What happens if you suffer an amputation in the oil fields?

Just about anywhere in Texas you travel, oil rigs, drilling rigs and other signs of oil production dot the landscape. It always appears as though they work themselves, but the truth is that numerous individuals in the state spend long hours keeping those machines producing.

If you have worked in this industry for any length of time, you know that working in the Texas oil fields can be a lucrative career, but an incredibly dangerous one. You could suffer a variety of injuries at any time with one of the most serious being a traumatic amputation. If this happens to you, what do you have to look forward to in the aftermath of your work-related accident?

A team to care for you

Most people have heard the African proverb that says, "It takes a village to raise a child." It also takes one to get you through your amputation. You will most likely work with a health care team comprised of most, if not all, of the following:

  • The first member of your team is the orthopedic surgeon who performs the procedures required to stabilize you and your limb. While your injury heals, this doctor will direct your care for the team.
  • Once your limb heals, the primary responsibility for your care shifts to a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, who is also a doctor. This doctor makes sure you receive the health care you need and helps determine whether you are ready for a prosthesis.
  • A physical therapist creates an exercise program tailored for you. This person helps you regain strength and mobility, and helps you use devices to assist you with moving around, such as crutches or wheelchairs. 
  • An occupational therapist helps you learn how to conduct daily activities now that you have lost a limb. He or she also helps assess your ability to return to work, your living conditions and more.
  • You will work with a prosthetist to get you fitted for a prosthesis that works with your lifestyle and teaches you how to use it.
  • Nurses will assist you with your medications, wound care and personal hygiene. They also serve as the go-between for you and others on your team to meet your needs.
  • A social worker helps you with transport, accommodations and financial matters. But, more importantly, he or she helps you and your family with the emotional fallout of your traumatic amputation.

You are the most important part of your team. It would be irresponsible to say that you will get through this process without ups and downs or that you will get back to your "normal" life. The truth is that your life will never be what it was prior to the accident. You will more than likely need to find a new career path as well. It could take some time for your financial situation to improve.

You may seek workers' compensation benefits to cover your medical and medical-related needs and a portion of your income, but you may also qualify for other benefits as well. In some cases, a third party may bear some legal liability for what happened to you, and you may have the opportunity to pursue compensation from that party. A thorough review of your circumstances could reveal the avenues that may provide you with the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.

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