Workplace Oilfield Accident Attorney in Elgin, Illinois
Oilfields and oil refineries are often cited as some of the most dangerous places to work. Though these risky jobs can pay well, workers can frequently find themselves injured, sometimes seriously. Luckily, Illinois has a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance program that can get you the care and compensation you need if you’re the victim of an oilfield accident or an oil refinery accident.
That said, most workers aren’t familiar with this process and if they don’t get help from an experienced oilfield accident attorney they may end up getting less than they’re due. If you’d like help filing a claim for an oilfield accident and are in the Elgin, Illinois area, or the surrounding area including Aurora, St. Charles, and Kane County, contact my firm, James P. Leahy Attorney At Law.
Workplace Safety Laws
Thankfully, there are laws at both the federal and state levels to implement safety measures on job sites, protect workers from unnecessary injuries, and get them the services they need if they do become injured.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): OSHA is a large federal agency and was established in 1970. Its main purpose is to ensure safe and healthy job sites across the country for all workers by setting standards, providing education and training, and evaluating and enforcing these standards to ensure compliance.
Illinois Law: The state of Illinois has its own OSHA agency that’s run through the Illinois Department of Labor and works in tandem with the federal government. Illinois OSHA’s primary focus is ensuring all state and local workspaces follow standards that meet or exceed federal OSHA laws to keep employees safe.
The Jones Act: Lastly, for oil rig workers, there is also a law called the Jones Act (also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) that was passed over a hundred years ago to protect maritime workers. Because many workers in the oil industry work offshore (and oil rigs are technically considered a “moveable vessel” and therefore can be categorized as a “sea-going vessel”), they are entitled to certain rights, such as suing their employer for injuries due to an unsafe work site.
Common Workplace Injuries
A workplace injury can happen to anyone at any time, and this is true whether you have a desk job at an office, if you’re a delivery driver, or if you work on an oil rig. Some of the more common injuries are related to:
Slip and fall accidents
Inadequate employee training
Commercial vehicle accidents
Safety code violations
Steps to Take Following an Injury
If you are injured at work, there are certain steps you’ll have to take to ensure you’re taken care of now and in the future.
Seek Medical Attention: The number one priority after a workplace injury is your own health and safety. This means getting medical attention as soon as possible, even if you think your injuries are only minor. At this point, you can go to any doctor you wish, but know that for subsequent visits you may have to see a different provider. Be sure to keep all receipts and records and tell them you’re seeking care for an injury you sustained while at work.
File an Accident Report: Next, you’ll need to inform your employer about the accident and file an official accident report. Your employer or human resources department can help you do this, but be sure to retain a copy of everything for your own records. In most cases, you must report your injury within 45 days of the incident.
Documentation: Gathering and presenting enough evidence will be crucial to making sure you get fairly compensated. This includes writing up a detailed account of what happened, keeping a copy of the accident report, taking pictures, retaining all medical records, and obtaining statements from witnesses who may have seen the accident take place.
Consult an Attorney: Finally, but just as importantly, you should contact a personal injury attorney who can help you through this process and can also assist in filing a third-party claim for workplace injury if necessary.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
If you find that the compensation you receive through workers’ comp is not enough, you may need to pursue a third-party claim and it’s here that your lawyer will play an indispensable role. An experienced attorney can be of assistance to family members and loved ones who may need to file a claim a wrongful death claim as a result of the oilfield. These lawsuits can be very complicated and can take a long time to complete, but ultimately you need to do everything you can to make sure you and your family are taken care of.
Oilfield Accident Attorney Serving Elgin, Illinois
If you live or work around Elgin, Illinois, and are interested to learn more about what to do after an oilfield accident and how to pursue damages, contact me today, James P. Leahy Attorney At Law, for dependable legal assistance.