Employer Negligence for Oil and Gas Injuries
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for Help with a Fair Settlement
The oil and gas industries have strict safety codes and laws that encourage injury-free workplaces. However, employers often make decisions that favor profits over worker safety. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the fatality rate for oil and gas industry workers is seven times greater than the majority of American industries. The workplace environments for oil and gas industry employees are inherently dangerous. When you have employers cutting corners and forgoing safety regulations, the workplace environment becomes even more dangerous. Serious accidents often occur, and you may find yourself suffering from a severe personal injury. If you find yourself in dire straits after an oil or gas rig accident, then you should consult with an attorney who has experience with workers’ compensation cases.
At Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, our attorneys work as both personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys. We focus our efforts on Southern Louisiana and are familiar with the inland rigs and offshore oil rigs in the area. As a former mud engineer, firm partner and Lafayette workers’ compensation attorney Rusty Galloway understands the oil and gas industry. He knows when either inland rigs or offshore oil rigs are not up to code and has decades of experience with third party claims. The ability to hold negligent employers accountable runs in his blood, and our attorneys know that your health and safety should never be at risk. With our knowledge of both personal injury and workers’ compensation law, we can help you figure out what type of benefits you can claim.
What Are Common Types of Employer Negligence?
It is possible for you to be held responsible for your own injuries. However, your employer is considered negligent if he or she engages in bad hiring practices, fails to properly train employees and inadequately monitors the actions taken by his or her employees. If your employer committed any of the following acts, he or she may be liable for your injuries and losses:
- Violating OSHA guidelines. This includes the Safety Standards for General Industry and Construction and the General Duty Clause under the OSH Act of 1970.
- Purchasing or failing to update defective equipment. Using defective equipment is a major mishap that could be avoided through regular equipment inspections by your employer.
- Failing to provide protection against toxic gases. By not providing protection or detecting the presence of toxic gases, your employer could be held liable for creating an unsafe working environment.
- Failing to create rescue protocol. By not having a rescue protocol, your employer could inadvertently kill his or her workers by not getting to them in time.
- Enforcing strict or unreasonable deadlines and hours. This can lead to exhaustion, which is common for truck drivers transporting oil drilling materials.
- Skipping steps in the oil rig construction process. Sometimes skipping steps can seem like a cost-saving measure. However, you never know when an accident can occur, and your employer will pay the price for cutting corners.
- Operating a rig with inexperienced or insufficient personnel. Although oil and gas companies have strict timelines, operating a rig with the wrong crew members is a recipe for a personal injury accident.
- Providing inadequate training for new employees. No matter how much experience a new employee possesses, there must be a training period where he or she reviews the health and safety standards for that particular position.
How Do Attorneys Determine Liability After an Oil Rig Accident?
When determining liability after suffering an oil rig injury, there are several laws that could apply to your particular situation. For instance, those who work on or near the water are afforded certain protections under maritime law. Our pages on the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWSA) explain how maritime law could potentially affect your case. In some instances, an oil rig employee can benefit from the protections provided by maritime law. This is important because the risk factors and jurisdiction problems plaguing sea workers are similar to the conditions for oil rig workers. The workdays for both sea workers and oil rig workers are also extremely long and dangerous. Depending upon your particular case, these similarities could wind up being advantageous for you and your civil case.
However, if your employer is at fault, then you could have additional options for seeking justice. While workers’ compensation will cover your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages, additional claims can be made that could help you recover all of your lost wages. You could also be compensated for any emotional trauma that you experienced after your oil rig accident. This is commonly referred to as a third party claim. For an oil rig accident, a third party claim can be made for something as simple as a defective product. If you suffered an injury because of an equipment malfunction, then the manufacturer of that equipment could be held liable for your injuries.
Looking for Support? Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Here to Help
Although the oil and gas industry can be dangerous, your employer is supposed to minimize risk by taking the appropriate safety precautions. With that said, people are human, and mistakes will inevitably be made. If this happens, then our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help guide you throughout the legal process and ensure that your physical and financial needs are met. At Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, we are dedicated to the Louisiana community and will assist anyone who has a viable workers’ compensation claim.
If you or a loved one were injured after an oil or gas rigging accident, then you should contact Galloway Jefcoat, LLP today at (337) 984-8020 and schedule a consultation. You can also contact us online and send us a brief description of your case. Our attorneys will answer all of your questions and make sure that justice is delivered to the responsible parties.