Oil & Gas Worker Injuries in PA

Pittsburgh Oil & Gas Extraction Injury Lawyers

Tough workers’ comp representation for oilfield and energy production workers


Oil and gas extraction work is extremely dangerous. Workers can be injured by falls, explosions, vehicle injuries, pipeline accidents, and in many other different ways. Many oilfield employees work long hours, often high above the ground. The good news is that workers do not need to prove their employer was negligent in order to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers who qualify have the right to demand payment for all their medical bills, temporary disability, and permanent disability benefits.

At Carmody and Ging, Attorneys at Law, our Pittsburgh oil and gas extraction attorneys, understand why energy production accidents happen. Just as importantly, we understand the types of injuries they cause. Many oil and gas injuries are catastrophic injuries that prevent workers from ever working again or from working in the oil and gas industry again. Sadly, some injuries result in fatalities. Our lawyers are skilled at filing medical and wage benefit claims for survivors and death benefit claims for families.

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What type of work do oil and gas workers perform in Pittsburgh?

All oil and gas exploration jobs are dangerous. Different jobs have different dangers. At Carmody and Ging, our Pittsburgh workers’ compensation lawyers represent all types of oilfield and gas extraction workers including:

  • Floorhands. These workers (also called roustabouts or roughnecks) mainly clean up the oil rig for the more skilled energy production workers. Common duties include cleaning, clearing the deck from hazardous conditions, moving equipment, painting, and other duties.
  • Motorman. This oil and gas worker helps keep the rig equipment, starting with the drill equipment engine, running properly. The duties include maintenance, training floorhands, ordering parts, and helping other crew members. The job requires stamina and attention to detail.
  • Derrickman. This Pittsburgh oil and gas extraction worker manages the “drilling string of a drill machine.” These workers spend a lot of time high above the ground.
  • Driller. This worker supervises the oil rig team. Common duties include communication, operating the drilling equipment, and monitoring the gauges and equipment.

What are some examples of oil and gas work accidents?

Employees who are injured on the job are usually involved in one of the following types of accidents:

  • Oil rig collapses. When a rig collapses, the work can be become pinned or he/she could be struck in the head by a broken piece of the rig.
  • Blowouts. Pressure from an underground reservoir can force gas and oil up from the oil well to seriously injure and workers nearby.
  • Fires and explosions. Oil is extremely flammable. Just one errant spark can cause a catastrophic explosion. Many oilfield fires are very difficult to put out.
  • Falls from the derrick. Falls from the derrick can cause permanent injuries and fatalities.
  • Pipeline accidents. Toxic spills from these pipelines can be explosive.
  • Truck accidents. Trucks and marine transportation vehicles can cause serious injuries when collisions with other vehicles, objects, or workers occur.

While fault is not an issue when filing a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation claim, employers owe a responsibility to their employees to follow OSHA standards and industry guidelines. They should conduct regular inspections, store chemicals properly, examine the equipment for corrosion and metal fatigue, and ensure that employees are not overworked.

What injuries do Pittsburgh oil and gas work accidents cause?

Our oil and gas extraction injury lawyers work with your treating doctors and our own network of physicians to fully understand what injuries you have what medical treatment you need, the cost of that care, and why your injuries are preventing you from working now and in the future.

Common oil and gas extraction injuries in Pittsburgh include:

  • Crush injuries. Workers can suffer broken bones, internal organ damage, spinal cord damage, and other crush injuries due to falling or explosive equipment, truck accidents, and other causes.
  • Traumatic amputations. Explosions are violent. When they occur, your arm or leg may be ripped off requiring amputation surgery, the need to use prosthetics, and psychological trauma.
  • Severe burns. Oil fires and gas explosions can cause third-degree burns that require skin grafts, plastic surgery, and traumatic scarring and disfigurement.
  • Broken bones. Explosions, truck accidents, and falls can cause multiple fractures, compound fractures, complex fractures, and simple fractures of every bone in your body.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. Most Pittsburgh oil and gas extraction accidents involve incredibly strong forces that can change the life of a worker in an instant if the worker’s head is subject to severe injury.
  • Exposure to dangerous chemicals. Oil and gas extraction work commonly involves exposures to dangerous toxins and hazardous chemicals. Inhaling these chemicals, such as crystalline silica, can lead to severe lung and respiratory illnesses.  

Other energy production injuries include neck, shoulder, and back injuries, soft tissue damage, loss of hearing, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many other types of injuries.

We file a workers’ compensation claim if you are injured while performing your job. We seek workers’ compensation death benefits if a loved one is tragically killed while doing their job for an energy employer.

What benefits are available in a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation claim?

Any injured oil and gas extraction employee must promptly notify their employer or a supervisor. You should seek medical care immediately. The basic requirements for filing a Pittsburgh workers’ compensation injury claim are:

  • You must be an employee. Workers’ compensation does not cover independent contractors. Be sure to speak with us first. You may be an “employee” even though your employer says you’re a contractor.
  • You must be injured due to a workplace accident or the wear and tear of the job.
  • Your injuries must be related to your accident or your job activities.
  • You must have been working in the scope of your employment when your injuries occurred.

The requirements for filing an occupational illness claim are similar except that the illness must be unique to the job and not one that the general public might contract.

Medical expenses

Employees who are injured while doing their job normally must treat with doctors approved by their employers. With time, you may be able to switch doctors to those of your own choosing. Your claim includes payment for all your medical bills while you are trying to maximize your health and any additional medical bills you have to keep your health stable.

Your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier is responsible for your medical expenses.

Temporary disability benefits

Pennsylvania provides that injured and ill employees can receive two-thirds of their wages prior to the accident (some conditions may apply) until additional medical help is not expected to improve their condition. We are skilled at working with your doctors and our network of doctors to show additional medical care is improving your condition.

Permanent disability benefits

Once your health stabilizes, you will be evaluated to determine if you have a permanent disability and the severity of that disability. Workers who meet this standard are generally entitled to two-thirds of their wages for an amount of time, defined by Pennsylvania law, based on the type of disability they have and their impairment level.

Do you have an oil and gas extraction injury workers’ compensation lawyer near me?

Carmody and Ging is located at 801 Vinial Street in Pittsburgh, on the 3rd floor of the Deutschtown Center building. We’re right across the street from Penn Brewery. You should be able to park onsite. If you can’t drive, there’s a bus stop on Troy Hill Road. If you’re in ill health, there are alternatives. We do conduct video conferences. We also meet clients at healthcare facilities or their homes when necessary.

Our lawyers understand the types of injuries oil and gas extraction workers and why workers often need to lose months or years from work – or may never return to work at all. We’ll guide you through each phase of the workers’ compensation process.

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Speak with an experienced oil and gas extraction lawyer now


At Carmody and Ging, our lawyers fight to show the severity of your injuries, the type of medical care you need, and why you may need care for the rest of your life. We’re ready to contest any attempts by the employer’s insurance carrier to deny or limit your work injury claim. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh oil and gas extraction injury lawyer, please call 412.281.2929 or fill out our contact form. We take great pride in helping Allegheny County injury victims obtain the compensation they deserve.

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