Those who have a job in the oil industry regularly do it because they see it as an opportunity to earn money and have a better chance at life despite the risks. However, for those who are injured working in the oil industry, life is often not the same. A worker who suffers a serious injury on an oil field or oil rig has to live with the pain of the injury and any disabilities or scars they receive. You can also face huge medical expenses and be overwhelmed by the loss of your wages. They may have to invest in home health care, or life adjustments, such as a wheelchair and a wheelchair-friendly home or vehicle. They may be unable to get a job in the future, particularly one that pays them a living wage and allows them to support their family. Of course, the worker can also have psychological injuries, which not only hurts him personally, but also his loved ones.
Recovering the compensation, you deserve: workers’ compensation vs a personal injury lawsuit
If you have been injured in an oil field in Texas or New Mexico and have suffered some of the losses listed above, or if you are the survivor of a worker who was killed while working in an oil plant, you need a legal oilfield injury lawyer on your side. that can help you understand the process of filing a claim and recovering compensation for your losses. There are usually two ways to do this:
Workers’ compensation insurance. If you are an oil field employee, your employer is likely required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance provides workers with compensation for their reasonable and necessary medical expenses, a percentage of their lost wages, and their disability (as well as death benefits for family members) when an employee is injured while performing a task work related. The problem with workers’ compensation insurance is that while it is a no-fault system, it does not allow workers to file a personal injury claim directly against their employer, or seek compensation for noneconomic losses, such as the value of their pain and suffering.
Third party liability claims. The other option to recover compensation after an oil field injury is to file a liability claim directly against the responsible party. You cannot file a claim directly against your employer if you are covered by your workers’ compensation insurance. But you can file a claim against a third party. For example, if your injury was caused by an equipment defect, you can file a third-party personal injury claim against the manufacturer. In a third-party liability claim, you can seek benefits to the extent of your economic and non-economic losses. That includes all of your lost wages (not just a percentage of your lost wages, as is available through workers’ compensation insurance). You can also seek damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress. However, you must prove that your injuries would not have occurred had it not been for the defendant’s actions.
Depending on where you are located and where the accident occurred, the laws for workers’ compensation and personal injury claims are different. In New Mexico and Texas, each state has its own civil and workers’ compensation law. That’s why it’s very important that you speak with an attorney who has experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation law in both states, and is licensed to represent you in either state.