Oilfield Injuries

Facing the Perils of Texas Oilfields: Are You Protected?

Texas is a major player in the oil and gas industry, which is a sector that drives economies but also poses significant risks to workers. It is not uncommon for workers to get injured in oilfields due to the dangerous nature of the work, and the consequences of such injuries can be life-changing. It is important for those affected to have a good understanding of the legal aspects surrounding these incidents.

What Are Oilfield Injuries and Why Should Texas Workers Be Concerned?

Oilfield injuries are injuries that happen to workers during the process of extracting oil and gas. These injuries are often severe and occur due to the challenging work conditions. They can be caused by equipment failures, explosions, falls, or exposure to harmful substances, all of which can cause serious harm.

In oilfields, workers can suffer from various types of injuries, ranging from fractures and burns to more severe cases like traumatic brain injuries or amputations. The demanding nature of oilfield work not only increases the risk of physical injury but also exposes workers to long-term health issues. This is why safety and preventive measures are crucial. However, in the event of accidents, it is important for workers to understand the next steps to take and their legal rights.

Understanding the Risks: The 5 Most Common Oilfield Injuries in Texas

Working in Texas oilfields is hard and comes with significant risks. Awareness and preparation are key to staying safe. Here’s a look at the five most common injuries that oilfield workers face, emphasizing the importance of safety and preventive measures.

Head Injuries and Broken Bones

Falling or being hit by heavy equipment can lead to serious injuries like concussions or fractures. Always wearing a helmet and following safety guidelines are essential steps toward preventing these types of injuries.


The risk of fires is high in oilfields, making burns a common injury. These can result from direct contact with flames or hot surfaces. Proper use of protective gear and immediate medical attention for burns are crucial.

Cuts and Amputations

The machinery used in oilfields can cause severe lacerations or even amputations if not handled carefully. Employing safety measures, such as machine guards and strict adherence to operational protocols, helps mitigate these risks.

Chemical Poisoning

Exposure to hazardous chemicals and gases is a significant risk in oilfields. Protective breathing equipment and regular monitoring of air quality are vital to prevent poisoning and long-term health issues.

Hearing and Vision Damage

Loud noise from machinery can lead to hearing loss, while flying debris or intense light can cause vision damage. Using earplugs and safety glasses provides necessary protection against these hazards.

Recognizing these common injuries highlights the importance of safety practices in the oilfield industry. Following safety protocols, using the correct protective equipment, and undergoing regular training are key steps every worker should take to minimize risks.

Legal Rights of Oilfield Workers: What Are Your Rights After an Oilfield Injury in Texas?

Oilfield workers in Texas need to be knowledgeable about the laws that dictate their rights and potential compensation following an injury. Understanding these statutes is crucial for effectively navigating the recovery process and securing the needed assistance.

Workers’ Compensation Coverage

Most oilfield workers in Texas are covered under the Texas Labor Code, Title 5, Workers’ Compensation. This coverage offers medical benefits and a portion of your income if you’re injured on the job. However, it’s important to note that workers’ compensation might not cover all expenses related to severe injuries, and not all employers participate in the state’s workers’ compensation system. 

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When injuries result from employer negligence or third-party actions, oilfield workers may pursue compensation beyond workers’ compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. This is where the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code comes into play, particularly Sections 71.001 to 71.031, which govern wrongful death and survival claims and may be applicable in catastrophic damage situations.

Statute of Limitations

The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 16.003, imposes a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means you have two years from the date of the injury to initiate legal action, underscoring the importance of consulting with an attorney immediately to protect your rights.

Legal Considerations and Seeking Representation

Understand Your Rights:
Familiarize yourself with your legal rights under Texas law, including workers’ compensation eligibility and the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in cases of negligence.

Consult With an Attorney:
Whether you’re a worker seeking compensation or a company navigating a claim, consulting with an attorney experienced in oilfield injuries is important. They can offer guidance tailored to your situation, help understand the complexities of your case, and outline the best course of action.

Prepare for a Claim or Defense:

For Workers: Your attorney will help prepare your claim, ensuring all necessary documentation is in order and determining the most appropriate legal pathway for seeking compensation.

For Companies: Legal counsel is essential in preparing your defense, assessing the company’s liability, and developing a strategy to address the claim effectively.

Filing Claims and Litigation

Initiating a Claim: Workers pursuing compensation will need to file a claim with their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance or, if applicable, initiate a personal injury lawsuit. Timing is critical due to the statute of limitations.

Negotiations and Settlements: Many cases are settled out of court. Skilled negotiation by your attorney can lead to a fair settlement that covers your damages. Companies should work closely with their legal teams to evaluate settlement offers and make informed decisions. 

Going to Court: If a settlement can’t be reached, the case may go to court. A trial presents an opportunity for workers to secure compensation through a verdict but also requires thorough preparation and a strong case presentation. Companies facing litigation should be prepared for a rigorous defense, highlighting safety protocols and disputing negligence claims as appropriate.

Understanding Compensation: What You’re Entitled to After an Oilfield Injury

After an oilfield injury, knowing what compensation you may be entitled to is essential for both workers seeking relief and companies preparing to address claims. Compensation isn’t just about covering immediate medical bills; it extends to lost wages, long-term care, and other damages. Below, we break down the types of compensation typically available in oilfield injury cases and how they are determined.

Medical Expenses

This includes all costs related to the immediate treatment of the injury, such as hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any ongoing medical care, including physical therapy.

Lost Wages

If an injury prevents a worker from returning to work, compensation for lost wages can help bridge the financial gap until they can return to work, if at all.

Pain and Suffering

These damages are awarded for the physical pain and emotional distress suffered as a result of the injury, which can include anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Long-Term Disability and Care

Severe injuries may lead to long-term or permanent disability, necessitating compensation for ongoing care and adjustments to living arrangements.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the negligence was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be awarded as a means to punish the responsible party and deter future negligence.

Wrongful Death

If an oilfield injury results in death, the family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for funeral costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.

How Compensation is Determined

Compensation is decided based on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury, the impact on the victim’s quality of life, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Workers’ compensation payouts are normally defined by statute and are calculated as a percentage of the worker’s average wages and the nature of the injury.

Personal injury claims are more complex, and the decision will take into account the whole range of losses, including both economic (medical costs, lost wages) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering). The strength of the evidence, which includes medical records and witness accounts, also influences the result of these cases.

Navigating the Claim Process

Whether you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit, the process can be overwhelming without proper guidance. For workers, working with an experienced lawyer can help ensure that their claim is appropriately valued and aggressively pursued. Understanding the basis of compensation claims can help firms develop successful claim management and settlement methods.

Get the Compensation You Deserve: Contact McKinnon Law Firm

If you’ve been injured in an oilfield accident, it’s important to have the right legal help. McKinnon Law Firm can assist you with business law, real estate law, and personal injury cases to help you get the compensation you deserve. We are committed to getting positive results for our clients and guiding them through the legal process.

We know these cases can be complicated, but our team is ready to provide the legal support you need. McKinnon Law Firm is here to make the legal process easier for you, keeping you informed and supported throughout.

Contact McKinnon Law Firm for a consultation today. Let us handle the legal issues so you can focus on healing and moving forward.

Office Hours

Daily - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday - 08:00 am to 11:30 am

Holidays - 08:00 am to 3:00 pm

McKinnon Law, PLLC

Contact Info

1776 Yorktown Street, Suite 425
Houston, Texas 77056

(832) 810-3664