The oil and gas industry is an inherently dangerous area to work in. However, most employers take significant precautions to protect their workers from dangerous conditions through properly training their workers, performing routine maintenance on equipment, and remedying any unsafe conditions. Unfortunately, not every employer performs these necessary measures; and serious injuries can result from unsafe conditions on an oil rig or other platform. If you or a loved one have suffered a bone fracture during your work in the oil and gas industry, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries.
Fractures in Oil and Gas
Oil and gas employees often work with many different types of equipment in different scenarios. The onset of hydraulic fracturing has allowed oil and gas companies to access petroleum products which were previously unattainable but at the risk of using volatile equipment. Hydraulic fracturing involves the pumping of fluid into a well at a high pressure. The high pressure can often cause equipment to malfunction, thereby resulting in severe accidents. The accidents may lead to bone fractures if the equipment malfunctions or topples over, crushing a worker.
Bone fractures can take different types and have varying degrees of severity. The force that causes the break will often dictate how severe the injury will be. If the force only slightly impacted the bone, the resulting impact could be a crack, rather than a fracture. However, if the force was extreme, the bone could completely shatter. “Open” fractures are also severe and are cause for concern, as these fractures involve bone which has pierced through the skin. The risk of infection is greater in any open fracture and the recovery time may be longer.
Typical types of fractures include:
- Stable fracture – the broken ends of the bones are slightly out of place.
- Open, compound fracture – the skin is pierced by the bone and may be visible in the wound.
- Transverse fracture – fracture line is horizontal.
- Oblique fracture – fracture has an angled pattern.
- Comminuted fracture – bone has shattered into three or more pieces.
Damages and Recovery Options
As an oil and gas worker, you have several options when bringing an injury claim. Certain employees may be covered under the state workers’ compensation laws. However, in states like Texas, employers have the option of opting out of the insurance. Workers may also be able to submit a claim under federal maritime statutes, if the injury occurred on an offshore rig.
Most injuries will fall within state personal injury laws, which allow an injured worker to bring a claim for damages against the responsible party – the employer. A claim for damages may include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Pain and suffering
An experienced oil and gas injury attorney will be able to assist you in determining the best option for your claim and the total amount of damages you may claim after your injury. It is important to keep in mind that your injury would not have occurred but for the negligent behavior of the company in guaranteeing a safe work environment.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have received a fracture while working in the oil and gas industry, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in assisting his clients with injury claims after a devastating oil and gas accident. Your employer has a duty to protect you and all workers from injuries and accidents. The failure to ensure a safe workplace should lead to liability for any resulting injuries. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.