Skilled Oklahoma City Oil Field Injury Lawyers Representing Clients Who Have Lost Fingers or Hands
Fighting for Oklahoma oil field workers
In the oil and gas extraction industry as in most other industries, workers use their hands to perform their work tasks. In one of the most hazardous industries in the economy, injuries to hands and fingers and the loss of fingers and hands is prevalent. After a serious hand injury or the loss of a hand or fingers, a worker will no longer be able to do his or her job in the way they did prior to the injury. While workers’ compensation benefits are available for those regular employees who suffer a workplace accident involving the loss of fingers or a hand, depending on the nature of the accident there may be additional parties who can be held responsible for the workers’ injuries.
At Cunningham & Mears, we stand for injured workers. We protect injured workers from being taken advantage of by the major insurance companies which have greater concern for their profit margins than for their insureds. With 55 years of combined legal experience, a thorough knowledge of the law and a commitment to helping people you can feel confident that you have chosen the right Oklahoma City oil field injury lawyers when you decide to work with us.
Hand injury risks in the oil and gas extraction industry
According to EHS Today, hand and finger injuries make up nearly 50 percent of incidents in the oil and gas industry and as high as 80 percent of all recordable incidents at some facilities. An industry safety contractor reports that there are many direct and indirect causes of hand injury including:
Direct causes of hand injury:
- Unprotected machinery
- Faulty or broken equipment
- Failure to use push-sticks, guards or kill switches
- Not following lockout/tagout procedures
- Improper storage and handling of substances
Indirect causes of hand injury:
- Loose-fitting clothing or jewelry
- Incorrect glove type
- Repetitive motions
Common types of hand injuries from oil field accidents
Some of the most common types of hand injuries in the oil industry include:
- Amputations from getting caught in heavy equipment
- Burns from exposure to hot objects or chemicals
- Crush injuries from machinery, heavy equipment and cargo containers
OHS Online reports that hands and fingers have more nerve endings per square centimeter than any part of the human body, and they also have more pain receptors than any other body part. Because of this, injuries to the fingers and hands are more painful than a similar injury would be to any other part of the body.
Other common oil field accident injuries
Workers in the oil and gas extraction industry are exposed to countless workplace hazards every day including the following:
- Traumatic brain injury and other head injuries
- Back, neck and spinal cord injuries
- Broken, crushed and shattered bones and dislocated joints
- Loss of fingers, hands and other extremities
- Soft tissue sprains, strains, torn ligaments and tendons
- Burns from first to third degree, scarring and increased risk of infection
- Skin lacerations, cuts, bruises and puncture wounds
Regular employees who sustain these and other workplace injuries may be able to qualify for workers’ compensation. Also, there may be additional parties at fault who may be held responsible for your injuries and damages. Our Oklahoma City injury lawyers are here to help make sure that you get all of the compensation you deserve after a work-related injury.
Workers’ compensation for the loss of use of fingers or hands
The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission provides compensation for the amputation and permanent total loss of use of body parts according to a schedule which outlines for how many weeks and the dollar amount of compensation for the corresponding body part. According to the current chart, a worker who lost his or her hand in a workplace accident might expect to receive $71,060, and varying amounts for each individual loss of a finger.
Workers’ compensation or personal injury lawsuit?
After a workplace accident, if you are eligible, you would file a workers’ compensation claim to receive coverage for your medical expenses, and the partial wage-replacement benefit for the time lost at work. But that is not the only possible avenue through which you might recover compensation. If your injury was caused by a defective machine or piece of equipment, if the injury occurred on a work site not owned by your employer, if the negligence of a third party – not your employer – caused your injury, you may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you are successful in proving that the negligence of a third party was directly responsible for your workplace injuries, you may be able to recover damages for your medical expenses, all your lost wages as opposed to a portion covered by workers’ compensation, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other losses related to the accident.
Schedule a free consultation to discuss your workplace injury case today
At Cunningham & Mears, our Oklahoma City oil field injury attorneys are determined to provide you with the help you need after a workplace injury or occupational illness. If we cannot represent you, we will refer you to a workers’ compensation attorney who can. You can learn more about Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws and how we help our injured clients, contact us or call 405-232-1212 today for a free initial consultation.