At The Sloan Firm, we respect the hard work of oil field and offshore workers in East Texas and along the Gulf Coast. We realize the physical and mental challenges they face every day on the job, and we recognize the many hazards they encounter. When accidents occur, causing oil and gas industry workers to suffer serious injury or death, we stand up for their rights and the rights of their family members.
If you recently suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an oil field accident or offshore accident in Texas, allow our personal injury lawyers to review your case in a free consultation from our offices in Longview, Houston or Santa Fe, New Mexico. We will explore all of your options and work closely with you to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and more.
We always see the person behind the injury at The Sloan Firm. We will pay close attention to how an accident and injury has impacted your life, and we will work hard to seek a result that addresses your unique circumstances. What matters to you, matters to us.
Types of Oil Field and Offshore Accidents
The lawyers of The Sloan Firm have more than 150 years of combined legal experience. We have represented oil field and offshore workers who have suffered injuries in a broad range of accidents such as those that involve:
- Collisions – Traffic accidents are the leading cause of job-related deaths among oil and gas workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports. Many of these accidents occur when companies transport workers and equipment to remote locations.
- Struck-by/caught-in/caught-between – Onshore and offshore drilling requires workers to work on and around a wide array of heavy equipment and machinery, including cranes, derricks, forklifts, rotating wellhead equipment, catheads, pipes, cables and high-pressure lines.
- Explosions and fires – Flammable vapors and gases at onshore and offshore drilling rigs can easily ignite due to friction heat, hot surfaces, sparks from cutting and welding tools, open flames, static and even lit cigarettes. Additionally, many fires and explosions occur when high-pressure lines leak or burst.
- Falls – Oil platforms, or oil rigs, in oil fields and at offshore sites often require workers to operate from elevated surfaces. Falls resulting in serious injuries and deaths often occur due to a lack of fall prevention equipment. Additionally, many workers suffer injuries in slip and falls on slick surfaces.
- Ergonomic hazards – Working in an oil field or aboard an offshore drilling rig can involve bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, reaching overhead and lifting heavy items. Workers can suffer serious injuries when engaged in any of these activities.
What is considered an Oil field or Offshore Accident Injury?
Our lawyers understand the life-changing nature of the injuries that many oil and gas workers sustain due to these accidents. Some of the most common oil field and offshore injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck, back and spine injuries
- Broken bones
- Burn injuries
- Hearing and vision loss
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In reality, oil and gas companies in Texas could take basic steps to prevent many of these accidents. However, they often put profit above worker safety. They allow accidents to happen due to factors such as:
- Worker fatigue
- Lack of proper training and supervision
- Lack of proper safety equipment
- Poorly maintained or outdated equipment.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an oil field or offshore accident, The Sloan Firm will conduct a comprehensive investigation of your case, determine the cause of the incident and identify all parties who should be held responsible.
Legal Options for Injured Texas Oil Field Workers
Our lawyers understand the challenges that injured oil field workers in Texas face after they have sustained a severe injury on the job. We will work tirelessly in your case to pursue all compensation available to you.
If your employer subscribes to the Texas workers’ compensation system, for instance, you may be eligible to file a claim for medical benefits as well as lost-wage benefits. These benefits would cover all of your accident-related medical expenses and replace a portion of the income you lose due to your disability.
If someone besides an employer or co-worker caused the oil field accident that injured you or caused the death of a loved one, you may be eligible to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against that “third party.” This claim could result in compensation that goes beyond what workers’ compensation provides, including compensation for pain and suffering.
Additionally, many oil and gas companies do not subscribe to the Texas workers’ compensation system. If the employer in your case is not a subscriber, you could bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit directly against the employer.
Legal Options for Injured Texas Offshore Workers
A worker who suffers injury on an offshore drilling rig may have many different legal options under maritime law. It will be important for the worker to consult with an attorney who understands how to identify and pursue those options, which may include the following:
- Jones Act – Some offshore oil rig workers may be eligible to file a claim under The Jones Act. Eligibility depends on whether the worker meets the definition of a “seaman” and whether the rig was “in navigation,” meaning it typically applies to those aboard Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU). The law provides compensation for injuries and illnesses caused by the unseaworthiness of a vessel or the negligence of an employer or co-worker. The compensation could include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, diminishment of future earning capacity and pain and suffering.
- Maintenance and cure – Under federal maritime law, a “seaman” who is injured while carrying out maritime job duties may be eligible for maintenance and cure benefits, regardless of who was at fault. These benefits cover a worker’s daily living expenses (maintenance) and medical expenses (cure) until the worker reaches maximum medical improvement.
- Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) –Many offshore oil rig workers can also seek benefits through this law. It provides benefits similar to the Texas workers’ compensation system, covering medical expenses as well as a portion of a worker’s lost wages.
- Death On the High Seas Act (DOHSA) – This law provide relief to families who have lost a loved one in an offshore oil rig accident. The law compensates a family for its financial losses if the death occurred due to another party’s negligence and happened beyond three nautical miles from the shore of Texas or any other state.
Contact a Longview Offshore & Oil Field Accident Attorney Today
The oil field and offshore accident lawyers at The Sloan Firm will fight vigorously for you. Our attorneys are part of a team, including investigators, paralegals and support staff that are skilled, compassionate and ready to assist you. We don’t just look at the injuries; we look at the people behind the injuries.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an oil field or offshore accident, contact us to discuss your legal rights and options. We can provide a free consultation through our offices in Longview, Houston or Santa Fe, New Mexico.
We know precisely what you are facing at this most difficult time, and we want to help you by pursuing a positive outcome for you and your family. We will charge no legal fees unless we obtain a financial recovery for you.