Oilfield workers have to do demanding work for long hours in a dangerous environment while handling heavy machinery. Highly explosive and toxic chemicals pose a great risk of burn and asphyxiation. These are only some of the risks associated with the oilfield industry. Undoubtedly, the oil and gas industry is one of the most dangerous to work in.
In most cases, it is the employer’s negligence when workers get injured at the job site. It may be due to a lack of safety rules, equipment, or training. This is where workers’ comp benefits can help. However, the path to getting workers’ comp and recovering damages is not easy. It is recommended to work with an oilfield accident lawyer to protect your legal rights.
Workers’ Compensation For Your Damages
Injured workers in an oilfield have the right to seek workers’ compensation from their employers when they get into an accident while working. In this case, the worker does not have to prove that an accident occurred due to the employer’s fault to receive compensation. These benefits can be collected without the tedious task of gathering evidence and going to court.
However, there is a catch. Workers’ compensation protects the employer from further legal action. In exchange for giving the injured worker the benefits, the employer snatches their right to file a personal injury claim. Therefore, once you sign the compensation agreement, you cannot take further action to demand additional money.
Personal Injury Claim For Your Damages
In the case workers’ comp is not enough to cover the injured worker’s damages, they can opt for a personal injury claim. In some cases, an employer’s negligence is not the only reason workers get injured at the oilfield, in which case they can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
For example, accidents that happen due to the malfunctioning of heavy machinery because there was a mechanical defect in them are not the employer’s fault but the manufacturer’s. You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of that particular machine and get benefits.
The benefits you receive in a personal injury lawsuit exceed those of workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp covers medical treatment costs and lost wages. It does not reimburse you for non-economic damages like mental anguish and pain and suffering. Other non-economical benefits you can receive include:
- loss of enjoyment of life,
- loss of consortium,
- physical disability.
Examples of third parties that may be held liable in an oilfield accident include oil rig owners, trucking companies, shipping companies, and landowners.