When you suffer injuries working in an oilfield, there are a few potential options when it comes to seeking financial compensation for your injuries. The most common route injured workers take is to file for workers’ compensation. In Texas, workers’ compensation provides benefits that can cover your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages.
However, as you may already know all too well, these benefits can fall far short of meeting the needs of those who have suffered life-changing injuries.
When workers’ compensation isn’t enough, what can you do? Or, what if your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation coverage?
If Your Employer Doesn’t Carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage
In Texas, employers are not required to participate in the workers’ compensation system. If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, then you can sue your employer directly for your oilfield injuries. The key will be proving that your employer (or one of your fellow employees) was negligent or reckless in causing the accident. While workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system (which is why benefits are limited), if you have to sue, you need to be able to prove that your employer was at fault.
Suing Other Parties for Your Oilfield Injuries
Regardless of whether you can claim workers’ compensation or are able to sue your employer, you also have the right to sue any other parties that are responsible for your injuries. Note that in some situations, you may be required to repay your employer’s insurance carrier if you receive enough compensation from a third party, but this is only if you recover enough to fully compensate you even without retaining your workers’ compensation benefits.
The types of parties you may be able to sue for your oilfield injuries include:
• Contractors and subcontractors – If someone working for a company other than your employer causes your injuries, you may be able to file a claim against that person’s employer.
• The oil company – If you work for a contractor or subcontractor, depending on the circumstances, you may have a claim against the oil company.
• The landowner – Oil companies often lease their land from third-party owners. In some cases, these landowners can be held responsible for injuries resulting from dangerous premises.
• Rig owners and manufacturers – Explosions, fires, collapses and other drilling accidents may be the result of poor rig maintenance or design. When this is the case, oilfield injury victims may be able to file claims against the rig’s owner or manufacturer.
• Trucking companies, shipping companies, and vehicle manufacturers – If you are injured in a trucking accident on an oilfield, you may have a claim for compensation against the trucking company, shipping company, truck manufacturer or another third party.
These are just a few examples. When you contact us for your free consultation, we will conduct a thorough evaluation in order to identify all of the parties that may owe you financial compensation.
Have You Been Injured in an Oilfield Accident? Call Our Houston Law Offices Today
A Houston oilfield accident attorney, like Nick Morrow or John D. Sheppard, can provide experienced legal representation for oilfield accident victims throughout Texas. To speak with an attorney about your case, call (800) 489-2216 or contact Morrow & Sheppard LLP online today.