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Houston Oil Field Injury Lawyers

Oil field work is one of the most dangerous ways to earn a living in the United States, based on the ratio of workers who are hurt each year. The work is extremely physical, and there are complex chemicals and machinery in use on the oil fields.

Based on who was to blame for your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys at Nix Patterson can investigate the facts of your accidents and help determine who you may be able to sue. All you need to do is reach out to us to schedule a case evaluation with one of our attorneys.

Common Causes of Oil Field Accidents in Houston

Oil drillers and oil field contractors want to do everything they can to increase their operating margins. The lower their cost of production, the more profit they make. Oftentimes, their margins are as low as $10 per barrel, based on market prices. Accordingly, oil producers may cut corners to boost profits. Unfortunately, those working in the oil field bear those risks every day.

Many things happen on an oil field besides the drill going into the ground. Numerous supporting functions and processes must be followed to extract the oil and transport it off the site. Even one minor mistake can result in an accident that causes a serious injury.

Common causes of oil field accidents include:

  • Human error
  • Failure to properly train and supervise workers
  • Exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Negligent operation of trucks and motor vehicles
  • Defective oil field equipment
  • Fatigued and overworked employees
  • Debris and equipment left on walking paths
  • Ignoring workplace safety regulations

You need an attorney to conduct a full investigation of the accident. They will determine the cause and gather evidence that could be used to prove fault.

Types of Oil Field Accidents in Houston

Examples of oil field accidents in Houston include:

  • Blowouts. An uncontrolled release of oil from the well could cause a catastrophic fire.
  • Falls. Workers could trip over equipment at the oil field or slip on chemicals or oil on the ground.
  • Explosions. A spark could ignite highly pressurized chemicals, causing them to explode.
  • Caught-betweens. Workers could get trapped between heavy equipment or be buried under a rig collapse.
  • Chemical leaks. Chemicals could leak, leading to an explosion or workers being sickened.
  • Motor vehicle accidents. There are numerous vehicles at or near an oil field, and a worker can be in a crash with or run over by one of them.

Regardless of the cause of the accident, the legal principle is always the same: If a party other than your employer was negligent, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

Common Injuries from Oil Field Accidents

Oil field workers can suffer many types of injuries from an accident. These injuries can be serious and life-changing. Common oil field accident injuries include:


Oil and the other chemicals used to extract petroleum from the ground are highly flammable. Workers may be burned when these substances ignite or explode and could suffer severe injuries.

Crush Injuries

Workers may be caught between and crushed by the heavy equipment used at an oil field. Crush injuries could lead to amputations or crush injury syndrome, which is life-threatening.

Respiratory Distress and Other Chemical-Related Injuries

Exposure to dangerous chemicals in an oil field can cause respiratory problems and other injuries. Chemicals can lead to serious burns and other illnesses, such as cancer.

Brain Injuries

Oil field workers could suffer trauma to their heads, which can cause a permanent brain injury. A traumatic brain injury can cost key life activities, such as speech, processing, and movement.

Fractures and Broken Bones

Falls or other trauma to the body can cause broken bones that can take some time to heal. Some fractures may require surgical interventions for them to heal.

Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

Oil field work is very physically taxing and can cause strain on your back, leading to herniated discs and other injuries. Trauma from falls or other accidents can also injure the spinal cord.

What To Do Immediately After an Oil Field Accident

Even though you are injured, there are still many things that you have to do after an oil field accident. Thankfully, you just need to seek out qualified professionals who can do the bulk of the hard work.

First, you must tend to your health by seeing doctors and following up on your medical care. First, prompt medical care will give you the best chance at the fullest possible recovery. Second, your doctor will diagnose your injury, giving you the medical records that will form the basis of your personal injury lawsuit. Finally, taking care of your health keeps the insurance company or defendant from being able to argue that your lack of diligence made your injuries worse.

At the same time, you will need to hire an experienced attorney to handle your legal case. Since there are tight timelines, you should have a lawyer in place very shortly after your accident. You should not attempt to represent yourself or do anything on your own because it will cost you money. Hiring a lawyer eases your burden during what is already a very difficult time.

Finally, you should report the accident to your employer. If you are going to file a workers’ compensation insurance claim, Texas law gives you only 30 days to report the injury, or else you risk losing benefits entirely.

Who Can Be Held Liable for an Oil Field Injury?

There are many potentially liable parties in an oil field accident. Let’s begin with who you cannot sue; your employer cannot be sued in a personal injury lawsuit under almost every circumstance. Therefore, you need to find a third party who was to blame so you can sue them.

There is a reason why you want to file a third-party lawsuit. If you settle your case or win your lawsuit, your check will be larger than if you filed a workers’ compensation claim. You would receive the full amount of your lost wages for as long as you are unable to work and your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Your attorney would conduct a complete investigation of the accident to determine potentially responsible parties, which can include:

  • Other contractors or subcontractors working on the site
  • Transportation companies that operate trucks
  • Manufacturers of defective oil field equipment
  • The owner of the property where the oil field is located

Remember that there are many contractors and third parties working in an oil field. The driller will contract out multiple functions since third parties are better able to handle them. Anyone who is not your employer can be sued when their negligence injures you.

What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in an Oil Field Accident Injury Claim?

The responsible party must pay you for the full value of the harm they caused you. Oil field accident damages are more than just the economic losses that you have suffered. Of course, you are entitled to be paid for the actual financial damages you have suffered, including medical expenses and the lost wages you could have earned.

You also have a legal right to be paid for your non-economic damages. These are more subjective, and they represent how your injuries have impacted your life. Non-economic damages are meant to be individualized, and they include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Embarrassment and humiliation

Your oil field accident damages are both backward and forward-looking, meaning that you are paid now for all your past and future losses. You need an experienced attorney who can pinpoint the exact value of your case before you file a lawsuit or attempt to negotiate a settlement.

Am I Also Entitled to Workers’ Comp If I Am Injured in an Oil Field Accident?

The general rule is that you are legally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits when you have suffered a work-related injury or illness. There are two reasons why you may need to file a workers’ compensation claim rather than a third-party lawsuit:

  • Your only claim is against your employer, who you almost always cannot sue in a personal injury lawsuit because they are largely immune from being sued. That immunity is their reward for paying workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
  • You were partially or entirely at fault for the accident that injured you. In Texas, you cannot recover any compensation in a personal injury lawsuit if you were even 1% to blame for the accident. Thankfully, your workers’ compensation benefits do not depend on proving negligence, and you can receive them, even if you were to blame for the accident.

Even if you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, you should still file for workers’ compensation benefits in case you do not win your case. If you do win your case, the workers’ compensation insurance company will be reimbursed for what they paid from the proceeds of your settlement or award.

What If the Oil Field Accident Resulted in a Death?

Texas law allows certain surviving family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit when a loved one was killed in an oil field accident. Like any other personal injury case, you must prove that someone else was negligent to receive any financial compensation. If you win, your family will be paid for the losses that you suffered when a loved one suddenly and tragically died. In addition, the estate could simultaneously file a survival action, seeking compensation for the damages that the deceased person suffered between the time of their injury and death. Like any other personal injury case, winning a wrongful death lawsuit depends on being able to prove negligence.

If you cannot file a wrongful death lawsuit, there is a workers’ compensation death benefit. The family can receive 75% of the average weekly wage that the deceased person earned at the time of their death. The surviving spouse can receive the payments for the rest of their lives, but the benefits would stop if they remarried.

Contact Our Houston Oil Field Injury Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Houston oil field accident, the oil field accident attorneys at Nix Patterson will vigorously represent you as you seek compensation. Our attorneys are tough investigators and fighters who will leave no stone unturned on behalf of our clients. It is crucial that you call us right after the accident so you have the full range of legal options available to you. To schedule an appointment with a lawyer, you can message us through our website or call us today at 512-328-5333.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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