Whether or not an injured oilfield worker can sue his employer for his injuries depends. You would think that answer would be yes, however, in Texas that question is complicated by the Texas Worker’s Compensation system, including laws that protect employers from lawsuits.
As a general rule, if your employer subscribes to Texas worker’s compensation insurance, they can be immune from a lawsuit for on the job injuries, thus forcing the worker to present their claim through the worker’s compensation process, which is far from fair to injured victims.
Non-Subscriber Employers Can Be Sued
Not all oilfield workers are covered by Worker’s Compensation because some employers don’t participate in the Worker’s Compensation system. If your employer is a “non-subscriber” you can sue them under Texas law.
However, generally, there will be multiple companies involved in the moving components and safety issues connected with an oilfield accident. Even if your employer does subscribe to worker’s compensation, there are mechanisms to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Non-Employers (Other Companies) Can Be Sued
If a person outside your company or another company other than your employer contributed to or caused the accident that injured you, you may have a valuable claim against them. These claims are referred to as third-party claims. These claims can include service companies, safety companies, equipment manufacturers, or any other entity involved in the servicing, inspection, or use of the equipment that let to your injury.
However, sorting out these issues, and determining which parties are involved in a particular accident can be difficult, and will likely require an experienced oilfield injury attorney and investigators to discovery all of the parties that can be held responsible for your injuries.