According to the Bureau of Labor, approximately one in every 100 workers in the oil and gas industry will suffer an on-the-job injury this year. The oil and gas industry is one of the most dangerous in the country, and Texas is one of the leading states in this industry. Oilfield accidents and fatality statistics have risen since the start of fracking and onshore drilling, partly due to government safety standard negligence. If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic injury on the job in the oil industry, trust Briggle & Polan, PLLC as your Austin oilfield accident attorney.
Common Texas Oilfield Accident Injuries
The oil and gas industry deals with heavy equipment, toxic substances, and hazardous workplace environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have regulations in place to help ensure worker safety around these conditions. Unfortunately, employers do not always follow these regulations, leading to preventable workplace accidents. Oilfield or oil rig accidents can be devastating and are often fatal or leave the worker disabled and unable to return to work. OSHA identifies certain hazards that pose explicit risks for oil and gas workers:
- Motor vehicle crashes, typically involving oil transport vehicles
- Contact with other objects and falling debris
- Fires or explosions in tanks or wells
- Exposure to harmful toxins, chemicals, or fumes
- Falls, slips, and trips, especially on rigs or decks
- Improper safety equipment and guard rails
Motor vehicle crashes cause many oilfield accident deaths, where workers operate defective vehicles or fail to pay attention to where they are going. Working with heavy equipment for drilling and managing wells poses health threats such as crushing injuries, amputations, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Toxic materials and fumes can poison workers, and shifting weather conditions can put workers at risk. No matter what type of injury you sustained, contact a Texas oilfield accident lawyer for help if someone else was responsible.
Who Is Responsible for Oilfield Injuries?
Assigning fault for your oilfield accident injury depends on the circumstances of your case. First, identify the probable cause of your accident. Was the driver of an accident vehicle drunk? Did a faulty rig collapse? Did an improperly trained employee drop debris from above? Identifying the cause of your accident tells you who the defendant will be: a coworker, employer, manufacturer, or a combination of several negligent parties.
Due to the laws of strict liability, a coworker’s negligence will typically be the responsibility of the employer if the employee was acting within his or her job duties at the time of the incident. If the coworker was an independent contractor, you can sue the individual, but probably not the entire company. If your employer was responsible, as may be the case with an unsafe premises or improperly trained employee, your attorney can help you take the company to court. Defective equipment or parts may place liability with the manufacturer.
Filing a personal injury claim instead of a workers’ compensation claim for oilfield accident injuries can ensure you receive the highest settlement possible. A personal injury claim holds the negligent party responsible and provides you with disability benefits (if your injury prevents you from returning to work).
Let Our Texas Oilfield Accident Attorneys Help You Recover
Do not let someone else’s negligence go without consequence. Oil rig accidents often result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. The Austin personal injury lawyers at Briggle & Polan, PLLC, can gather evidence surrounding your case and identify who was responsible for the accident. Our team understands OSHA regulations in the oil and gas industry, and know the proper safety precautions your employer should be taking to prevent accidents.
When negligence is the cause of your oilfield accident injury, contact Briggle & Polan, PLLC in Austin today for comprehensive and compassionate representation. 512-472-1926