If you were hurt on the job, you may wonder, how do I get an oilfield injury settlement? As the oil and natural gas industries in Texas continue to grow, they require more and more workers for all phases of production. Oilfields are inherently dangerous work sites, teeming with heavy machinery, high pressure lines, confined spaces and release of hazardous energy. Fires and explosions tend to happen more often than at other workplaces. As all of us who use highways know, even getting to work in the oilfield is dangerous. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), four out of every ten workers killed on the job in the oilfield results from highway vehicle collisions. Even though these dangers are looming over workers, employers don’t always keep the risks to workers in mind. When employers try to cut corners and maximize profits through inadequate training, poor equipment maintenance, and other means, they put their workers at an even higher risk of injury and death.
If you or your loved one has been injured in an oilfield accident, you surely have several questions on your mind. You may be wondering: How do I get an oilfield injury settlement? Or: How much can I get in my oilfield accident settlement?
While every accident is different and your oilfield settlement amount will depend on the particular circumstances of your case, the best way to maximize your chances of getting a settlement — and one that covers all of your losses — is to hire an experienced team of oilfield accident lawyers. The attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm have years of experience fighting for workers injured on oilfields in West Texas. Initial consultations are free, and we have three offices for your convenience: Abilene, Odessa, Sweetwater and Midland. Call us at 432-220-2649 or fill out our online form and we will get back to you promptly.
HOW DO I GET AN OILFIELD INJURY SETTLEMENT?
After you’ve been injured on an oilfield, you may be approached soon after by a representative of your employer, another company or contractor involved in oilfield operations, or an insurance company. And this representative will try to get you to accept a payout. And as you are out of work due to your injury and struggling to pay your bills, we understand the temptation to accept one of these initial oilfield settlements.
But while this money may help relieve your financial burden in the short term, long term you could do yourself harm by accepting it. They offer you this amount in the hopes of saving themselves money — it is almost certainly a lowball offer.
What an Experienced Attorney at Hanna Law Firm Can Do for You
Before you speak with anyone from the oil company or their insurers, it’s important to hire an oilfield accident lawyer to represent your best interests. This does not mean you will have to go to court. In fact, the vast majority of cases never see the inside of a courtroom. It does mean you will have a whole team of experts working on your behalf to figure out who is responsible for your accident and calculate the full value of your losses (including expected future losses). And it means you will have a tenacious and experienced negotiator to fight for a settlement in your favor.
The attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm are happy to discuss oilfield settlements with you and the specifics of your claim. Call our office at 432-220-2649 and we’ll give you a free consultation.
HOW MUCH CAN I GET IN MY OILFIELD ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT?
Damages in an oilfield injury settlement should compensate you for your losses — economic and non-economic — stemming from the incident. The attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm will very carefully calculate the full scope of your losses to ensure you receive every penny you deserve. Generally, you may receive compensation for:
- All medical bills and copays ― hospital stays, rehab, therapy, medications, medical devices, mobility aids
- Non-medical help needed due to the accident, such as housecleaning
- Lost wages from being unable to work
- Lost earning capacity, if your injuries will prevent you from working long-term
- Reduced quality of life
- Pain and suffering: emotional, mental, physical
- Loss of companionship of your loved one
WHO IS LIABLE FOR MY INJURIES?
As you know, oilfields are complex workplaces. There are many moving parts and many companies and individuals working together, any of which could carry liability. They include: refinery companies, landowners, transport operators, equipment manufacturers, individual workers, and others.
At the Hanna Law Firm, we are familiar with the inner workings of oilfields. We use this knowledge to conduct attentive research to discover who may be at fault in your particular accident.
Negligence Can Be to Blame
Unfortunately, we’ve seen negligence in many forms on oilfields. Companies often seem to care more about their profits than the health and safety of their workers, and the result is serious injury and even death. Among the ways negligent decisions can play a role in an oilfield accident are:
- The industry is booming, which means companies are hiring more (often inexperienced) workers. When they fail to properly train these new employees, disaster may result.
- Safety regulations may be shoddily implemented or enforced.
- Damaged or defective equipment may not be repaired or replaced in a timely manner.
- Companies are required by law to record violations, but sometimes fail to do so.
- Hazardous chemicals must be properly stored. When they are not, workers may be harmed.
- Safety equipment like goggles and helmets should be supplied — and use should be enforced.
- Sloppy construction of oilfield structures can lead to accidents.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER AN OILFIELD ACCIDENT?
In order to maximize the likelihood that your oil accident lawyers will be able to obtain the best possible settlement for you. When you wonder, how do I get an oilfield injury settlement, keep the below guidance in mind.
- Report the accident to your employer in a timely manner. This is essential for worker’s comp and any future legal case you may want to bring.
- Don’t trust your employer. You just can’t count on the oil company to have your back and do what’s right. They are most interested in saving themselves money and preserving their reputation. If someone from the company approaches you with paperwork, never sign it without consulting an experienced oilfield accident lawyer. You may end up inadvertently signing away your rights or taking the blame for your injuries — no matter the facts. And never accept money from them or their insurance company without legal representation.
- Document, document, document. In order to understand the true facts of the case and build your claim, we need to know what happened. If at all possible, take pictures of the scene and your injuries. Write down exactly what happened as you remember it.
- Get medical attention for your injuries. Even if they seem minor, it’s a good idea to get them checked out.
- Hire an experienced oilfield injury lawyer in Texas. The attorneys at the Hanna Law Firm are knowledgeable, passionate, and tough. We will ensure the parties responsible for your injuries are held accountable. Call us at 432-220-2649.