“We got in a wreck on my way to the derrick.” This is a phrase that we hear all too often.
Texas is one of the states that has led the way to the United States being an oil exporter as opposed to an importer. Our roughnecks are the epitome of the American cowboys of the last century. They go out to the far reaches of our state, work long hours, and do jobs most of us wouldn’t even consider.
They spend numerous days away from their family, living in motels or housing provided by the companies. Generally, the driller or another supervisor drive the crew back and forth from the derrick to their sleeping quarters. They are exhausted and ready for bed during many of these trips.
What happens when there is a motor vehicle accident during a trip to or from the derrick? All to frequently these accidents end in fatalities. Who is responsible for this accident?
If you have lost a loved one, or you are the injured party, the decisions that you make over the next few months will very likely determine the rest of your life. The right attorney and medical provider are key to setting up a proper claim.
The right attorney is an absolute necessity. Your attorney should go over the following questions:
- Is the employer a subscriber to the Texas workers’ compensation system?
- Who owned the vehicle that was transporting the employees?
- If the employer didn’t own the vehicle, was it owned by another company or an individual?
- Does the evidence support that the workers were in the course and scope of their employment?
- Who appears to be liable for the accident?
- Are we entitled to pursue the liability claim and workers’ compensation claim at the same time?
- If we are only pursuing one of them, why?
These are all standard questions in determining liability for a workers’ compensation and/or a vehicle liability claim. Some claims are better for you, but not as good for the attorney. Make sure your attorney explains the pros and cons of each type of claim and how they affect you, not the law firm.
Oil field accidents usually lead to serious injuries. If you’ve been in a wreck on the way to the Derrick, make sure you protect your interest. Do this by getting the right professionals involved as soon as possible.