Visitor Question

Looking for free workers comp advice…

Submitted By: Dustin (Oklahoma)

I work on a drilling rig. I was up in the derrick (about 130 feet from the ground) and my driller picked up the top drive and didn’t pay any attention. I wasn’t out of the way and I was squeezed between the top drive and the derrick.

I had a muscle contusion, fractured my L1 and L2 vertebrae in my back and had severe bruising. They put me on light duty immediately following the accident and workers comp paid for my medical bills, but I never received anything else.

Am I entitled to any other settlement besides workers comp?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Dustin,

Dustin:

Workmans Compensation insurance in the State of Oklahoma does not allow for Pain and Suffering. Although some states vary their interpretation and application of the Workmans Compensation Act, in Oklahoma you are also entitled to a portion of your lost wages as well.

There is an exception to the Pain and Suffering compensation rule. Let’s say the top drive squeezed and injured you because it was later determined the top drive was defective. Let’s also say the owner of the oil rig, in an effort to cut his expenses, bought the top drive on the “black market” for a third of the price of one made to specific industry standards.

In that case you may be entitled to normal Workmans Compensation plus you may be able to sue the owner of the rig and the manufacturer of the top drive. In those lawsuits you would be able to ask the court to award you not only compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and out of pocket expenses, but also substantial amounts for Pain and Suffering and Punitive damages. Those damages could result in thousands of dollars over and above your normal Workmans Compensation benefits.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 3, 2011

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One thought on “Looking for free workers comp advice…

  1. I have been on workmans comp for 10 yrs. The medications I take for pain are very expensive. A workers comp lawyer called me last week and wants me to go to a hearing to evaluate my meds to see if they are needed.

    I’ve been taking the same medications for 8 years. Can they make me change meds just because of the cost to the insurance company?

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