Undocumented Immigrant Oilfield Injuries

In 2021, 28 million foreign-born workers were recorded in the United States, making up 17% of the total workforce and nearly a quarter of Texas’ workforce. With immigrants making such a substantial contribution to the U.S. economy, they are entitled to the same rights as native-born workers. One of those rights is the ability to pursue compensation to cover their damages from an on-the-job injury.

Immigrant Workers Are at an Increased Risk for Injury

Many immigrants come to the United States to find work that allows them to support their families. While they may find a job that accomplishes this goal, it can come at a cost. They may be forced to endure the harshest assignments to make ends meet.

Although any position on an oil field carries some level of risk, employers have been known to expose immigrant workers to many types of hazards. This makes them more likely to be injured from natural gas explosions, malfunctioning oilfield equipment, oil refinery fires, and much more.

Studies have shown that immigrant workers are 15% more likely to suffer fatal injuries than native-born workers. Limited access to health insurance and language barriers have contributed to the frequency of fatal work injuries among the foreign workforce.

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Do You Have to Be a Citizen to File an Injury Claim?

While an employer cannot hire an undocumented worker, The Texas Workers’ Compensation Act covers documented and undocumented workers. If you have already retained a position, you have the right to receive workers’ comp benefits or pursue an injury claim—regardless of immigration status.

You are entitled to a safe workplace like any other employee. As long as the accident is reported and occurred on the job, you can pursue the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

Do You Have to Reveal Your Immigration Status?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you should never be asked about your immigration status. It is irrelevant to your work injury. OSHA strives only to help ensure worker safety, not report employees to immigration. So, you can rest assured that reporting your work injury won’t result in deportation or the loss of your job.

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Can an Employer Retaliate if You File a Claim?

Many undocumented workers might fear that if they file a claim against their employer, their company might retaliate and threaten to report them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Worker protection laws empower employees to speak out boldly against their employers without fearing retaliation. Employers have been punished severely for trying to retaliate in the form of civil lawsuits.


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If you’re looking for a law firm, where you’re not just another client. I can say from personal experience, you have found the right place at The Kemmy Law Firm. Everyone there always treated us amazingly. Not at any time were we in the dark, not knowing what was going on. Either Tom, Nick or Melissa would give us updates often on the case and explain to us the next steps. Which this made us feel like we were the only case they had. They fought for us as if they were fighting for their own family. They were compassionate about making sure we were going to be all right during the case as well as the years after the case. We are so thankful we found the Kemmy Law Firm and you will be too. Thank you Tom, Nick, and Melissa and everyone at The Kemmy Law Firm.

  Stacey Mitchell   |   07.19.2019   |   See All Reviews

How to Recover Compensation as an Illegal Immigrant

Since you know that you are safe to pursue compensation from your employer if you suffered a work injury, it’s essential to understand the two methods: workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury claims.

Workers’ Compensation

If your employer offers workers’ compensation benefits, you could go this route for your recovery. Texas Law states that an injury or illness is covered regardless of fault, so long as it occurred on the job or as a result of working on the job. Injuries that resulted from horseplay, criminal acts, drugs or alcohol, off-duty activities, or an act of God will not be compensated.

It’s also worth noting that your work injury must be reported within 30 days of the accident to be valid. Not all Texas companies offer workers’ comp benefits, so check with your employer.

Personal Injury Claims

Companies that offer workers’ comp benefits typically do so to protect themselves from lawsuits. When they decide to opt out and become a non-subscriber, they open the door to personal injury claims from injured workers.

However, unlike workers’ compensation benefits, fault must be determined in a personal injury claim. An attorney must be able to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused your accident that resulted in your injuries.

Personal injury claims allow you to pursue compensation for all the ways your injuries have impacted your life, including your physical pain and mental suffering—damages that are unavailable in a workers’ comp claim. Personal injury claims could also result in punitive damages intended to punish the at-fault party.


Our Verdicts and Settlements
Speak for Themselves

Permanent Brain Injury

The Kemmy Firm secured an $8.6 million settlement on behalf of a woman who suffered a permanent brain injury after three years of hard-fought litigation.

Permanent Spinal Cord Injury

The Kemmy Law Firm, P.C. obtained the second largest medical negligence verdict in Texas for 2017 ($13.5 million).

Total Destruction of West Texas Business

The Kemmy team secured a confidential settlement for a group of Well Owners who were forced to shut down their oil related business with a $20 Million market value.

Permanent Spine Injury for Iowa Insurance Agent

We recovered $3 Million for a family whose breadwinner and patriarch suffered a severe spinal cord injury.


Kemmy Law Firm Protects Illegal Immigrants’ Rights

Like your rights to equal pay, overtime pay, and breaks, you can pursue compensation for your oilfield injuries. Don’t let your employer intimidate you or threaten to report your immigration status.

Let an experienced undocumented immigrant injury lawyer help you collect workers’ comp benefits or file a personal injury claim. Contact Kemmy Law Firm today at (432) 400-0000 or our online form to schedule your free consultation.

Personal Injury Attorneys & Trial Lawyers Let Our Family Protect Yours

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Get a free consultation. We do not charge up-front fees, and you owe nothing unless you recover compensation.

When you work with us at Kemmy Law Firm, you are working with a family run firm with more than 50 years of combined experience. We are dedicated and successful trial attorneys practicing in West TX, Hobbs, NM, Midland-Odessa, and across the Permian Basin. Our team handles everything from catastrophic injury claims to complex business matters. We are here to fight for you. We dedicate our time and attention to your case and use every resource available to maximize your claim and obtain the best possible outcome.