Even as we struggle to free ourselves from the tyranny of fossil fuels, the oil industry continues to rack up obscene and record profits. Not only does the industry control our fuel for cars, it’s in just about everything we touch, from the plastics we use every day to the varnish on your hardwood floors. Unfortunately, with this kind of widespread influence, oil companies are also very powerful and they get away with a lot.
Their power can even extend to covering up evidence of accidents that cause millions of dollars in damage and untold cost in human suffering and injury. This was the case recently when a powerful energy group destroyed evidence to cover up a catastrophic accident that injured an oil field worker. Learn about the damages you are entitled to collect if you’ve been the victim of such an injury and how an oil field accident lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve.
COVERING UP THE EVIDENCE
In 2014, an oil and gas pipe failed, injuring an oil field worker for Lewis Energy Group in San Antonio. This could have been one of hundreds of thousands of work-related injury cases on the books, had the oil company not decided to flex its muscles and power to try and get away with it. It was recently found through arbitration that the company intentionally covered up evidence of the accident in an effort to get out of paying out an award to the injured worker.
DEBILITATING INJURIES AND ONGOING QUESTIONS
The worker was ordered to re-start a gas well which had been shut down due to flow line overpressure, which was believed to have been caused by ice in the line. Unfortunately, when the valve was opened, a pipe broke and released fluids and pressurized gas. The worker was blown up to 25 feet from his former position and was found unconscious. He suffered head injuries, concussion, and a fracture in his right wrist.
Ongoing injuries included headaches, memory problems, and double vision. Even after treatment, the symptoms did not improve. The worker in question sued for $9.3 million in damages for future medical expenses, while the energy company offered a mere $576,000. It was ruled that they failed to take proper precautions and that they tried to cover up evidence.
Still, some questions remain, regarding changes in the worker’s demeanor when he is around his wife and when he is not, and in video surveillance shows he is capable of performing normal tasks.
DAMAGES FOR WORK-RELATED INJURIES
When a worker is hurt on the job, normally workers compensation will kick in to cover your medical bills, a portion of your lost wages, and if necessary, vocational training should you need to switch jobs. In some cases, however, the injuries suffered go far beyond that which worker’s compensation can cover. If you can demonstrate that there was gross negligence on the part of whoever caused your injury, you may instead be able to file a lawsuit to collect damages.
If you file a personal injury suit, you may be eligible to collect a wide range of damages. These include your past, present and future medical bills, your lost wages and potentially lost future compensation, loss of consortium, loss of comfort and relationships, emotional damages, pain and suffering, damage to your quality of life, and others.
PERSONAL INJURY VS. WORKER’S COMP
When your injury is a workplace injury, it can be difficult to prove the kind of negligence you have to demonstrate for a personal injury case. This is because worker’s compensation in most cases precludes your ability to file a suit against your employer.
You would have to show, as in the case above, that the employer was grossly irresponsible in their failure to provide a safe workplace, or that they were in some way malicious in the circumstances that led to your injury. This can be very difficult to do and requires the best, most experienced and knowledgeable legal help.
OIL FIELD ACCIDENT LAWYER
If you’re an oil field worker who has been hurt on the job, and you believe that your employer is hiding evidence or has been in some way negligent, you don’t have to go it alone. The Bandas Law Firm is an experienced oil field accident lawyer in Corpus Christi, Texas, with the knowledge to pursue your case. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and learn whether or not you are eligible for compensation in your injury suit.