Oilfield accidents can be devastating for workers and their families. Unfortunately, oil companies often try to avoid liability for these accidents. This is especially true in Texas, where not all companies are required to carry workers' compensation insurance. In this blog post, we’ll explore the top ways that oil companies try to avoid liability and what workers can do to protect themselves.
1. Blaming the Worker
One of the most common ways that oil companies try to avoid liability is by blaming the worker for the accident. They may claim that the worker was not following safety protocols or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To protect yourself from this tactic, always follow safety protocols and never come to work under the influence. If you are injured on the job, seek medical attention immediately and report the accident to your supervisor.
2. Hiring Third-Party Contractors
Oil companies may also try to avoid liability by hiring third-party contractors to perform dangerous tasks. If an accident occurs, they may claim that the contractor is responsible, not the oil company. To protect yourself, always make sure that the contractor has the necessary training and equipment to perform the task safely. Be aware of their work and do not take for granted whether or not these workers are taking proper safety measures. If you are injured while working with a third-party contractor, you may still be eligible for compensation benefits, but you may need the skills of a seasoned attorney.
3. Using Waivers and Indemnification Agreements
Oil companies may also try to avoid liability by having workers sign waivers and indemnification agreements. These agreements are often used to limit the company’s liability for accidents and injuries. To protect yourself, always read the agreement carefully and understand what you are signing. If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to ask a lawyer.
4. Delaying Investigations
Another tactic that oil companies may use is delaying investigations into accidents. They may drag out investigations in the hopes that evidence will be lost or witnesses will forget what happened. To protect yourself, always report accidents immediately and cooperate with any investigations. If you feel that an investigation is being delayed, contact a lawyer for assistance.
5. Denying Claims
Finally, oil companies may try to avoid liability by denying workers’ compensation claims. They may claim that the worker was not injured on the job or that the injury was pre-existing. This is not as big a risk, since many Texas companies do not have workers' comp insurance, but this can be an issue for those that do. To protect yourself, always report accidents and injuries immediately and seek medical attention. If your claim is denied, don’t give up. Contact a lawyer to help you appeal the decision.
In conclusion, oil companies often try to avoid liability for oilfield accidents. However, workers can protect themselves by following safety protocols, working with reputable contractors, reading agreements carefully, reporting accidents immediately, and seeking legal assistance if necessary. If you or a loved one has been injured in an oilfield accident, contact Williams Attorneys for help recovering the compensation that you deserve.