Attorney Dax Garza

Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Dax Garza
Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Dax Garza

Oilfield accidents are all too common in Texas and they can happen during all phases of the extraction process and beyond, including drilling sites, pipelines, transportation, refineries, and other related areas. However, all workers have a right to a reasonably safe workplace and this includes oil and gas workers.

If you or a loved one has been injured in the oilfield, it is essential to hire an experienced oilfield injury lawyer who knows Texas State Law and Federal laws and has successfully secured results for clients.

Oilfield Accident Case Results

West Texas Oilfield Hand Injury Case Result

$6.5 Million

Oilfield Truck Accident Case Result

$6.5 Million

If We Don’t Win, You Don’t Owe Anything at All

To help our clients get the legal counsel they need without having to worry about upfront costs, our law firm works on a contingency fee basis. This means we only get paid when we successfully obtain financial compensation for you. If we don’t win, you don’t owe us anything at all.

Steps to Take After an Oilfield Injury Accident

While an oilfield worker may be incapacitated or too seriously injured to take any of these steps immediately following an oilfield accident, the following steps must still be taken by the worker or a loved one shortly thereafter:

  1. Notify your employer about the incident and ensure an official accident report is written and filed
  2. Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries; but, if you are required to see the “company doctor,” you may want to get a second opinion from your own physician
  3. Keep all medical appointments and adhere to your providers’ instructions
  4. Document the accident scene or have a coworker do it for you, including taking photos and videos, talking to witnesses, and journaling or voice recording relevant details and information as soon as possible so things are not forgotten
  5. Don’t trust your employer, an insurance company, or any other business involved on your job site to “make things right” for you and your family
  6. Get help from an experienced oilfield accident attorney

Oilfield Accidents Cause Severe Injuries

Texas generates the most oilfield accident fatalities in the country. Given the dangerous nature of oilfield work, catastrophic injuries are far more common than those injuries sustained in white-collar workplace accidents. Oilfield accidents often involve workers who come into contact with massive electrical currents, highly flammable and hazardous materials and chemicals, explosions from contents under high pressure, leaks of toxic substances, and line blowouts, among many other potential causes.

Oilfield accident injuries can leave workers disfigured and unable to work. Common injuries sustained in oilfield accidents include but are not limited to:

  • Amputations
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Deep cuts and lacerations
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • burn injuries
  • disfigurement

In addition to physical injuries, the responsible parties for your workplace accident may also be liable to pay your medical expenses, for your pain and suffering, your rehabilitation costs, for your lost wages and any loss of future earning capacity, and more.

Texas is one of only two states that do not require employers to subscribe to workers’ compensation. For this and other reasons, when a worker is injured they may be forced to pay their own medical expenses out of pocket. This is why it is critical you speak with a skilled Houston oilfield accident lawyer as soon as possible.

Oilfield Accidents in Texas

Every year in Texas alone, the Texas Railroad Commission assesses tens of thousands of violations against the oil and gas industry for workplace safety failures, which often involve oilfield vehicles, equipment, pipelines, storage, and more. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates an average of 120 oil and gas fatalities each year, with thousands of more workers suffering serious injuries.

Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents

Equipment Failure or malfunction is a major cause of serious injury and death. Oilfields are intricately built to support oil refinement and production. Every aspect needs to be routinely inspected and serviced in order to protect workers. This applies to heavy equipment and machinery with which workers must interact while performing their daily job duties. Oil companies are notorious for safety issues because the cost of shutting down for maintenance is worth less to them than the cost of human life.

Structural Failure is similar to equipment failure in that beams, pipes, stairwells, and any surface with which employees interact require routine inspection and maintenance. Workers are at risk of being injured by structural dangers when pipes are loose or have cracks/leaks from which chemicals can escape, falling beams, faulty stairs and railings, and more. Because workers are put in confined spaces with heavy objects, it’s important that a facility is structurally sound.

Inadequate Training can be to blame for human error on oilfield worksites. Workers are only as safe as they are trained. This can be said not only with regard to safety training, but also for job-specific training, education on chemicals being used and their hazards, and emergency training. Workers who can detect problems while working with machines, equipment, and chemicals have an opportunity to prevent a serious accident – but they can only do so with essential learning tools. Training needs to be accessible, mandatory, and provided in languages employees can understand – all prior to them taking on any job duties. Additionally, the importance of safety training must be stressed given the amount of risk associated with both job tasks and facility layouts that can be hard to exit during emergencies.

Ignoring Industry Standards contributes to preventable accidents. Oil companies are legally required to operate under federal and state safety standards, including complying with regulations outlined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Compliance with these regulations can be time consuming and costly, taking away time and manpower from profitable production schedules. Oilfield owners and operators should regularly shut down worksites to conduct inspections and maintenance, and upgrade facilities that do not meet safety standards.

Lack of Signage and Personal Protective Equipment leave workers vulnerable to worksite dangers. Oilfields should contain posted safety signs, including cautions and rules displayed in high-visibility areas and in a language workers understand. Additionally, employers should provide them with personal protective equipment for an additional barrier between themselves and their work. Personal protective equipment such as safety goggles and hardhats can dramatically reduce severe injuries.

Contact the Houston Oilfield Accident Attorneys at Dax Garza Today to Protect Your Family and Financial Future

Energy industry employers can be held responsible when they recklessly endanger the lives of their employees. If you or someone you know was injured in an oilfield accident, schedule your free consultation with us today to learn your rights.

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