In the Texas oil industry, the stakes are high, and the risks are even higher. The Lone Star State is known for its sprawling oil fields and offshore drilling operations, which contribute significantly to the nation’s energy production. However, behind the scenes of this thriving industry lies a harsh reality: big oil companies and their insurers are often more focused on protecting their profits than ensuring the well-being of their workers.
If you’ve been involved in an oil field or offshore accident in Texas, you may have quickly realized that getting fair compensation isn’t straightforward. The odds are stacked against you, as these massive corporations have deep pockets and a team of lawyers at their disposal. They are more than willing to put up a fight to protect their interests, even if it means minimizing the compensation you rightfully deserve.
For this reason, securing the services of experienced attorneys, like those at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, is not just a smart choice but a necessary one. Although challenges lie ahead, having the right legal support can make all the difference in your pursuit of justice.
The Harsh Reality: Protecting Profits Over People
As we stated earlier, big oil companies tend to prioritize profits over the well-being of their workers. It’s a harsh reality that has left many individuals and their families struggling for fair compensation after enduring life-altering accidents.
These corporations often have intricate and opaque corporate structures, making it difficult to pinpoint liability when an accident occurs. They may use subcontractors or third-party entities, creating layers of complexity that can be used to their advantage in legal disputes. Big oil companies also have extensive resources at their disposal, including experienced defense lawyers. These legal teams are dedicated to protecting the interests of their clients, which often means minimizing the compensation they pay to accident victims.
Insurance companies that cover oil and offshore operations are also notorious for employing tactics designed to reduce payouts. Some common tactics include:
- Delaying Claims: Insurers may intentionally delay processing claims, leaving victims struggling to cover medical expenses and other immediate needs.
- Lowball Settlement Offers: Insurers may make initial settlement offers that are far lower than what the claim is worth, hoping that desperate victims will accept them.
- Disputing Liability: Insurers often dispute liability, claiming that the accident was the victim’s fault or the result of unforeseeable circumstances.
Victims of oil field and offshore accidents may feel immense pressure to settle quickly, especially when faced with mounting medical bills and lost income. This pressure can lead to accepting inadequate settlements that do not adequately cover their long-term needs and suffering.
It’s crucial for accident victims and their families to recognize these challenges and understand that hiring an oil field accident lawyer is often the only way to level the playing field.
Steps to Take After an Oil Field or Offshore Accident
Although you’re likely to be confused, shocked, and in pain after an accident, it’s important to take immediate and deliberate steps to ensure your safety, obtain the necessary medical attention, and lay the foundation for a potential legal claim.
- Ensure Safety and Seek Medical Attention: Your well-being is paramount. If you’re physically able to do so, move to a safe area away from any ongoing hazards. Then dial 911 to request immediate medical assistance. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s essential to get a professional evaluation, as some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately but could worsen without prompt attention.
- Document the Accident Scene and Injuries: Use your smartphone or any available camera to document the accident scene, including damaged equipment, hazardous conditions, or any factors that may have contributed to the accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Their statements may be valuable in the future.
- Report the Accident to Your Employer: Inform your immediate supervisor or employer about the accident as soon as possible. Your employer may have specific procedures for reporting workplace accidents- if so, ensure you follow these guidelines to the letter and ask for a copy of the accident report.
- Speak to an Oil Field Accident Lawyer: Reach out to an experienced oil field accident lawyer at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS. During your initial consultation with the attorney, provide them with all the details of the accident, your injuries, and any evidence you have gathered. They will evaluate the merits of your case and advise you on the best course of action.
The Legal Process: Filing a Lawsuit
When you suffer injuries in an oil field or offshore accident in Texas, you may need to take legal action. This step begins by consulting an experienced oil field accident lawyer who will assess your claim and recommend the best way to proceed. If you decide to sue, your attorney will draft a formal legal complaint outlining the specifics of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the damages you are seeking. This complaint is then filed in the relevant Texas court, and the defendant(s) will be formally served with the lawsuit.
In Texas, the ability to file a personal injury claim against your employer is typically limited by workers’ compensation laws. However, there are exceptions that may allow you to pursue legal action.
- If your employer is a “non-subscriber” without workers’ compensation coverage, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for negligence.
- If you can demonstrate that your employer’s intentional acts or gross negligence directly caused your injuries, you can pursue a lawsuit even if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage.
In many cases, a third party (other than your employer) may be partially or fully responsible for the accident, and you can also initiate a personal injury claim against these third parties.
Negotiations and settlements often play a pivotal role in the legal process. Before proceeding to trial, both sides may engage in negotiations to reach a settlement that provides you with fair compensation without the need for a courtroom battle. During this phase, your attorney’s role is crucial, as they advocate for your rights and ensure that any settlement offer takes into account your current and future needs.
If negotiations do not yield a satisfactory resolution, the case moves forward, with the possibility of going to trial. During the discovery phase, both sides gather evidence, including depositions, interrogatories, and document requests. Expert witnesses may be called upon to provide professional opinions on liability, causation, and damages. Your attorney will prepare you for trial, which may include mock trials or practice sessions to ensure you are comfortable with the process.
If no settlement is reached, the case goes to trial, where both sides present their evidence, witnesses, and arguments. Ultimately, the judge or jury renders a verdict, determining whether the defendant is liable and, if so, the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
Benefits of Working With An Oil Field Accident Attorney
When you’ve experienced an oil field or offshore accident in Texas, the road to recovery and obtaining fair compensation can be filled with obstacles and uncertainties. This is where the support of an experienced oil field accident attorney becomes invaluable.
Oil field and offshore accidents often involve intricate legal procedures, regulations, and potential disputes with powerful entities such as employers and insurance companies. An experienced attorney knows how to handle these cases at all stages, from filing a lawsuit and managing evidence to negotiating settlements or representing you in court. They ensure that your rights are protected and that every legal avenue is explored to maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Many accident victims hesitate to seek legal representation due to concerns about legal fees. The truth is that most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you only pay legal fees if they secure a settlement or win your case at trial. This arrangement ensures that you can hire a lawyer without any upfront costs. It’s a proactive step towards achieving justice and financial security in the aftermath of a challenging and life-altering accident.
Questions? Speak to an Oil Field Accident Lawyer Today
After an oil field or offshore accident in Texas, getting fair compensation often feels like an uphill battle. However, the support of experienced attorneys, like those at the Villarreal & Begum, LAW GUNS, can make a significant difference in your case. We will work diligently to maximize your compensation and secure an amount that covers your immediate and long-term needs. To schedule your free initial consultation, call (210) 800-0000 or contact us online today.