If we were to make a list of the most dangerous industries, then oilfield would be at the top.
According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, oil and gas extraction workers were involved in 602 incidents between 2015 and 2017, resulting in 481 hospitalization and 166 deaths.
Things are not better in Houston. According to the local outlet Houston Chronicle, Texas had the most oilfield related deaths in the country. The grim numbers put everyone on edge, with many government institutions stepping in and forcing oil companies to provide safer working conditions for their employees.
But accidents can still happen, and when they do, it’s important to know what to do. If you’ve sustained an oilfield injury, here are some steps to take to protect your health and receive proper compensation.
Tell Your Employer about the Accident
Regardless of how minor you assess your injuries to be, it’s essential that you or one of your coworkers inform the employer right away. Oil companies have policies in place on how to act in case of such events, to prevent further damage. But, they need to be in the know to take proper action.
If you don’t inform your employer, then your chances of receiving compensation are lower, since they can then claim that you sustained your injury somewhere else. Try to include as many details as possible, preferably in writing so that you can use that later on in legal action.
Seek Medical Attention
After an incident, you will receive some medical care on-sight or even be taken to the hospital. But, make sure to schedule a consultation with a doctor of your choosing and have them asses your condition.
The rule of thumb is this: first aid is paramount, and you must go to the hospital right away. Once you’re in the clear, take your medical file to a specialist and ask them to review your condition.
Gather All Evidence
The next thing you should consider is creating a paper trail of the incident. Receipts, medical bills, drug prescriptions or anything relevant to your situation should be carefully collected and kept.
Keep a detailed account of the events, including dates of hospital visits or names of doctors who’ve treated you. You can even revisit the day of the incident and try to create a more comprehensive summary of it. Be sure to include possible witnesses and other events that happened in the past at your workplace, even if you were not involved. All this information will become relevant when you file for workers compensation.
Call a Lawyer
You should have an attorney that specializes in personal injury or workers compensation cases handle your legal claims. You can do it right after you’ve had the appropriate treatment for your injuries, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t wait too long to make the call.
That way, you can focus on your recovery and the Houston oilfield accident lawyer can handle all the bureaucracy required for a worker’s compensation claim. They will build a case, talk to witnesses and doctors, and negotiate an appropriate settlement.
If it’s a clear case of negligence of your employer, then the lawyer can help you sue and represent you in the trial. But even if your injuries are minor, and your employer is very cooperative, it’s still wise to ask for legal help. Workers compensation laws are quite intricate, and you want to make sure you don’t become the victim of legal loopholes.
Although oilfield workers are perfectly aware their job can be dangerous at times, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a fair settlement in case of an unfortunate incident.
The state comes in to make employers in the Houston oilfield industry assure a safe working environment, but it’s your job to know the right steps to take when an accident occurs. Otherwise, you might be faced with handling everything on your own.