Oilfield Injury Lawyers Who Care About You
Oilfield workers often put in long hours and perform their jobs alongside dangerous equipment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal work injury rate for onshore and offshore oil and gas extraction workers is seven times higher than full-time employees in other fields. Unfortunately, worker deaths are on the rise, with a 27% increase reported between 2003 and 2013. Texas led the nation in oil and gas worker deaths from 2007 to 2011 with almost 200 fatalities. Of the deaths in the drilling and fracking industries across the country, 40% occurred in Texas.
A year-long investigative report by the Houston Chronicle found that safety standards and procedures have not been enforced at Texas oil fields for over 20 years and that safety violations occurred in 78% of reported accidents, many of which could have been prevented with better equipment and processes. The oilfield injury lawyers at Slack & Davis have the resources, knowledge and skills to advise victims of accidents and their families on the best approach to seek damages for both short and long-term losses.
Oilfield Injury Attorneys Who Will Stand Up to Powerful Oil Companies
Well sites are full of hazards, with multiple on-site companies setting up and taking down heavy equipment. The nature of this line of work involves coming into contact with materials and conditions linked to negative health outcomes, including hydrogen sulfide, silica, excessive noise, diesel particulates and naturally occurring radioactive materials. In addition, oilfield workers in Texas, in particular, are exposed to dangers associated with working in the extreme heat. Slack & Davis has demonstrated expertise in seeking favorable outcomes for clients who have been injured in the following types of accidents:
Most oilfield deaths are related to transportation, especially when workers drive from one job site to another on unsafe rural roads. About 4 out of every 10 deaths on the job occur as a result of vehicle collisions. Employers are responsible for protecting workers by enforcing driver safety policies and developing work schedules to avoid dangers associated with driver fatigue. Victims of oilfield auto or truck accidents and their families can rely on the proven legal professionals at Slack & Davis to pursue justice in these cases.
Contact with objects and equipment
Three out of five fatalities on well sites occur as a result of hazards associated with workers being struck, caught in and caught between moving vehicles or equipment, high-pressure lines and falling equipment. Cranes, derricks, hoists and other heavy equipment pose risks to workers on the job, as do other activities common in oilfields, including moving pipes, site clearing, transporting heavy loads and activities around pressurized lines. The use of protective equipment and materials, as well as standards on operating equipment on job sites, can protect workers from the risk of injury. Oil and gas workers involved in an accident can depend on the wise counsel of the oilfield injury attorneys at Slack & Davis to help determine who is at fault for these accidents and to help injured workers pursue a claim.
Fires and explosions
Flammable gases and vapors pose risks to oilfield workers when they are released from tanks, shale shakers, trucks, generators, engines, wells and other production or surface equipment. Fires and explosions can start when these materials come into contact with lightning, static, cigarettes, welding and cutting tools, open flames, electrical sources and even hot surfaces. Employers can prevent catastrophic injuries to workers by conducting fire risk assessments, enforcing work safety guidelines and through the adoption of engineering controls. Oil and gas workers involved in accidents related to fires and explosions while on the job can count on the outstanding attorneys at Slack & Davis to advocate for their rights and seek compensation for their losses.
Oil and gas workers often have to perform their job duties in locations high off the ground, which makes them more vulnerable to injuries associated with falls. Falls from drilling platforms, elevated equipment and the mast can cause serious and life-threatening injuries. OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection to safeguard workers from these risks. In the event of a fall, oilfield workers and their families trust the lawyers at Slack & Davis to have a thorough understanding of workplace safety laws to represent client interests in a lawsuit.
Other threats in the oil and gas industry that put workers at risk include confined spaces, ergonomic hazards, handling high-pressure lines and machines, dealing with electrical energy and dangers associated with wellhead equipment.
Why Choose Slack & Davis?
- Assurance that the best and brightest legal minds, led by Mike Davis and John Jose, are working on your behalf.
- Trust that our oilfield injury attorneys have in-depth knowledge of workplace safety laws to fight for your rights.
- Comfort in the knowledge that Slack & Davis has the resources to stand up to powerful oil companies.
- Satisfaction from the way our compassionate team treats you as an individual, not a number.
What We Offer Our Clients
- An experienced legal team with a thorough understanding of the complex set of local, national and international workplace safety laws created to protect those in the oil and gas industry from job-related accidents and injuries.
- Decades representing victims of oilfield injuries and achieving successful outcomes for clients.
- Compassionate legal professionals to help you navigate through what can be a confusing and difficult process.
- Extensive resources to investigate and analyze your case to effectively defend your rights against large, multinational corporations.
What Our Clients Are Saying
“John (Jose), you and your team did a great job of keeping us informed. I have had considerable experience working with and managing attorneys and legal teams and have employed in-house attorneys. So, I am more aware than most about what constitutes a winning legal team. You have such a team.”
R. Powell, former client
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why are oilfields becoming more dangerous places for workers?
The high price of crude oil, combined with new drilling technologies, have created unprecedented demand in the oil and gas industry in Texas and other states. In some cases, companies have sacrificed worker and equipment safety as they struggle to keep up with increased demand for these resources. Unfortunately, these conditions have resulted in more injuries and deaths at job sites. The team at Slack & Davis has decades of experience litigating these cases and seeking favorable outcomes for families that have been changed forever by an oilfield accident.
- Can I seek additional damages outside of my workers’ compensation claim?
Workers’ compensation provides you with the opportunity to be reimbursed for medical and disability expenses incurred as a result of a job-related injury. That said, in some cases, an experienced attorney can determine whether negligence by third parties may have also put you or a loved one at risk for wrongful death or serious injury.
In these third-party personal injury cases, having a lawyer on your side who has a complete understanding of workplace safety can enable you and your family to recover additional damages.
- Who can be at fault in the event of an oilfield accident?
Determining the responsible parties is the first step in determining how to move forward after an oilfield injury. In addition to the oilfield worker and employer, the leaseholder on the job site can be held liable for damages. If defective equipment was responsible for your accident, a lawsuit can be filed against the manufacturer, supplier and seller of that product. Since multiple contractors are often present on a well site, your case may involve pursuing a claim against a third-party contractor.
In the event of an oilfield injury, a settlement may include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, current and future lost earnings, physical impairments or disfigurements and a loss of household services.
- Does your team handle both onshore and offshore oil and gas accidents?
The legal team at Slack & Davis has the expertise and resources to advocate for victims of accidents that occurred both on land and on offshore rigs. Since offshore accidents can involve overlapping jurisdiction and regulations, having an experienced lawyer like the team at Slack & Davis fighting for your rights is critical in obtaining a favorable settlement.
- What if the company I work for does not carry workers’ compensation insurance?
Most companies here in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These companies are called “non-subscribers.” Non-subscribers forfeit some legal protections when they opt out of the workers’ compensation program. Company employees may not be able to file a claim for medical expenses and lost wages. In these cases, victims of oilfield accidents count on the skilled legal team at Slack & Davis to recommend the best approach to recover damages from these tragic accidents.
Are You The Victim of An Oilfield Injury? What Our Clients Can Expect.
If you or a loved one is involved in an oilfield accident, you’ll first want to make sure that your injuries are well-documented. If medical care was rendered at the time of the incident, this reporting will be handled immediately. If not, and you plan to file a claim under your employer’s workers’ compensation program, you’ll need to seek medical attention from an approved health provider.
In the time immediately following the incident, an insurance company of a third party may approach you to offer a settlement to compensate you for your losses. Keep in mind that this company is not working on your behalf. Accepting a premature settlement before having an attorney evaluate your case may forfeit your right to pursue additional damages.
If you would like to have the oilfield accident attorneys at Slack & Davis evaluate your case, you’ll simply need to fill out our online form or give us a call. Our case specialist will reach out to you to schedule a free phone consultation. During this call, we’ll ask questions to help determine:
- The extent of your losses
- The possible responsible parties for your injuries
- Any statute of limitations which could impact the timeline for pursuing your claim
Our case specialist will pass along this information to our attorneys, who will then meet to discuss your case. We will then be back in touch with you with recommended next steps.
If you select Slack & Davis to represent you in filing a claim, our legal team will then conduct a more thorough examination of the details surrounding your case over the next few weeks or months. While we can’t generally give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to reach a settlement at the outset, after completing our more in-depth analysis, we will be better equipped to discuss a more realistic timeline and approach with you.