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Austin Oilfield Accident Attorneys

Contact Howry Breen & Herman Today

Oil and gas workers are exposed to certain risks that other workers in other industries simply are not. Due to the inherently dangerous nature of these jobs, it’s no surprise that the oil and gas industry has some of the highest injury and fatality rates in the United States. With its extensive oil industry, Texas often leads the nation in oilfield safety violations, accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

If you were injured or your loved one was killed in an oilfield accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Many accidents occur as a result of negligence and, when this is the case, victims and their families are entitled to financial compensation for their damages. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of someone else’s negligence on your own—call Howry Breen & Herman to find out how we can fight for the justice and recovery you are owed.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Austin oilfield accident attorneys. Call (512) 430-4844 or fill out a contact form to get started.

When Negligence Causes Oilfield Accidents

The oil industry is heavily regulated, and workers are protected by numerous safety measures put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, these standards are not always followed. When oilfield companies, supervisors, and other parties act negligently, workers can be seriously injured or killed.

Common causes of oilfield accidents include:

  • Failure to follow safety standards and regulations
  • Lack of sufficient or proper training
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Negligent hiring of supervisors/workers
  • Failure to post proper safety signage
  • Delays in or failure to replace faulty equipment
  • Lack of proper equipment maintenance
  • Improper handling of toxic or hazardous substances
  • Failure to cite violations
  • Lack of provided safety equipment (goggles, helmets, etc.)
  • Defective equipment or poorly constructed safety equipment

All of these examples involve negligence—negligence on the part of the oilfield company, a supervisor, another worker, or some combination thereof. Due to the various parties involved, these cases can be incredibly complex and typically require the skill and experience of a seasoned trial attorney. The defendant will often offer a low settlement that doesn’t even come close to covering the injured victim’s damages. At Howry Breen & Herman, we strive to hold negligent parties accountable and fight for the full and fair recovery you are owed.

Common Types of Injuries

Oilfield accidents can result in various injuries due to the high-risk nature of the work environment. Here are some common types of injuries that can occur:

  • Burns: Oilfield workers are often exposed to flammable substances like oil, gas, and chemicals, which can lead to burns in case of fires, explosions, or chemical spills.
  • Traumatic Injuries: These can include fractures, crush injuries, and amputations caused by heavy machinery, falling objects, or equipment malfunctions.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Falls, blows to the head, or being struck by objects can result in head injuries ranging from concussions to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Lifting heavy equipment, slips, trips, and falls can cause injuries to the back and spine, ranging from strains and sprains to more severe injuries like herniated discs or spinal cord damage.
  • Respiratory Problems: Exposure to toxic gases, fumes, or chemicals can lead to respiratory issues such as lung irritation, chemical pneumonitis, or even long-term conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: Repetitive tasks, awkward postures, and heavy lifting can result in musculoskeletal disorders like strains, sprains, tendonitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Chemical Exposure: Contact with hazardous chemicals used in oilfield operations can cause skin irritation, chemical burns, or systemic poisoning if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • Crush Injuries: Workers may be at risk of being caught between equipment or pinned by heavy objects, resulting in crush injuries that can cause severe damage to limbs or internal organs.
  • Electrocution: Working with electrical equipment in oilfield operations poses a risk of electrocution if proper safety protocols are not followed or if equipment malfunctions occur.
  • Eye Injuries: Exposure to dust, debris, chemicals, or high-pressure fluids can cause eye injuries ranging from minor irritation to severe damage or loss of vision.
  • Heat Stress and Dehydration: Working in hot environments for extended periods without adequate hydration can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
  • Fatigue-Related Injuries: Long hours, irregular shifts, and physically demanding work can contribute to fatigue, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries due to impaired concentration and reaction times.

Recovering Damages in Oilfield Accidents

Oilfields are inherently dangerous sites. Workers are often required to use specialized machinery and vehicles, and they may be exposed to electrical currents, explosions, fires, hazardous materials, toxic substances, and line blowouts. Because of this, oilfield accident injuries are usually very severe. Workers may suffer anything from catastrophic burns to traumatic brain injury to death. After an oilfield accident, victims and their families often face a long, costly recovery.

While every case is different, you may be able to pursue compensation for the following damages:

  • Immediate emergency medical treatment
  • Ongoing medical care costs
  • Lost wages and/or income
  • Lost or reduced earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress/trauma
  • Funeral costs (in wrongful death claims)
  • Punitive damages

It is important to meet with an experienced oilfield accident attorney in Austin to learn more about your specific options. Every situation is unique, and the value of your case can only be determined after an extensive investigation into the accident.

At Howry Breen & Herman, we are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and help you navigate the legal process. Our compassionate, experienced, and aggressive trial attorneys are prepared to fight for you. We’ve helped numerous oilfield workers and their families get back on their feet after a devastating accident; find out how our team can fight for you.

Contact us online or by phone at (512) 430-4844. We assist clients in Austin, Georgetown, and the nearby areas.

Oilfield Accidents
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2023
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 9 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Texas Lawyer Austin Best of 2020: Personal Injury Firm
    Howry Breen & Herman, LLP was selected the Top Personal Injury Law Firm in Austin by Texas Lawyer, “Best of 2020”. The annual special supplement contains the results of Texas Lawyer readers’ poll, wherein readers cast their votes for the best providers of services and goods to the legal profession.
  • Attorney Sean Breen and Attorney Chris Lavorato placed in California’s Top 100 Settlements for 2019, as tracked by The Recorder and VerdictSearch.
  • Our law firm is proud to have been recognized in the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame. Texas Lawyer in conjunction with VerdictSearch, recognize attorneys and law firms for their verdicts of $10 million or more. In 2011 Sean Breen was a Hall of Fame Award Recipient for the #1 Premises Liability Top Texas Verdict, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for the jury verdict award in the case VanDusen v. Aspen Square Management. In 2016 Sean Breen was inducted into the Texas Verdicts Hall of Fame, awarded by Texas Lawyer, for an outstanding verdict in Nester v. Textron.
  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys 2021
    Selection to America’s Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identity the nation’s most exceptional litigators for high-value personal injury, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice matters. HBH is proud that Sean Breen has been selected for this award. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States will receive this honor — truly the most exclusive and elite level of attorneys in the community. (2017-2022)
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2016
    Howry, Breen & Herman is proud to have been named a Tier 1, 2 and 3 Austin “Best Law Firm” in 7 practice areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® (“U.S. News” and BL Rankings, LLC). Law firms are selected for inclusion in this prestigious ranking based on a series of quantitative and qualitative criteria. Our specialty and tiers are listed here:
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Litigation - Trusts & Estates (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Best Lawyers - Lawyer of the Year | Personal Injury - Plaintiffs (by BL Rankings, LLC d/b/a Best Lawyers and Co., LLC)
  • Lifetime Achievement selection to America’s Top 100 Attorneys® is by invitation only and is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional attorneys whose accomplishments and impact on the legal profession merit a Lifetime Achievement award. Selection is not achieved based on a single accomplishment or a single great year of success, but rather on a lifetime of hard work, ethical standards, and community enriching accomplishments that are inspiring among the legal profession. Both Sean Breen (2017) and Randy Howry (2018) are honored to receive this award.
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® is reserved to identify the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters. To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. These minimum qualifications are required for initial consideration. Thereafter, candidates are carefully screened through comprehensive Qualitative Comparative Analysis based on a broad array of criteria, including the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact in order to rank the candidates throughout the state. HBH is privileged to honor Partners Sean Breen (2017- 2021) and Randy Howry 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 for selection of this award.
  • Expertise- Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin 2020
    Expertise - Howry Breen & Herman was recognized and featured in an article by as one of the Best Real Estate Lawyers in Austin. 2020
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • America’s Premier High-Stakes Trial Lawyers®” – 7 Figure Litigators®, 8 Figure Litigators®, is meant to recognize the nation’s most respected and preeminent high-stakes trial lawyers based on their verifiable verdicts and/or settlements. It is a tremendous honor for Sean Breen (2019) and Randy Howry (2020) to be recognized among this elite group.
  • The National Trial Lawyers – Top 100, a highly respected legal organization that limits its members to premier trial attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature and public profile measured by strict qualification requirements. Sean Breen Top 100 Civil Plaintiff, 2009 – 2020.
  • Top 10 Business Tort Trial Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers. Randy Howry 2012-2013; Sean Breen since 2016.
  • Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America® recognizes the top 5% of the most skilled attorneys in the nation. The robust selection process requires attorneys to nominate and review fellow lawyers based on their ethics, skill, knowledge, and ability to obtain results for their clients. The Best Lawyers in America® list is a way for plaintiffs to identify the leading attorneys in their region, known for their ability to get results with honesty, strength, and skill. Tim Herman, Sean Breen & Randy Howry have been featured by The Best Lawyers in America® (2006-2020) running alongside some of the most qualified firms in the nation. More info here.
  • Texas Monthly Top Attorneys - Sean E. Breen
    Top Attorneys As Published In Texas Monthly
  • Top 50 US Verdicts All Practice Areas Texas 2017
    Sean Breen was honored by for recovering one of the Top 50 Verdicts in Texas in 2017. This is an honorable distinction, reserved for those attorneys that achieve the highest settlements and verdicts in the state.
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Sean Breen is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a renowned legal organization whose membership is restricted to trial attorneys who have achieved seven-figured settlements and/or jury verdicts. 2011.
  • Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    We are proud to have Sean Breen who is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In order to become a member, an attorney must demonstrate that he or she has successfully achieved at least one six-figure settlement or jury verdict. 2011.
  • AV Preeminent
    Martindale-Hubbell® is widely regarded as one of the most renowned peer-review rating organizations in the legal field. Randy Howry (2018), Sean Breen (2001), Tim Herman (1998), Glen Wilkerson (2014) and Chris Lavorato (2014) at Howry, Breen & Herman have achieved the organization’s highest distinction of AV Preeminent®.
  • Super Lawyers
    Each year, Super Lawyers® magazine publishes its list of peer-nominated/evaluated and independently reviewed attorneys. We are proud to have attorneys who have been selected for inclusion in the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers® List, by Thomas Reuters since 2003, running through 2020.
  • Top American Lawyers
    Membership in Top American Lawyers is limited to only 1% of all attorneys in the United States. Randy Howry is proud to be honored with a Lifetime Charter Membership in this exclusive organization (2017).
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