Fight the Arrogance of Your Opponents in an Oilfield Accident Liability Case
In all non-subscriber and third-party oilfield injury claims, defendants usually have large insurance companies with lots of good attorneys to oppose you. The remainder of those employers will be “self-insured” or uninsured. And all fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. And if one of the corporate petroleum giants is involved, pity the poor foolish oilfield worker who makes an injury claim against them alone.
Non-subscribers’ insurance companies have attorneys either on staff or permanent retainers. They are very good defenders of their clients against oil rig accident claimants like you who try to sue them. Insurance companies are always confrontational under such circumstances. But you can beat them if you have a just cause for claim, solid evidence, and an experienced attorney in your corner who knows every trick they pull, and how to counter it.
But as bad as the insurance companies can be in an oil patch injury claim or lawsuit, self-insured contractors and subcontractors who are liable your injuries, or those who have no insurance at all, use every trick they can think of once an injured worker takes legal action against them to recover damages. Some of those tricks are obscene and some even cross the legal line.
You will deal directly with an officer if the self-insured drilling or pipeline company is a small one. This person’s salary is derived from company profits. Whatever you’re paid for an injury comes directly out of company funds. So by compensating you, your employer, or that third party, literally takes money out his own pocket. A sneaky, self-insured company officer uses any and all means to oppose your claim in order to protect his company’s, and personal, assets.
Self-insured drilling contractors and subcontractors can deliberately dispose of evidence as well as a bribe or intimidating witnesses, even you. They sometimes resort to physical threats. This is why every time we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we do is to file motions in court to prevent anyone within the company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that they make no attempt to communicate with our clients, or their families, in any way without one of our attorneys present.
Injury Claims on Offshore Drilling Rigs are Different from Texas Worker Injury Laws
The laws that govern work injury cases to those who work on offshore drilling platforms, regardless of whether the rig is a “jack-up” inside U.S. territorial waters or a deepwater platform, are completely different than those governing petroleum drilling on Texas soil.
Most (but not all) platform drilling injury cases will fall under the Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920). But other legislation such as the Death on the High Seas Act and the even older Limitations Liability Act of 1851, which was enacted years before the laws that govern today’s insurance companies, might also come into play.
And though the same types of damages available through Texas Civil Law are offered to offshore platform workers through the above-mentioned pieces of maritime legislation, the mechanics of winning compensation for injuries, lost wages, pain, suffering and death benefits are dramatically different because there are many contradictory loopholes through which defendants might be able to use against your claim. The insurance companies who underwrite offshore drilling companies and their attorneys are much more specialized than you would find in a Texas accident injury case. We have much more information on maritime drilling injury accidents and the process of filing and winning a civil suit if you will follow this link. But it’s paramount that if you have been injured in an offshore drilling accident that you contact one of our law firm’s San Antonio drilling accident attorneys to better understand your injury compensation rights if you have been injured on an offshore drilling platform.