An oilfield is, by it’s nature of high pressure mineral harvesting, a high risk workplace. And, like many other dangerous (or even regular office) workplaces, oil companies are bound by law to be responsive to their employees’ injuries. This is most often applied in the form of workers’ compensation programs designed to provide adequate healthcare for injuries in the course of work.E
Employers Typically Have to Provide Worker’s Compensation Protection
Generally, most people are aware that if injured, the law provides the ability to sue for recovery. However, workplace injuries are an exception to that legal position. Instead, where an employer has a workers’ compensation program in place, the employee is required to use it. This is intended to reduce the cost of recovery that would otherwise occur with litigation alone. In this regard, the compensation program is supposed to provide sufficient care for the oilfield worker’s full recovery, but that’s not always sufficient, especially in the case of permanent injuries. This is why a worker should consult with an attorney, even when required to use the workers’ compensation program first.
Additionally, if the injury was caused by a third party, other than the employer, the worker still has the ability to sue in court for recovery from that party as well. It’s in these situations that things can frequently become very muddy, especially if the employer and the third party blame each other to avoid the claim altogether at the other’s expense.
An Attorney Can Still be Called to Help
The work of an oilfield accident attorney begins as soon as he or she is called, collecting case information at every level even with a compensation program providing the first immediate care for the worker. While care is almost always provided, serious injuries may need more for rehabilitation. And that same care could be denied due to cost. This is where an attorney really becomes critical for a full, proper recovery. A counsel can advocate for that additional care and legally fight for it if refused. That’s not usually possible for an employee on their own and under pressure to return to work as soon as possible.
Of course, the last thing an employer wants is for a worker to go to an attorney. So there is likely going to be pressure and attention for the injured employee to keep things internal. This is a mistake. An attorney for understanding one’s entire rights in an oilfield workplace injury is essential, especially for serious medical care.