Oil and gas workers receive competitive wages even when compared with other blue-collar employees. Their job is very demanding and comes with multiple major safety risks, so their employers generally need to offer competitive pay.
Job risks for those in oil and gas jobs range from chemical exposure and fires to transportation incidents. Someone hurt on the job will likely require a leave of absence and medical care. As well-paid professionals, oil and gas workers are at elevated risk of experiencing significant hardship due to a work injury.
Disability benefits can leave a gap
Most employees who get hurt on the job in Texas can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits can help pay for someone’s treatment expenses. If someone has to change professions or take a leave of absence, they can also seek disability benefits.
Unfortunately, disability pay often can’t meet the needs of well-compensated blue-collar workers. At most, workers can receive up to 100% of the average weekly wage in Texas. That wage will likely be substantially lower than the average weekly wage of the injured oil and gas employee. Additionally, certain types of disability benefits only qualify a worker for 70% of the average weekly wage across the state.
Workers hurt in transportation incidents or due to defective machinery might be able to pursue a third-party claim in addition to a basic workers’ compensation benefits claim. A successful third-party lawsuit can close the gap between what a worker has lost and what workers’ compensation will cover.
Recognizing that oil and gas professionals often need more than state benefits can offer may inspire those struggling after a recent on-the-job injury to seek legal guidance accordingly.