No Matter Who You Sue, You’re In for a Fight
In all oilfield injury suits, defendants usually either have powerful insurance companies with very good legal representation to stand in your way, or will be “self-insured” or uninsured. No matter which of these three categories your opponent falls into, they all fight just as hard to avoid paying for your injuries. And if one of the corporate petroleum giants is involved, they may have a powerful patron to back them up, if it suits their purposes.
Attorneys are either on staff or permanent retainer to represent non-subscribers’ insurance companies. They have to be good defenders of their clients or these deep-pocketed insurance companies would never hire them. These attorneys, and their Insurance company clients, often act confrontational, patronizing and very dismissive towards you. But you can beat them if you have a just cause for claim, solid evidence to back it up, and a San Antonio drilling accident lawyer to counter their arrogance and trickery.
But as bad as they are, other opponents can be even worse. They would be the self-insured contractors and subcontractors who are liable your injuries, or those who have no insurance at all. These people, usually the wildcatters and independents, can come up with even worse tricks once an injured worker takes legal action against them to recover damages. Some of their tricks would curl your hair.
You will deal directly with an officer of this self-insured drilling or pipeline company whose salary is comes from company profits. So if this person pays your injury claim that money comes directly out of company funds. So by compensating you, your employer, or that third party, literally takes money out his own pocket. We’ve seen many sneaky, self-insured company officers use any and all means, legal or otherwise, to oppose your claim while he protects his company’s, and personal, assets.
These people are not above deliberately destroying evidence, bribing or intimidating witnesses, or resorting to physical threats against you, your attorney, or anyone else standing in his way. When we represent a client against a self-insured company, the first thing we often do is to file motions to prevent anyone within the self-insured company from behaving inappropriately against our clients. Sometimes these motions include clear demands that not even communicate with our clients, or their families in any way without one of our attorneys present.
What You Need to Do (and Not Do) Right Now to Win Oilfield Injury Compensation
The most important thing for you to remember right now is this. Before you speak with an insurance company, or accept even a single dollar of payment or compensation from your employer, or sign anything, or attempt to file a lawsuit on your own, you must contact a competent lawyer. Your employer or his insurance company is praying that you’ll accept a substandard settlement and save them money, and a trial. So keep your mouth shut and your eyes wide open. In fact, it’s never a good idea to discuss any details of your injuries or intentions, or anything else about the injury, with your employer, a third party, anyone with the insurance company, or even your co-workers before you speak to an experienced drilling accident lawyer. He’ll tell you to keep on keeping your mouth shut. And it’s good advice.
Then, you must realize the critical importance of acting swiftly. In oilfield accident cases, the evidence begins fading almost immediately. Physical evidence can quickly change, or be lost forever. Witness stories change, or they forget what they saw. If you wait too long to hire an attorney and put him to work, you seriously compromise your ability to win the injury damages you and your family deserve.