Texas is home to dozens of oil and gas companies. Billions of barrels of oil have been produced in the Lone Star State and thousands of Texans earn their livings by working in this industry. However, the oil and gas industry is a dangerous one, and many workers are injured or even killed on the job every year.
From 2007 to 2011, Texas reported more deaths in the oil and gas industry than any other state.
Injured employees may be able to bring claims against their employers to recover compensation for their medical bills and other expenses.
On-the-Job Injury Claims in Texas
Texas does not require all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to employees who are injured while working. Though there are some exceptions, workers’ compensation insurance usually provides benefits for an injured victim’s medical expenses and other costs.
Workers’ compensation coverage also protects the employer from being sued in a civil lawsuit.
However, if the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, injured employees may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the employer to recover compensation. Though this process does not move as quickly as the workers’ compensation route, it still provides a way for injured employees to recover for their losses.
Oil & Gas Rig and Well Site Injuries
Oil and gas rigs and well sites are dangerous places to work. Long hours are generally required to drill for oil and gas, which, of course, are extremely combustible substances. Additionally, heavy machinery is required to remove oil from the earth. This machinery towers above workers—if it were to collapse, the results would be devastating.
Further, oil and gas workers often work many miles from the coast. If there is an emergency, it may take the Coast Guard several hours or longer to get to the crew.
Common types of injuries reported on oil & gas rigs and well sites include:
- Breathing problems from inhaling toxic chemicals
- Hearing problems due to the noise involved with drilling for oil
- Loss of limb
- Hand injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Sprains and strains
Of course, additional injuries may also occur.
Oil & Gas Truck Wrecks
Once oil and gas has been removed from the earth, it must be transported to its final destination. Truck drivers responsible for transporting oil and gas also have dangerous jobs, as they are transporting highly flammable materials hundreds of miles.
If a truck accident occurs, the results can be deadly. Explosions, fires, and other dangerous incidents may occur if these trucks are involved in an accident. Truck drivers are required to work long hours and cover hundreds of miles in short periods of time.
Risks that oil and gas truck drivers face include:
- Suffering from fatigue while working
- Developing health conditions due to a sedentary lifestyle, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea
- If the truck company has failed to properly maintain its trucks, the truck driver is at an increased risk of injury
- Injuries caused by improperly loaded cargo
- Driving large trucks in dangerous weather conditions
- Sharing the road with reckless drivers
Other hazards may also increase the risk of an accident.
Compensation for Injured Workers
If employees are injured while on the job, they may be entitled to several different types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment benefits
- Disability payments
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- The cost of installing wheelchair ramps and other accommodations in a home
- If a death has occurred, surviving family members may be able to claim burial and funeral expenses, plus the estimated value of the employee’s future income
Other damages may also be available, depending on the facts of the claim.
If You Have Been Injured While Working in Texas, Call Brooker Law, PLLC Today
The on-the-job injury attorneys at Brooker Law, PLLC are experienced with claims in various industries, including the oil and gas industries. To schedule a free consultation with our highly qualified legal team, contact or call (214) 217-0277 today.