Category Archives: Work Injury

Common Injuries Associated With Oilfield Accidents

Thursday, July 22, 2021

California is one of the top oil-producing states in the country. A lot of that production is based in Kern and Ventura counties, and provides employment to residents of those areas. 

Oil field work is an inherently dangerous job. The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries notes that 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job between 2013 and 2017, the most recent time period for data. 

While oilfield accidents aren’t entirely avoidable, many could be prevented with the right safety precautions and protocols in place. But all too often, oil well processing and transport facilities skirt or outright violate state and federal regulations, making their workplaces extremely dangerous and even life-threatening to employees.

The top safety and health hazards that can result in fatalities for these workers are vehicle accidents, being struck by, caught in, or caught between equipment, explosions and fires, falls, being trapped in confined spaces, and exposure to harmful chemicals.

A number of injuries are common on the oilfield because of these types of accidents.

Burns. Workers can get severe burns from steam, fire, hot equipment, and electric shock. Serious injuries, such as third-degree burns, can cause permanent nerve damage as well as disfigurement. They normally require skin grafts for wound closure as well as rehabilitation. 

Fractures and broken bones. On the oilfield, fractures and broken bones can happen when a worker falls, gets struck by an object, or is involved in explosions or transportation accidents. These injuries can put oilfield employees out of work for weeks or months at a time, seriously impacting their ability to provide for their household.

Permanent Hearing Loss. When oil companies fail to supply their workers with adequate protection, they put those individuals at risk for all sorts of injuries. Hearing loss can happen when workers are constantly surrounded by loud machinery but not given proper earplugs for the job. This hearing loss can be lifelong, which seriously impacts a person’s ability to do their job.

Brain Injuries. Oilfield workers can get a brain injury if they are hit on the head by a moving object or sustain a severe fall. Brain injuries can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries that have lifelong consequences. The most severe types of brain injuries hinder a person from doing even the most basic day-to-day tasks like showering and feeding themselves.

Soft Tissue Injuries. Because of the repetitive nature of many tasks on the oilfield, such as operating machinery, injuries of the soft tissue are quite common. These muscle and tendon tears may start off as small, barely noticeable injuries and develop into more serious ones over time. 

It is important to take note of all injuries as soon as they happen, however minor they may seem at first. Many oilfield injuries are preventable, and if your injury is the result of your employer treating safety precautions lightly or violating them, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. To do that, you must have evidence of the injuries, which is why documenting them is so important. 

Rodriguez & Associates has decades of experience representing those injured in the oilfield because of someone else’s negligence. Daniel Rodriguez himself worked in the oilfields for years as a roustabout and mechanic. Knowing first-hand how difficult and dangerous the work can be, he and his firm are especially attuned to the rights of workers in this industry when accidents and injuries occur. 

Please reach out to us today to discuss your case and receive support by filling out our online form or calling (661) 323-1400.

Posted by Lorrie Ross at 4:07 pm

What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Work Injury?

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Workers who suffer injuries on the job can experience long-lasting complications. This may include severe physical pain, permanent disability, and an inability to return to work, especially if the employee sustains severe, life-long injuries such as spinal cord damage. Even after the injury physically heals, emotional trauma and financial difficulties can still linger.

If you are a California employee who sustains an injury while performing your work duties, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. You can claim funds for medical expenses, wage replacement, and other losses by filing a workers’ compensation claim or lawsuit.

Common Injuries in Workplace Accidents

Thousands of injuries occur in American workplaces each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. Workers in manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, and transportation and warehousing sustained the highest number of nonfatal injuries and illnesses during that year.

The most common injuries sustained by these employees include the following.

  • Sprains, strains, and tears
  • Soreness and pain
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Fractures

Less common workplace injuries include more severe forms of damage, such as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain damage, burns, and internal bleeding and organ injury.

The Long-Term Effects of Workplace Injuries

Depending on the nature of his or her injury, a California employee can suffer long-term damage after an accident. The employee may develop a permanent disability that prevents him or her from performing his or her job or returning to work at all. He or she may require long-term medical care, disability accommodations, physical therapy, and live-in care, depending on the nature of the injury. These factors can impact an employee’s financial well-being; this treatment can be expensive and his or her insurance may not cover the costs.

In addition, severe workplace injuries can result in serious pain and suffering. Spinal cord damage can result in paralysis, while traumatic brain injuries may result in a loss of certain functions. Broken bones can take months to heal and require corrective treatment. Any and all workplace injuries can cause severe pain, and in some cases, this pain may turn chronic and last for a very long time. As a result of his or her injuries, the employee can develop emotional trauma and experience a loss of quality of life.

Legal Options for Injured California Employees

If you sustain an injury in a California workplace, you can collect compensation for your injuries through multiple avenues. These legal options can help you recover from the long-term effects of your injury and pay for your ongoing care costs.

  • Workers’ compensation claims: If you sustain an injury while on the job, you may receive funds for medical expenses and wage replacement through a workers’ compensation claim. You can recover funds regardless of fault; you will need to prove you suffered the injury while on the job, however.
  • Employer lawsuits: If you believe your employer’s negligent actions caused your injury, you can file a lawsuit against him or her for your economic and non-economic damages. Filing a workers’ comp claim waives your right to file a lawsuit, so speak to your attorney about your best options before making a decision.
  • Third-party lawsuits: If you believe another entity is responsible for your accident, such as the manufacturer of a defective piece of machinery or a subcontractor, you can file a lawsuit against this entity in California civil court.

Understanding what to do after a workplace accident can be difficult, but a Bakersfield workplace injuries attorney can help. Immediately after receiving treatment for your injuries, contact your lawyer to discuss your next steps.

 

Posted by highrank at 8:34 pm

What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Accidents can happen at any time and in any place, including your home, at school, or in the workplace. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to claim compensation for certain damages after an injury, like medical expenses or lost wages. However, the process you enter to obtain this compensation will change based on whether you suffered an injury at work or not.

California Workers’ Compensation Law

In the state of California, you can collect compensation for injuries you suffer on the job. You must prove that your workplace duties caused the injury, such as overexertion while lifting boxes or a slip and fall on your construction site. Through a workers’ compensation claim, you can collect benefits for lost wages and disability, as well as funds for your injury-related medical expenses.

Only injuries that occur during the course of your job qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you suffer an injury during a commute, on your lunch hour, or even while stepping outside for a quick 15-minute break, workers’ compensation insurance will most likely not approve benefits for you.

If someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against him or her – even if it happens on the job. This is true in cases where a third-party causes your injury at work, a defective product harms you, or your employer acts in an intentionally harmful manner.

What Is a Personal Injury Case?

Whether you suffer an injury at work that doesn’t fall under workers’ compensation or you are in an accident outside of work, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim. For an accident to qualify under personal injury, someone else’s negligence must have caused it to occur.

You can claim many different types of damages in personal injury cases, including the following.

  • Past and future medical expenses related to the injury, including medications, surgeries, and doctor’s visits
  • Lost wages during recovery time
  • Emotional damages, like pain and suffering and a loss of quality of life
  • Disability accommodations to a home or vehicle
  • Property damage sustained in the accident
  • Punitive damages in situations where the at-fault party acted in an especially reckless or negligent manner

What Should You Do After an Accident?

If you are in an accident, you will need to take certain steps to preserve the evidence necessary to file your insurance claim, lawsuit, or workers’ compensation claim.

If you suffer an injury on the job, take the following steps.

  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your employer may require you to visit a specific doctor or you can choose one on your own – verify with your employer before you leave.
  • Report the injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident.
  • Receive your workers’ compensation claim form from your employer and complete it. Contact an attorney if you need assistance with your claim.
  • Receive a decision from the workers’ compensation insurer within 90 days of filing.
  • If the insurance company denies your claim, you can file an appeal. Contact an attorney to help you build your case.

If you suffer an injury anywhere outside of work or during a lunch break, take the following steps.

  • Call 911 and bring law enforcement and medical attention to the scene immediately.
  • Take photographs of your injuries, any vehicles involved, and the area where the accident occurred.
  • Collect the contact information for the at-fault party and any witnesses in the area.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible for your injuries and save all documentation.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney to assist you with your insurance claim or lawsuit.

Personal injury and workers’ compensation are two different legal processes that can lead to different types of compensation or benefits. The main difference between the two is whether or not you suffered your injury on the job.

If you are unsure about your case’s category or wish to discuss the legal processes further, contact a California attorney who works with both personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. Your attorney will be able to advise you on which path you should pursue to claim compensation.

Posted by highrank at 6:29 pm