Oil field work often pays well. However, workers are exposed to many hazards on the job, which can result in serious and life threatening injuries.
Sometimes the injuries are caused by human error. Other times, they are caused by natural disasters or equipment malfunctions. No matter what the cause, oil field workers who have been injured on the job are entitled to compensation.
Fault doesn't matter in workers' compensation claims
Under Texas workers' compensation law, it doesn't matter who was to blame for an injury or illness as long as the injury or illness occurred in the course and scope of employment. This includes work-related travel.
In other words, even if an injury was caused by the worker's own negligence, the worker may still be entitled to workers' comp benefits.
The type of compensation injured workers are entitled to
Workers' comp covers lost wages and medical bills relating to the injury or illness. It may also include burial benefits and death benefits for the families of workers who were killed on the job.
If a third-party was responsible for the on-the-job injury or illness -- such as a negligent driver -- it may also be possible to file a legal claim against that party for damages, including pain and suffering.
Not all Texas employers carry workers' comp insurance
Unlike most states, Texas law does not require employers to carry workers' comp insurance, which can be problematic for workers who are injured on the job and whose employers are non-subscribers.
However, it also means that workers may be entitled to sue the employer for damages if employer negligence played a role in the injury or illness.
What to do after a workplace injury or illness
1. The first thing to do after being injured on the job or developing a work-related illness is to report it to management.
Under Texas workers' comp law, the injury must be reported within 30 days of the injury, or within 30 days of the worker becoming aware that the injury or illness was related to the job.
2. The next step an injured worker should take is to get treated by a medical professional and have the injury or illness properly documented.
Failing to take either of these steps can greatly harm a workers' comp claim.
3. Finally, injured workers should call a lawyer who has experience handling workers' comp claims for oil field workers and can help make sure that the worker gets the compensation he or she is entitled to.
Without a lawyer's help, getting fair compensation is a very difficult thing to do.