What to Do If Your Loved One Was Killed in an Oilfield Accident or Explosion

Houston Oilfield Injury Lawyers | What to Do If Loved One Was Killed Oilfield Accident

Undefeated Texas Oilfield Injury Lawyers

Oilfield work is dangerous.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 1,038 oil and gas workers were tragically killed on the job from 2011 through 2019, resulting in a fatality rate six times higher than that of other industries. Fires, explosions, falls from rigs, truck and other motor vehicle accidents, falling objects, exposure to toxic liquids and gases, and equipment malfunctions are just some of the hazards oilfield workers face every day they’re on the job.

As home to the nation’s most productive energy-producing regions, including the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale, and Haynesville Shale, Texas consistently leads the country in oilfield fatalities. In fact, in 2019 alone, the Lone Star State accounted for more than half of the oilfield deaths reported in the United States that year.

If your spouse or another family member was tragically killed in an oilfield accident or explosion, the shock and grief of your loss are likely being compounded by financial worries, especially if your loved one provided your primary source of income. And while no one wants to think about money at a time like this, it’s important that you take the appropriate steps to protect your rights and your family’s future.

Don’t Count on the Oilfield Company or its Insurer to Secure Your Family’s Future

Having successfully represented thousands of injured oilfield workers in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and across the United States and recovered the #1 largest oilfield accident settlement in history, it’s been our experience that the vast majority of injuries and fatalities are entirely preventable and usually a direct result of negligence on the part of an oilfield employer.

While it’s true that the oil and gas industry is dangerous, energy companies are notorious for taking shortcuts to speed up production. Oilfield employees and contractors also typically face long, tiring hours on the job, with many working 7 to 14 days in a row before getting a day off. The fatigue associated with those long hours, combined with the pressure to perform more work in less time, only increase the likelihood that workers will be seriously hurt or even die as a result of a catastrophic accident or explosion.

Unfortunately, an oil company will never willingly take responsibility for an oilfield death. No matter how much they appear to care or how convincingly they promise to “make things right,” the company and its insurance adjuster are only interested in avoiding accountability and limiting your financial recovery to whatever worker’s compensation death benefits you receive, even if that means blaming your loved one and “losing” or misplacing critical evidence proving the company was at fault.

Workers’ Compensation Doesn’t Cover Your Most Significant Losses and Damages

After a fatal oilfield accident or explosion, a decedent’s survivors usually receive workers’ compensation death benefits. These benefits are generally paid to the surviving spouse, minor children, and children under 25 who are enrolled in an accredited college or university. Some states, including Texas, also allow non-dependent parents to collect workers’ compensation benefits if the deceased has no surviving dependents.

In Texas, surviving dependents are entitled to 75% of their loved one’s average weekly wages.  However, these benefits are subject to a statutory weekly maximum of $895, even if that’s less than 75% of the average weekly wage.

Unfortunately, many families find that workers’ compensation death benefits don’t come close to covering all of their monthly expenses. This is especially true when their loved one was killed while working at an oilfield, as oil and gas jobs tend to pay much higher wages than many other occupations.

Most importantly, workers’ compensation doesn’t compensate you for all of the damages your family could recover in a wrongful death lawsuit or survival claim, including loss of companionship, mental anguish, future medical expenses, and many other damages that are available in a lawsuit.

Filing an Oilfield Wrongful Death Lawsuit Protects Your Family’s Future and Holds the Companies Accountable

Trusting the oilfield operator and its insurance company to take care of you after a fatal accident or explosion is no way to safeguard your family’s future. They don’t care if you have the financial resources to pay your rent or mortgage, cover utilities and other monthly bills, or save money for your children’s education or your retirement.

They only care about protecting their profits, delaying, and eventually denying or underpaying your valid claims. The chances that you’ll ever receive full compensation for all of your economic and non-economic losses will only continue to dwindle the longer you attempt to “negotiate” with the company and its insurer.

While worker’s compensation can limit your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit after an oilfield accident or explosion, Texas and many other states do allow such claims when a death resulted from gross negligence of the decedent’s employer or the ordinary negligence of a third party, such as another contractor on the job.

Unlike workers’ compensation, a successful wrongful death lawsuit allows your family to recover ALL of your loved one’s lost income – past and future. You would also be able to recover compensation for all of the other economic and non-economic losses you incurred as a result of their death, including:

  • Loss of past and future household services and assistance
  • Loss of society, companionship, and consortium
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress suffered by family members

Many states also allow survivors to recover punitive damages (Texas calls these Exemplary Damages) when a loved one’s wrongful death results from a willful act or omission or gross negligence. In addition to punishing employers for their wrongful conduct, these damages are also meant to make an example of the defendant and prevent the behavior from ever occurring again.

Unlike most other personal injury law firms, our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers have won punitive damages in every wrongful death case they’ve taken to trial.

Hire an Experienced Oilfield Accident Lawyer

When your loved one is seriously injured or tragically killed in the oilfield, you want an Oilfield Accident Attorney with a history of taking on the largest oil and gas companies in the world and recovering the largest Oilfield Injury Settlements in History.

Our Undefeated Houston Oilfield Accident Lawyers have consistently won record-breaking verdicts and settlements for oilfield workers and families across Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and throughout the United States, including the #1 Largest Oilfield Accident Settlement in History and #1 Largest Burn Injury Settlement in History.

Why is our law firm so successful?

We limit our caseload to give each client the full attention they deserve, we never accept anything less than the maximum compensation available, and we possess a deep knowledge of the safety rules and regulations governing the oil and gas industry. Most importantly, we are always prepared for trial in the event the company refuses to fully compensate our clients for all of their damages and losses.

Contact our Undefeated Houston Oilfield Accident Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were seriously injured or tragically killed in an oilfield accident or explosion, our Undefeated Houston Oilfield Accident Lawyers will devote whatever resources are necessary to holding the oil company accountable and ensuring that you and your family are protected for life.

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay unless we win your case.

Please call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.

We’ll answer all of you your questions, explain your rights, and provide all the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

 

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