Oil and gas extraction and refining are important industries that provide income for landowners and keep American businesses and consumers rolling. Sourcing domestic raw materials for oil and gas products allows the country to remain as independent as possible.

The workers who help companies get the natural resources out of the ground and to refineries have a high risk for potential injuries on the job. Fires and explosions are particularly serious risks that can endanger anyone working with flammable materials, although workers can also get hurt because of machinery malfunctions and exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Workers severely injured or sickened due to their work in the gas and oil industry or the surviving family of a worker killed by an industrial accident or work-related illness can potentially take legal action after a tragic workplace accident.

What compensation is available after an oil and gas industry accident?

A variety of factors will influence what compensation rights a worker has. Someone working as a direct employee will likely qualify for workers’ compensation after a fire or explosion at work, while those working as independent contractors or subcontractors have to rely on their own insurance or a personal injury claim against a client instead of workers’ compensation.

In some cases, injured workers can bring a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. Those circumstances would include when an employer was negligent in their training of that employee or in their maintenance of safety equipment or the facility itself.

In the event that a worker dies in an accident, family members may be able to bring a wrongful death claim against the company if negligence or failure to comply with legal safety requirements contributed to the accident and the death of their loved one. Barring that, workers’ compensation can also help the family reduce the financial impact of their loss.