The brain is the lifeline of the body and is the sole reason we are able to function on a daily basis. Any injury to the head, regardless of the magnitude, can cause brain damage and should be thoroughly evaluated by a medical professional. If you or a loved one received brain damage while working on an oil and gas job, you may be entitled to file a claim for damages.
Oil and Gas Accidents Leading to Brain Damage
The oil and gas industry is booming in the Gulf Coast region, particularly in Texas and Louisiana. The use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas has led to increased production throughout the region, although carries with it the possibility of dangerous accidents. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the top reasons for injuries and accidents in the oil and gas industry, particularly when workers have not been trained on how to use the equipment. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping large amount of fluids down thousands of feet into the earth at high pressure. Any malfunction with the equipment could result in mechanical failure causing equipment to fly upward toward the workers. The force of the trauma from this high pressure can lead to devastating brain damage for the worker.
Other traumatic brain injuries on oil rigs occur from falling objects which land on the employee. Oil rigs and the oil industry are dangerous conditions to work in, and companies must ensure that all employees are appropriately trained prior to working.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Brain damage can have a severe impact on the ability of the employee to return to work and to simply interact in society. While some forms of brain damage are less severe than others, nearly all will impact the injured worker’s personality and cognitive skills. It can take weeks and even months to recover from a traumatic brain injury. During this time, the employee will likely be unable to work, and the medical expenses will continue to add up. In Texas, an oil and gas worker will be able to file a claim under the worker’s compensation laws, if the employer provides worker’s compensation insurance coverage. If the employer does not, the worker may turn to certain federal workers’ compensation statutes or look to state personal injury claims.
Personal Injury Claims
If an employer does not provide worker’s compensation coverage or if the employee does not meet the definition of an “employee” under state or federal law, the injured employee can choose to file a personal injury claim against the company for their failure to provide a safe work environment. In any personal injury claim, the injured party may request the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (for the spouse or close family member)
- Future earnings
An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in determining what claim procedure is correct for your situation, in addition to calculating the full amount of damages you are entitled to receive.
Malley Law Firm | Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one received a brain injury in an oil and gas accident, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Brain damage is a very serious injury and will impact your life for years to come. It is therefore important to receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries to ensure that you and your family will receive the necessary benefits to continue your medical care and receive ongoing financial support. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.