What Can You do if You are Injured on an Oil Rig?
Oil rig workers know the perils that await them on the job site, as the upstream oil and gas industry is one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S., according to E&E News. Miles out from shore, the pressure to perform in this high-stakes environment often leads to injuries on the oil rig. These include overuse injuries, exhaustion, torn ligaments, broken bones, back injuries, and worse.
An oil rig is a dangerous work environment for a variety of reasons, but due to the lucrative paycheck, employees often ignore the dangers, the stress, and the lack of safety equipment. When accidents happen, an employee may even be made to feel like they are their fault, and that they should get back to work quickly or find their jobs given to the next eager applicant. After all, due to an increase in capital spending, the oil and gas industry is booming, according to CNBC, and that means that thousands of qualified applicants are ready to work. The pressure to keep your head low, ignore the pain, and return to the job can be overpowering for some upstream employees, but it is important to remember that you have rights.
Are Injured Employees Entitled to Workers’ Compensation?
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, injured oil field workers may be able to receive compensation for their injuries. This compensation includes the cost of medical services, rehabilitation services, transportation costs, and temporary or permanent disability benefits. If an oil field worker does not qualify under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, he or she may find assistance through the Jones Act. The Jones’ Act allows injured maritime workers to receive maintenance and cure, which means financial benefits to help with the cost of living, as well as medical benefits to pay for treatment.
Can My Employer Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you believe that you will be fired for reporting your injury or filing a claim because your employer has explicitly said so or made vague threats, you need to understand your rights. Under the Jones Act, it is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee who is merely exercising his or her legal rights. Your job is safe whether you file a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim and are approved or denied.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Under the Jones Act
In some cases, an injured employee can sue an employer under the Jones Act if it can be proven that the employer was negligent, and that this negligence was the cause or major contributing factor of the injury. A lawsuit will enable the injured worker to seek compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, medical, lost wages, and other damages.
Call a Houston Oil Rig Injury Lawyer Today
There are a variety of ways that an injured oil rig worker can seek compensation from his or her employer. To learn more about your many options, contact the experienced oil rig injury lawyers of Michael P. Fleming & Associates, P.C. today at 713-221-6800.