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The oil and gas industry is crucial to the country’s economy and certain states, such as Texas and Louisiana. Workers often travel long distances to work on oil rigs and often spend weeks away from their family. While the oil and gas industry often involves higher wages, it is not without danger. Workers are often exposed to dangerous conditions each day and may unfortunately be subject to severe injuries during their employment. If you or a loved one have received a head injury while working on an oil rig or other oil and gas site, you may be entitled to bring a claim for your resulting injuries.
HEAD INJURIES IN OIL AND GAS
Some of the most common accidents in the oil and gas industry involve “contact with objects or equipment.” Between 2003 and 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) found that 16 percent of all fatalities in the oil and gas industry were caused by contact with objects or equipment. Many head injuries in the oil and gas industry are caused by equipment malfunction and falling objects.
Head injuries can include the following:
- Brain damage
Any of these injuries can have lasting repercussions on the employee and their family. Head injuries are very serious and can lead to the complete loss of motor functions or a complete change in personality. Many families depend on the injured worker to make ends meet, and the inability to work could be devastating to a family.
DAMAGES AND RECOVERY OPTIONS
Injured workers have several options after an accident occurs. If the accident occurred on an offshore oil rig, a worker may be able to bring a claim under federal maritime law. While federal maritime laws were put in place to protect sailors, they now extend to oil and gas workers on offshore rigs in certain situations.
Other accidents may be covered by certain state workers’ compensation laws. However, states such as Texas allow employers to decide whether to maintain workers’ compensation insurance and do not require employers to carry it. Therefore, not every employer offers this to their workers. Additionally, many oil and gas workers do not fit within the definition of employee for state purposes, since they are often contract employees.
However, any injured worker will be able to bring a traditional personal injury claim against the responsible party after an accident occurs which leads to a head injury. The injured worker’s employer should have guaranteed the safety of all employees and should have taken the necessary precautions to prevent an accident from occurring, either through training employees or ongoing maintenance. The failure to ensure the safety of employees could lead to a claim for damages.
An injured worker may file a claim for the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Future earnings
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
An experienced attorney will assist you in determining which is the best method to file a claim under and the total amount of damages to include in the claim.
MALLEY LAW FIRM | HOUSTON PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one have received a head injury while working in the oil and gas industry, do not hesitate to contact the Malley Law Firm. Tony Malley has years of experience in handling injuries in the oil and gas industry and will work closely with you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Beaumont or Houston offices today for your initial free consultation.