The CDC reports that the fatality is roughly six times higher than the rate among workers in other industries.
Oilfield workers are routinely exposed to a variety of different hazards. The CDC reports that the fatality is roughly six times higher than the rate among workers in other industries.
When a worker is injured as part of their job activity, Missouri law states they are entitled to workers compensation to cover the costs of their treatment. Depending on their situation, injured workers may also have other compensation opportunities available.
What Does the Law Say?
Missouri law states that if a company has five or more employees, then the company must offer workers compensation benefits to its employees. Some exceptions do apply, such as railroad, postal, and maritime workers, as they are already covered by federal laws. Workers compensation is state-mandated legislation, so they do not cover these industries.
Oilfield workers are generally covered by these benefits. The only issue here is whether you are an employee or a contractor. Contractors are considered self-employed because they have some liberty regarding how to carry out their work tasks, and do not have to abide by the strict specifications of an employer.
If you are considered a contractor, then workers compensation benefits do not apply in your case. It’s also possible to be misclassified as a contractor, in which case you should reach out to a St. Louis workers comp lawyer to see how to proceed.
What Compensation Is Available?
Workers compensation is designed to cover your medical costs for treating your work injury, and even account for some time missed off work, but unfortunately, it may not cover 100% of your costs.
In terms of lost wages, workers compensation will generally only account for a maximum of 75% of your income, for instance. This could potentially mean you earn 25% less while on recovery, which could be financially straining, even if your medical expenses are covered.
However, not all medical costs are covered, either. If a doctor assesses your condition may no longer improve, and your condition is permanent, then the workers’ compensation benefits could stop. As a result, you may also need additional benefits to get through this situation.
Additional options for compensation may include:
- Disability benefits if the injury leaves you with a permanent or temporary disability
- Negligence lawsuits against your employer, if there is clear evidence of it
- Lawsuits against third parties that may also have caused the accident (like a manufacturer of a piece of equipment that malfunctioned and, as a result, caused you harm).
What Should You Do?
If you work in the oilfield industry and got injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers compensation. Reach out to an experienced St. Louis work injury lawyer to see how to proceed, or if there are any other options for compensation available to you. For a FREE case evaluation, give the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300.