Understanding The Psychological Impact of Oilfield Injuries
Oilfields are high-risk work environments, and injuries are unfortunately common in the oil and gas industry. While the physical toll of these injuries is evident, the psychological impact can be equally profound, affecting not only the injured worker but also their families and co-workers. If you or someone you love experienced injuries at an oilfield because of the negligent actions of another party, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Psychological Effects You May Suffer After an Oilfield Injury
Mental Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress
Oilfield accidents can lead to traumatic experiences that trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Witnessing or being involved in a serious accident can result in flashbacks, nightmares, and heightened anxiety. You may experience acute stress in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve for timely counseling or therapy to manage PTSD symptoms and prevent long-term emotional distress.
Depression and Anxiety
The physical pain, financial uncertainty, and changes in life due to an oilfield injury can lead to depression and anxiety. Feelings of helplessness, isolation, and a loss of control over your life are common. Early intervention is vital. You need to be able to gain access to mental health resources and support groups to cope with feelings of sadness and anxiety. Regular communication with healthcare professionals is necessary for assessing and managing mental health.
Loss of Identity and Self-Worth
For workers who define themselves by their occupation, being unable to work because of an injury can result in a loss of identity and self-worth. This may add to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. You may want to explore alternative activities and hobbies that provide a sense of purpose. Leaving the legal legwork of your personal injury lawsuit to a capable and trustworthy attorney can give you the bandwidth necessary to access vocational rehabilitation and counseling.
Financial Strain and Uncertainty
Oilfield injuries routinely result in expensive medical bills, lost wages, and potential job loss. Financial stress can exacerbate mental health issues and strain relationships. You can better manage your financial situation by pursuing and obtaining financial compensation.
Fear of Retaliation
You may fear retaliation or job loss if you report mental health struggles resulting from an injury. This fear can deter workers from seeking the help they need. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Louisiana can ensure you don’t suffer the long-lasting consequences of retaliation.
Delayed Onset of Symptoms
Some psychological symptoms might not surface immediately after an injury but can develop over time, leading to a delayed response to mental health issues. It is important that you get regular check-ins and mental health screenings to identify any delayed-onset symptoms. Having an attorney on your side before accepting any form of compensation can prevent you from accepting lowball settlement offers.
Workers’ Compensation Claim for Psychological Effects of Oilfield Injury in Louisiana
In Louisiana, workers’ compensation laws recognize that psychological injuries resulting from work-related incidents can be compensable. This includes injuries suffered by oilfield workers due to traumatic events, accidents, or workplace conditions. Psychological injuries can include conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
As with physical injuries, reporting a psychological injury promptly is essential. Notify your employer about the mental health impact you’ve suffered as a result of a work-related incident. Timely reporting is necessary to ensure you meet the deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Louisiana. You should also seek medical treatment for your psychological issues from a qualified healthcare provider.
Consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Louisiana with experience in psychological injury claims can ensure that your rights are protected and that your claim is properly handled.
If your workers’ compensation claim for a psychological injury is denied, you have the right to appeal. An attorney can guide you through the appeals process, helping you gather evidence, present your case, and understand the legal proceedings.
There is a time limit within which you need to file a workers’ compensation claim. You have one year from the date you suffered the psychological injury or the date you became aware of the injury to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim for Your Psychological Trauma
Louisiana follows an exclusive remedy doctrine in workers’ comp cases. This means that workers’ compensation is typically the exclusive remedy available to an injured employee against their employer for work-related injuries or illnesses. However, there are situations where you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim outside of the workers’ compensation system:
- Third-Party Liability: If a third party (someone other than your employer or co-worker) is responsible for your injury, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that party. For example, if your injury was caused by defective oilfield equipment or the negligence of a subcontractor on the job site, you may have a valid personal injury claim against those parties.
- Intentional Harm: In exceptional cases, if your employer’s actions were intentional and resulted in physical and/or psychological harm to you on an oilfield, you might be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer.
- Exempt Employers: Some employers may be exempt from providing workers’ compensation coverage. In such cases, you might have the option to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
- Intentional Acts by Co-Workers: If a co-worker on an oilfield work site intentionally causes harm to you, you might be able to pursue a personal injury claim against them.
It is important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim in addition to or outside of the workers’ compensation system.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from Our Seasoned Oilfield Injury Attorneys
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Trainor Law Firm, LLC have a deep understanding of the law and how it relates to oilfield injuries. Our attorneys will ensure you receive top-tier representation as fierce advocates for justice. While negotiating settlements with the insurance companies or while representing you in court, we will relentlessly pursue the largest possible damages on your behalf, holding responsible parties accountable for their actions.
To set up your free consultation, call 985-545-3422 or reach us online.