!read more
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