If you were injured on the job in an oil field accident, you’ll probably be covered by workers’ compensation. However, the situation can be far more complicated than that because your employer may not carry workers’ comp insurance.
Amarillo attorney Channy F. Wood knows how dangerous oil-field work can be and how vital it is to Texas, the nation, and the world. He worked in the West Texas oil fields as a derrick hand, roustabout, welder, and machinist before he completed law school. If you were injured in an oil field accident, he will fight for justice on your behalf and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn about how workers’ comp applies to oil fields.
TEXAS DOESN’T REQUIRE EMPLOYERS TO CARRY WORKERS’ COMP
Texas is the only state in the country that does not require employers to carry workers’ comp insurance. A survey by the Texas Research and Oversight Council on Workers’ Compensation found that approximately 80 percent of Texas workers are covered by workers’ comp. You can check this database to see if your employer carries the coverage.
If you are part of that 80 percent, you will generally have to go through the workers’ comp system to be compensated for your injury. If not, you will have to file a claim.
HOW TO FILE A WORKERS’ COMP CLAIM
If you were injured on the job and your employer carries workers’ comp, you should notify your employer of your injury immediately. You have only 30 days to inform your employer of the injury and just one year to file a claim.
The benefits you may be eligible for under workers’ comp include:
- Medical expenses for the injury
- Limited compensation for lost income
- Vocational rehabilitation to help you find another job if you can’t return to work
- Death benefits including 75 percent of your income and up to $10,000 in funeral expenses
Once you file your claim with the Texas Division of Workers’ Compensation, the division will notify your employer and their insurance company. The insurance company will review your claim and decide whether to accept or reject it. If your workers’ comp claim is challenged or denied by your employer or its insurance company, Channy will take them on and fight for you.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR EMPLOYER DOESN’T HAVE WORKERS’ COMP
If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ comp insurance, you can sue them for negligence. Texas employers who don’t offer workers’ comp are called “non-subscribers” and are not shielded from negligence.
You may also be able to pursue a third-party lawsuit. This is a claim filed against an entity other than your employer, and you can submit one even if you accept workers’ comp. An example of a third-party lawsuit would be filing a claim against a derrick manufacturer if its defective equipment caused your injury.
The damages you could recover from a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Long-term care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical or mental impairment
CONTACT OUR AMARILLO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY TODAY
If you were injured in an oil field accident, Channy will fight for you and help you recover compensation. He believes in local lawyers helping local people. He serves Amarillo and the surrounding areas of Texas. Call (806) 304-0447 today to schedule a consultation.