Oilfield employees provide Americans with the energy they need to run their vehicles, houses, and companies. This is an important yet dangerous vocation that can lead to severe or even deadly injuries.
If you or a loved one is considering pursuing compensation for your injuries, a Houston oilfield accident lawyer from our firm can assist. We do all the onerous legal duties on your behalf and never charge attorney’s fees until you obtain your money. This way, nothing has to stand between you and achieving justice.
Oilfield Accident Lawyer Houston – What Causes Oilfield Accidents?
If you work in the oil industry, you are probably already aware of the reasons why it is such a dangerous area to do your job. The individuals you work with can present risks if they are careless about their responsibilities, and being in close proximity to things such as oil, gas, hot metal, and other potentially hazardous substances can also put you in harm’s way.
As a result, accidents in oilfields can have a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Motor vehicles: Large trucks, comprising various pieces of construction machinery, are frequently seen in oilfields. It is possible for a truck to cause significant damage to an employee, another vehicle, or a piece of machinery in the event of a collision, particularly when the truck in question is transporting hazardous materials.
- Flammable materials: Oil and gas are extremely dangerous substances that must be stored and handled carefully. Otherwise, fires and explosions may result.
- Chemicals: Like oil, some chemicals may be highly flammable. They can also be toxic and increase a worker’s risk of developing certain diseases.
- Heavy objects: Workers can become trapped under or between large objects like machinery or oil barrels.
- Hot objects: Tools like arc welders and the materials they are used on can quickly reach perilous temperatures. They can even send sparks flying onto the hands or faces of the people working on them.
- Heights: Drilling for oil involves working on and building tall structures, like oil wells, workover rigs and digging deep holes in the ground. Both could pose a danger to employees who venture too close to a ledge, with or without proper safety gear.
- Other workers: All it takes is a moment’s inattention or “clowning around” cutting corners to cause an accident. Even if a worker means well, they may be compromised by fatigue or overwork.
Even if appropriate safety precautions are followed, there is always the possibility of an accident taking place. Ignoring safety precautions and measures will simply make the risk higher.
Oilfield Accident Lawyer Houston – Can Oilfield Accidents Be Deadly?
Accidents that occur in the oil industry do, unfortunately, sometimes result in the loss of life. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States reported that in the “oil and gas extraction industries” in the year 2020, there were 44 workers who were killed as a result of accidents that occurred on the job.
This is a considerable decrease from the 2019 deaths, which took the lives of 104 workers; but, once the oilfields become busy again after the Covid 19 outbreak, the statistics are anticipated to revert to the numbers that were seen before the pandemic.
Accidents in the oilfield that result in death can occur in many of the same ways that accidents that do not result in death do. These include motor vehicle collisions, amputations, burns, explosions, and falls.
The fact that your loved one was engaged in a hazardous line of work is no solace for the tragedy that befell them, and we would like to offer our condolences for all that you (and they) have had to go through as a result of this.
Domingo Garcia may be able to lend support to you during this difficult time by advocating on your behalf in a wrongful death lawsuit for the full amount of compensation that you and your loved one are entitled to receive.
What Injuries do Oilfield Accidents Cause?
- Head injuries: If you are hit on the head by a falling object, or if you fall from a great height like a scaffold, you could suffer a skull fracture, concussion or even a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Burns: Oil and other chemicals commonly found on oilfields are highly flammable. One spark can cause a major fire that devastates victims.
- Cancer or chronic illness: Prolonged exposure to oil or chemicals, especially without proper protection, can cause serious, even terminal illnesses like cancer and respiratory problems.
- Amputated limbs: Falling from heights, being hit by a vehicle, or getting trapped between machinery or heavy objects (e.g., oil drums) could all do irreparable harm to your hands, feet, arms, or legs.
- Permanent disability: All the above could have a lifelong impact on your health and mobility by causing paralysis, chronic pain, brain damage, or severe scar tissue.
- Mental trauma: Suffering a devastating injury can cause mental health issues. If you knew your workplace was unsafe and constantly worried something might happen to you, your trauma could be even worse.
Even though fatal injuries are quite common, the number of workers who pass away as a result of their injuries is far lower than the number of workers who suffer catastrophic injuries but are able to survive them.
Living with injuries such as those described above can lead to further suffering, including the following types of suffering:
- Pain and mental anguish: The agony caused by a significant injury frequently leads to concerns with one’s mental health, which can aggravate any trauma that was endured as a result of the event.
- Injuries sustained in addition: For instance, if you injured your left leg, you might begin to put greater weight on your right leg as a result. Because of this, your right leg is subjected to an increased amount of strain and wear and tear, and it is possible that it will start to irritate you to the point where you will seek therapy for it.
- Consequences unintended of the treatment: It’s possible that some medications can cause adverse effects, and surgery might change the way you move or how you feel. Even if therapy is successful, it may still be necessary to make long-term adjustments to your lifestyle. It’s possible that you’ll need to stay away from particular meals, settings, or activities.
- Loss of Earnings Capacity: If you suffer a significant injury while working in the oil field, it may impact your ability to work or compete in the workforce. It is possible that as a result of this, you will no longer be able to fulfill the requirements of your prior job description and will be unable to carry out the necessary physical labor in the oil field.
What Compensation Can Oilfield Workers Receive?
Following an accident in the oilfield, injured workers have multiple options for pursuing compensation for their injuries.
Seeking a settlement or an award from a jury is one option for getting compensated for a loss. You have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer or another party (such as a coworker or a producer of building parts) for the following reasons if you can provide convincing proof that they were negligent:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost independence or quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Other expenses
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of job opportunities
The sorts of compensation that are available to you may vary slightly if the person who passed away was employed in the oil and gas industry and the incident resulted in their death. You have the right to sue for the following in a wrongful death lawsuit:
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
- Your loved one’s medical expenses
- Your sense of grief
- Loss of companionship
- End-of-life expenses, including the cost of a funeral
- Loss of financial support following the sudden loss of your loved one’s income
Our legal office can provide you with the assistance of a Houston oilfield accident attorney who can assist you in determining the many forms of compensation that are available to you and whether or not you should seek them.
What Protections do Oilfield Workers Have?
Regulations have been passed at the state and federal level to safeguard workers in hazardous industries, such as those in the oilfield, and these laws are in place. This not only helps to prevent accidents but also provides workers with a means of seeking justice in the event that accidents do occur.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a broad number of regulations and requirements that hazardous sites, such as oilfields, are required to adhere to in order to maintain the highest level of worker safety feasible. These concerns are relevant to virtually every facet of the workplace, including the following aspects:
- Workways and work surfaces: Places where employees walk and work must be cleared of visible risks. For instance, compressed gas canisters must be kept in good condition and stored in a secure location.
- Personal protective equipment: All employees who work with molten metal or flying particles are required to have face and eye protection that is appropriate for their work environment. For instance, arc welders require the use of filter lenses that are a specific tint. Every worker who is obliged to perform their duties more than 6 feet above the ground must be provided with fall protection.
- Workers in the oilfield may utilize a wide variety of different types of machinery, depending on the specifics of their jobs. At all times, each machine must be brought and kept in proper operating condition. Machine guards, for instance, are an absolute necessity. Because of the high risk of corrosion, wellheads and other pieces of oil field equipment need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis.
- Electrical equipment It is imperative that all electrical equipment be correctly connected and make use of the appropriate amount of voltage in order to reduce the possibility of accidents such as fires, explosions, and burns. Those individuals who work with combustible materials should take this warning very seriously.
- Blow Out Protection is something that has to be supplied during any and all workover operations in order to prevent an unexpected release of pressure and explosion.
- The setting up of the workover rig needs to be done in a secure manner so that it does not topple over or collapse while operations are being carried out.
- Any violation of OSHA standards is a severe concern that has to be handled as soon as possible. You have the responsibility to report any potential infractions without fear of being punished in any way. Workers who believe that their employers have created a hazardous working environment can find thorough instructions on how to file a complaint against their employers on the OSHA website.
Chapter 3 of the Texas Administrative Code provides specific instructions regarding oilfield management, including:
- What permits are required to dig a well
- How deep a well can be in certain circumstances
- Penalties that companies must pay if they risk or do damage to human life or the environment
- How to store oil and other materials
Any infraction of these state laws could serve as the basis for a legal action. Because our company is very knowledgeable about the rules that govern oil drilling at the state (as well as the federal) level, we are able to assist you in determining precisely which law was broken and how that could convert into financial recompense for you and your family.
What Should I Do After a Houston Oilfield Accident?
In the event that you were engaged in an accident on an oilfield, acting quickly is absolutely necessary to both save your life and protect your legal rights. This should involve performing all of the tasks that are listed below.
See a Doctor
First and foremost, you should focus on taking care of your own health. You can never take enough precautions to protect yourself from suffering a serious injury. Call 911 to obtain immediate assistance. You are free to see either your personal physician at any time or a physician chosen by your company in the future.
After you have been examined by a medical professional, it is imperative that you carefully carry out their recommendations. It is essential that you do this not only for the sake of your health but also so that others can see that you have suffered a genuine injury and are working hard to recover from it.
In the event that you disagree with the diagnosis provided by your physician, please inform us so that we can conduct an investigation and take any appropriate action.
Document the Scene
Before you leave the scene of the accident, you should try to collect whatever evidence that you can. This could involve taking pictures with your mobile phone of anything that appears to be pertinent, such as the precise location in the oilfield where the accident took place, or obtaining the contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident. Another option would be to ask anyone who saw the accident for their information.
Do not put your health at risk in order to document the incident, even though doing so can help you collect compensation. Keep your distance from anything that has exploded or has the potential to explode, and do not put off receiving medical assistance in order to talk to other people. Your well-being must always come before everything else.
Inform Your Employer
You need to let your immediate employer or manager know what’s going on as soon as feasible. If you decide to file a lawsuit, this could be an important piece of evidence:
the sooner you tell your employer about the accident, the easier it is to connect your injury to the accident, and the harder it would be for the insurance company of the liable party to argue that your injury had an unrelated cause. The sooner you tell your employer about the accident, the easier it is to connect your injury to the accident.
Domingo Garcia can provide you with a Houston oilfield accident attorney who can guarantee that you disclose everything in the appropriate manner and do not leave out vital information.
See an Attorney
It is possible for the process of applying for benefits or initiating legal action to be a very challenging and time-consuming endeavor. It is unreasonable to expect someone to be able to try to perform these tasks after they have sustained a severe injury.
Consider getting legal representation from an attorney from the beginning to the end of your case rather than going it alone. Follow these steps to locate the law firm that best suits your needs:
- Research various firms. You can look at the websites of different firms or ask friends, family, or coworkers if they know any good oilfield accident attorneys.
- Speak to as many firms as you want. We offer free, no-risk case reviews that can be completed over the phone.
- Ask the firm as many questions as you need to understand the services they offer and get comfortable with their operations. You may want to write a list of questions beforehand, so you do not forget any.
- Only hire a law firm with the right experience with oilfield accidents and one you trust to have your interests at heart.
Domingo Garcia is pleased to provide Texans with timely legal counsel, and our clients appreciate the effort that we put into each and every case.
A past customer named Victor Escobar made the following observation about their attorney: “My attorney was very experienced and professional. I would highly suggest this law practice because everyone there is incredibly savvy in how they conduct themselves and they help us get the best possible results for our circumstance.
Lawyers Are Committed to Helping Oilfield Accident Victims
Domingo Garcia firmly believes that all oilfield workers are entitled to:
- A safe working environment
- Take legal action if their rights are violated
- Receive appropriate compensation for all workplace injuries
Domingo Garcia firm can provide you with an oilfield accident lawyer who serves Houston. Our entire team can work tirelessly to protect your interests in the following ways.
Filing Paperwork and Fighting Denials
We are able to guarantee that your demand letter and any other paperwork will fulfill all standards and will be delivered to the appropriate individuals. In the event that your claim is rejected — and unfortunately, far too many legitimate claims are incorrectly rejected — we are able to investigate the reason for the rejection, meet with the insurance agent to negotiate, and even go to court if necessary.
Filing a Lawsuit
After an accident, one of the most efficient ways to receive the amount of compensation you need is to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for the accident. In order to make a compelling argument, you need to provide sufficient evidence to show that the carelessness of another person was a contributing factor in the development of your injuries. The following are some illustrations of negligent behavior:
- Your employer failed to provide OSHA-mandated safety equipment, or they pressured employees to work very long hours.
- The manufacturer who built the equipment you were using did not recall the equipment even after learning of a potentially dangerous flaw.
- A company that your employer contracted with did not properly train their employees in workplace safety standards.
Know your rights. Domingo Garcia can educate you about all your rights, responsibilities, and obligations under the law and how you can use the law to get compensation and fair treatment from anyone who wronged you.
Build Your Case
We want to present the strongest case possible to the liable party, their insurance company, and, if necessary, a judge and jury. We can do this by:
- Collecting evidence of your injury, including medical bills, photos, and testimony from your doctor or another medical professional
- Collecting evidence that the injury happened at work, including surveillance footage, your report to your employer, and testimony from coworkers
- Collecting evidence of the liable party’s guilt, including inspection reports, testimony, audiovisual evidence, and so on
- Using the evidence we collect to calculate how much money you are entitled to in the damages listed above (pain and suffering, loss of wages, etc.)
Negotiate with Others
It is possible that it will be required for us to debate the merits of your case while seated in a room with representatives from the opposing party. While dealing with certain insurance companies might be quite straightforward, dealing with others, particularly those that are averse to giving reasonable compensation, can be challenging. In any case, we are prepared for whatever it is that they decide to do.
Provide Personalized Support
The team at Domingo Garcia understands that every client is a unique individual who requires personalized care and representation. As necessary, we can offer you some or all the following services:
- Spanish-language assistance: The BLS reports that, as of 2021, 14.5 percent of oil and gas extraction workers were “Hispanic or Latino.” We want to represent all Houston oilfield workers, so we have Spanish-speaking team members who can assist those who are more comfortable with that language.
- Assistance with medical bills: If your insurance company tries to collect payment for medical bills before your case is settled, please talk to us. Our own insurance company can cover your bills until we resolve your case.
- Legal explanations and advice: The legal process can be very confusing, especially for someone who is an expert on oilfields but not in the law. We can spend as much time with you as you need, making sure you understand your options, why your case is progressing as it is, and what decisions you must make along the way.
- Regular updates: We want clients to have the time they need to recuperate from devastating oilfield accident injuries, but we do not want you to feel confused or out of the loop. Our team contacts clients frequently to let them know what is happening and what progress we have made.
How Much Is an Oilfield Accident Settlement?
Every victim of an accident that occurred on an oilfield is entitled to an amount of money that will assist them in paying their bills and recompense them in some little manner for the mental, emotional, and bodily pain they have endured. This number can range widely based on the following factors:
- How serious the injury is — for example, quadriplegia is more severe than paraplegia and may therefore be worth more, both in terms of pain and suffering and the effect it has on your career
- How many injuries you sustained — for example, sustaining oil burns on your face, neck, and hands versus only on your hands
- How much money you make — the higher your salary, the more you can collect for lost wages or lost earning capacity
- How much money you have lost — the more you must spend on medical treatment, the more compensation you can pursue
After an explosion occurred on an oilfield, Domingo Garcia was able to negotiate a payment for his client in the amount of $1,075,000.
Domingo Garcia was successful in obtaining a $3,250,000 settlement for an employee of a workover rig who had suffered severe hand injuries when a corroded Christmas tree (part of the wellhead) became disconnected from the rig’s lift. This incident occurred during one of Domingo Garcia’s other cases involving the oil and gas industry.
Domingo Garcia was able to secure a settlement of $4,500,000 for the family of a deceased oil field worker who had died as a result of the extreme carelessness of his employer.
Domingo Garcia was able to get a settlement of $1,550,000 for a man who had been wounded while working on an offshore drilling rig and had suffered flash burns as a result of his injuries.
If you want to have us act as your legal representatives, we will carefully examine your case to ensure that the amount of money you request is sufficient to meet your requirements. After suffering a life-altering injury, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about how you will provide for your loved ones when you get back on your feet.
After an Oilfield Accident in Harris County, Get Help
Domingo Garcia has devoted the past 35 years to assisting accident victims in the oilfield in their pursuit of just compensation and in holding negligent employers, manufacturers, and others accountable for their acts. Now, we would want to be of assistance to you as well. Give us a call right now to schedule a no-cost consultation and find out what one of our Houston attorneys can do for you and your case.
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