When you’re involved in a workplace accident, knowing what to do if your oilfield injury claim is denied can make all the difference in how you move forward. While your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may be there for you during times of such injury, in many instances, injury claims are denied for a variety of reasons.
Texas is a state known for its oilfields and diligent industry workers. The work itself is inherently dangerous at all times and can lead to injury of those involved in the day-to-day operations. When these Injuries happen to you, you need to know your rights.
Many states require private employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance, but Texas is not one of them. While many employers here do carry it, you can still be denied the compensation you deserve. It’s essential to know what to do next if this happens to you and why consulting with an oilfield injury attorney will be beneficial.
Causes of Oilfield Injuries
Injuries sustained in an oilfield work environment result from a number of common causes. These include:
- Heavy Equipment Maneuvering: The operation of heavy equipment is a requirement on oilfields, leading to high levels of noise and vibration. There’s also the potential for being struck by the equipment or wedged between the machine’s parts.
- Truck Accidents: Getting to and from the oilfields can also be a dangerous endeavor. The use of large, heavy trucks creates an additional safety risk. In fact, oilfield truck accidents frequently occur and can lead to devastating injuries. They are also a top cause of fatalities among oilfield workers.
- Fires: Flammable materials abound in an oilfield environment and can lead to explosions. Burn injuries can result, requiring intensive medical treatment and ongoing care.
- Chemical and Toxic Fumes Exposure: Continuous exposure to chemicals and fumes can lead to long-term diseases. It can also cause disorientation resulting in other injury-causing events.
- Slips and Falls: Slips and falls are among the most common causes of workplace injuries, including at oilfields. Slippery or uneven surfaces, equipment left out on walkways, loose harnesses, and open platforms can all contribute to a fall injury.
Whatever the cause of your workplace injury, receiving compensation for medical bills and lost wages is essential. When your claim is denied, it impacts you not only physically but also financially.
WHEN A WORKER FINDS THAT INSURANCE DENIED AN OILFIELD INJURY CLAIM
While employers are not required to provide workers’ compensation in Texas, those that do closely monitor the claims filed. Along with the insurance company, they will be looking for reasons to deny the oilfield injury claim to save money on their end.
As a result, not all claims are accepted. The most common reasons for when an insurer denies an oilfield injury claim are:
- Delay in Notifying a Supervisor: To file a successful workers’ compensation claim, you must show that you notified your supervisor of your injury in a certain amount of time. States differ in this timeframe, but Texas requires the notification to occur within 30 days from the injury date or date an injury is determined to be job-related.
- Failure to Seek Medical Treatment: Part of any injury claim will be proof of injury, which can be provided with medical records. Failure to seek medical treatment for your injury right away or failing to follow all doctor’s recommendations can lead to denial of your claim.
- The Statute of Limitations: In accordance with state law, you have a set number of days, or years, to file your job-related claim or you give up all rights to do so. This statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date of the injury or recognition of a job-related injury.
- Employer Refutes Liability for Your Injury: Your employer or its insurance company may say that your injury occurred due to your own or another’s negligent actions. Another reason to deny your claim often used by employers is that the injury occurred while you were not at work.
An oilfield worker injury insurance claim requires diligent follow-through, and when it is denied, it can be troubling and confusing. It’s essential not to give up and to know your options going forward.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR OILFIELD INJURY CLAIM IS DENIED
Knowing what to do if your oilfield injury claim is denied can keep you from giving up or growing overly frustrated.
Here are the steps to take after your claim is denied.
- Thoroughly review the workplace injury claim denial letter. The contents of this letter will provide clues as to what went wrong and the deadlines for filing any appeals. This is crucial, because if you miss these deadlines, you will automatically lose your rights to an appeal.
- Follow up with your employer to be sure a misunderstanding or clerical issue isn’t to blame for the denial.
- Gather your filed claim, denial letter, medical bills, and employment records to take with you to see an experienced workplace personal injury attorney. Together you can devise a strategy for filing an appeal and any other actions available to you for deserved compensation.
WHAT IF EMPLOYER’S INSURANCE WON’T COVER MY INJURY ON AN OILFIELD?
You may also be asking yourself what if my employer’s insurance won’t cover my injury on an oilfield. Who’s going to help pay your medical bills and any lost wages as a result of that injury?
Even if your employer carries workers’ compensation, it may not cover all your needs. In some cases, even the employer-provided medical insurance might not cover your injury. As a result, you’ll need reliable legal advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn what options are available to you.
Not only will the lawyer be familiar with state and federal workers’ compensation laws, but he or she can also advise you on personal injury and third-party lawsuits.
Proving negligence on the part of the employer, another employee, or a separate third party or parties allows you to successfully pursue a lawsuit to gain the compensation you deserve.
A third party may be the manufacturer of defective equipment or gear, a contractor, or some other party related to your work. Other examples include the refinery companies, transport operators, and landowners.
When insurance won’t cover your oilfield injury, you need options. Seek the assistance of an experienced oilfield worker injury lawyer to learn what these are and how to be successful in obtaining deserved compensation for your injuries.
GET HELP FROM LAWYERS EXPERIENCED IN OILFIELD INJURY CASES
Our team at Hanna Allen, PLLC understands the work and needs of oilfield workers. We are also experienced in both workers’ compensation and personal injury law and can help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Call our oilfield worker injury lawyer today at 432-220-2649 and schedule a free consultation.