Oil and gas refineries are one of the most dangerous work sites in America. Several large refineries operate in and around the Houston area, and while catastrophic accidents tend to be rare, minor and moderate incidents occur almost on a daily basis.
Immediately after being involved in a refinery accident, you should seek medical attention for any injuries that you have, no matter how minor. Your safety and well-being is the most important factor. If you are reading this article and have not yet seen a doctor, stop reading now and get help.
Assuming that you have been patched up, a number of important steps should be followed to preserve your work site injury claim.
Contact an Experienced Refinery Accident Attorney:
The first step after being injured on the job is to consult with an attorney that practices refinery accident law. Many of our clients who have been injured on the job come to us only after their employer’s attorneys have had a chance to interview them. Letting refinery attorneys interview you first gives your employer a head start in the litigation process.
Texas worker’s compensation for refinery accidents is incredibly complex and so before talking with anyone who works for or represents the refinery, you should call an attorney. Even if you do not immediately hire an attorney to represent your interests, a quick consult can educate and prepare you for the next steps in the process.
Collect Witness Statements:
Talk to anyone who might have witnessed the accident to learn what they saw. Witnesses may know important information about what happened and how the accident occurred. Collecting this information from them before the refinery does can result in smoother claim negotiations.
Take Pictures of the Accident Site
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in the context of a court case, this old saying may even be truer. Pictures can reveal unsafe working conditions, help expert accident investigators understand how the accident occurred, and paint a story for the jury
Do Not be Afraid to Return to Work if You Can
Complicated lawsuits can take months, if not years to resolve. Waiting for a legal recovery can create financial strain on your finances and might also make you appear less sympathetic in court. Additionally, remember to ask your employer for an accommodation for any disabilities or injuries that may have resulted from the accident.
Discuss Follow-up Medical Care with Your Attorney
Your safety and well-being is always the most important factor, and you should continue to receive medical care as you recover from your injuries. However, you should discuss any medical visits with your attorney, particularly any medical visits with court-ordered independent medical examiners or medical visits paid for by the refinery.
Your medical condition is often critical to your recovery of damages, and talking with your attorney about medical visits can ensure that your medical care helps not only your health but also your legal case.
Refinery accidents are commonplace in the Houston area, but the steps that you take after the accident are important to preserve your right to legal compensation. An experienced attorney has helped guide you through the legal process and you should not hesitate to call our office if you have any questions about a refinery accident claim.