Do you know how to file a claim for compensation after an oilfield accident? Do you know what types of compensation may be available?
If you are unsure about the answers, or have more questions, you could greatly benefit from meeting with a licensed Lafayette oilfield injury attorney. Galloway Jefcoat partner and co-founder Rusty Galloway worked in the oil industry and has been representing oilfield injury victims for more than 20 years. Our firm has secured millions on behalf of our clients, and our lawyers have detailed knowledge of the laws that apply to oilfield workers.
An initial consultation is free of charge and comes with no obligation to hire our firm. That means there is no risk in meeting with us. If we determine you may have a case and you decide to hire our firm, there are no upfront fees while we work on your case.
Galloway Jefcoat is here to help. Call today: (337) 984-8020.
Do I Have a Valid Claim for Compensation?
This is a question that should be discussed with an experienced attorney. At Galloway Jefcoat, an initial consultation with a licensed oilfield worker injury lawyer in Lafayette is free of charge. This meeting comes with no obligation to take legal action, which means there is no risk in contacting us.
There are various factors we must consider about whether you may have a case. For example, was your injury caused by negligence? If you are covered by the Jones Act, we need to be able to prove negligence to have a chance of recovering compensation.
However, if you are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), we do not need to prove negligence. We simply need to show you suffered a work-related injury.
While your employer may be at fault, there may also be third parties that bear liability for what happened. Our attorneys may be able to file separate claims against them to pursue compensation for damages.
Types of Claims We Are Ready to Pursue
Our experienced attorneys are prepared to pursue claims involving many types of oilfield accidents, such as:
- Slip, trip or fall accidents – Oilfield workers are often working on elevated surfaces, which means falls could cause severe or fatal injuries. Sometimes these accidents are caused by lack of fall-prevention measures. Oil and other substances can get on walkways, making them slippery and increasing the risk of falls.
- Crane accidents – Cranes are necessary for many tasks, both onshore and off. When accidents occur, they are often catastrophic. Our firm has significant experience handling cases involving crane operator accidents on oil rigs.
- Fires and explosions – Accidents caused by fires and explosions are an ever-present risk at onshore and offshore drilling rigs. Friction, heat, sparks from welding tools, lit cigarettes, static and open flames all increase the risk of fires and explosions. These accidents often involve oil pipelines.
- Motor vehicle accidents – This is one of the leading causes of death for oil and gas workers. Accidents often happen when workers or equipment are being transported to remote areas. Drivers and workers are often exhausted, which greatly increases the risk of a crash.
- Stuck/caught-between accidents – Oil and gas workers work around and with a lot of heavy equipment and machinery. An accident could cause a worker to get pinned between equipment or between a piece of equipment and a walk or railing. Examples of heavy equipment include cranes, derricks, forklifts, high-pressure liens, rotating wellhead equipment, etc.
These and other oilfield accidents are often caused by things like:
- Tired workers
- Improper training
- Negligent supervision
- Lack of safety equipment
- Old or malfunctioning equipment
- Violating Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations
- Failure to conduct regular safety inspections
- Not having fire extinguishers where appropriate
Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Attorney
The last thing injured workers want to deal with is the complex legal process. Workers may not even know where to begin and may not know much about their rights or options. Employers and their insurance companies are looking to pay out as little compensation as possible, and injured workers often do not know how much their claims may be worth.
These are all reasons why talking to an attorney after an oilfield injury can be so important. While there may be many other parties involved, an attorney is probably the only one focused on your best interests.
The Lafayette oilfield injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have in-depth knowledge of the laws that apply to these cases and how to pursue compensation for injured workers. We have the resources to investigate an accident and build a strong case as we pursue maximum compensation for your damages. Our co-founding partner Rusty Galloway has experience in the oil industry and knows how devastating oilfield injuries can be.
There are no upfront fees before taking your case or while we work to represent you. We are here to answer your questions and explain how we may be able to assist you. In over 25 years of serving injury victims in Louisiana, we have built a reputation of providing personalized, dedicated and aggressive legal service.
Injured and need legal help? Call today: (337) 984-8020.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
The answer is very likely no. Workers who perform services related to the exploration, development, production or transportation of minerals are exempt from coverage by Louisiana’s workers’ compensation system. Oil and gas are generally considered to be minerals because they are naturally occurring in soil or geological formations.
How Can I Pursue Compensation?
There are federal laws that provide compensation for workers injured in oilfield accidents, whether those accidents occur on shore or offshore.
Jones Act Claims
Do you spend at least 30 percent of your time working offshore, such as on an oil rig? If you suffer an injury caused by another’s negligence you may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, daily living expenses and personal injury damages, like lost enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Proving negligence can be complicated, as it requires a detailed investigation. Give Galloway Jefcoat a call to schedule a free consultation with a Lafayette oilfield injury attorney and see how he or she may be able to help you build a case under the Jones Act.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA)
If you work onshore, you may be covered by the LHWCA. Technically, the law does not mention oil and gas production, but coverage is provided thanks to an extension of the LHWCA called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
The LHWCA provides for workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers. That means injured workers may be able to obtain compensation for medical expenses and disability. For example, if you have a temporary total disability, you may be eligible for two-thirds of your average weekly wage for as long as you are unable to work.
The LHWCA also provides compensation for vocational rehabilitation, such as job placement, counseling, skills testing and modification of a previous job.
It is important to understand how even small errors could hurt your chances of recovering compensation under the LHWCA. That is why injury victims should strongly consider hiring experienced legal representation. If your claim is denied, an experienced lawyer should be able to help you go through each step of an appeal.
Our oilfield worker injury lawyers in Lafayette have extensive knowledge of the LHWCA and other relevant laws, including how they may apply to oilfield accidents.
How Much Time Do I Have to Seek Compensation?
There is limited time to seek compensation, which is why contacting a lawyer right away is so important. The attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat are here to answer your questions, determine if you have a case, and determine the deadline that may apply.
For LHWCA claims, you must tell your employer about the injury within 30 days, and claims must be filed within one year. For Jones Act claims, lawsuits must be filed within three years. If you miss the deadline, you are likely to lose the opportunity to pursue compensation.
Call today to discuss the merits of your claim. Ph: (337) 984-8020.
Who Regulates the Oilfield Industry?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has various regulations about oil and gas extraction that are designed to keep workers safe. These regulations cover things like:
- Design and construction requirements for exit routes
- Rope descent systems
- Head protection
- Flammable liquids
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Employee alarm systems
- And more
If you have reason to believe these or other safety regulations were violated and these violations contributed to your accident, you may have a valid case for compensation.
The licensed attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have the resources to thoroughly investigate an accident to determine if any safety violations occurred. We may also be able to investigate whether OSHA violations are a regular occurrence at the place where your accident happened.
Steps To Take After an Oilfield Accident
Getting medical treatment is one of the most important steps you can take after any type of workplace accident. Immediate treatment may help prevent an injury from worsening or putting your life at risk.
Immediate treatment is also important because it helps to show a strong connection between the accident and your injury. Waiting to get your injuries treated may make your employer suspicious about your motives. Even if you have a strong claim, they may say you must have been injured outside of work. This could make it harder to recover fair compensation.
Notify your employer about your injury as soon as possible. While employers usually find out about injuries that happen on their watch, that is not always the case.
Call a Lafayette Oilfield Worker Injury Lawyer Today
Explosions, slip and fall accidents, toxic chemical exposures and other oilfield accidents can cause life-changing injuries. That is why it is so important to recover as much compensation as possible to help secure the future for you and your family.
At Galloway Jefcoat, we are committed to seeking maximum compensation for your injuries and damages. Our firm has been representing injury victims in Lafayette and throughout Louisiana for over 25 years, and we have a track record of success.
An initial consultation to learn more about our services is free of charge. There are also no upfront fees for us to take your case or while we work on your case. Our attorneys are only paid if you get paid.
Our office in Lafayette is just a 15-minute drive from Ochsner University Hospital.
Experienced Lawyers. Millions Recovered. Call (337) 984-8020 today.