Can Oil Field Independent Contractors Sue for a Work Injury?
Injuries are abundant in the oil field, but so are independent contractors. Unfortunately, this means that many workers who become injured in the oil field have difficulty getting workers’ compensation that fully and fairly compensates them for their injuries and must seek financial payment through other means.
Can independent contractors in the oil field sue the company after a work-related injury?
Can Independent Contractors File Workers’ Comp Claims?
Workers’ compensation is a benefit that most employers are legally required to offer their employees. This benefit pays for the expenses resulting from work-related injuries, covering medical bills and time off work.
Independent contractors typically don’t qualify for workers’ compensation. Employers in the oil field are typically only legally required to offer this benefit to their W-2 employees, not independent contractors.
Instead, independent contractors often must seek compensation through other means, making claims directly against individuals and companies who may have caused the accident which resulted in the injury.
How Can Independent Contractors Seek Compensation for Work-Related Injuries?
Independent contractors injured in the oil field should immediately contact experienced oil field lawyers, like those at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, to discuss their options. Oil field attorneys often advise independent contractors to file personal injury claims for work-related injuries.
A personal injury claim — either through the company’s insurance policy or a lawsuit — can allow you to seek compensation to cover your medical bills, time off work, your pain and suffering, and other expenses resulting from the accident.
Your oil field legal counsel may advise you to begin by filing an insurance claim through the oil company’s liability insurance policy. A responsible energy company will have a high-limit liability policy to cover injuries on their premises.
However, there’s always a chance that the insurance company will deny your claim or won’t offer sufficient compensation for your injuries. Petroleum industry legal experts can help you negotiate a higher offer or appeal a claim denial. If neither of these efforts is successful, you may need to sue.
You can sue the oil company as an independent contractor after experiencing a work-related injury. While accepting workers’ compensation would bar you from taking legal action against your own employer, as an independent contractor, there may be other individuals and companies responsible for your injuries.
Working with qualified attorneys for oil field disputes can help you navigate your lawsuit successfully. You can expect that oil companies have strong legal representation, and legal services for energy companies can be fierce. As a result, you must “fight fire with fire” by enlisting experienced legal representation.
Your attorney can help you seek compensation for the following expenses:
- Medical bills
- Time off work
- Property damage
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Many oil field lawsuits settle out of court, as the oil company may not want to put the time and expense into a lengthy legal battle. Your oil field attorney can help you determine whether the settlement offer is sufficient for your injury and guide you through the entire legal process, ultimately seeking maximum compensation for your injuries. Alternatively, if the oil company refuses to fairly compensate you for your injuries, you need lawyers who have experience, and are prepared, to take your case all the way to the courthouse.
Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C.: Your Oil Field Attorneys
The attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., have extensive experience representing independent contractors in the oil field. We can help you explore options for seeking compensation after an oil field injury and guide you through the process, allowing you to focus on recovery.