As the most dangerous industry in America, oil and gas exploration and production company workers face hazards on the job every hour of every work day. Fatal oil field accident rates are six times higher than the fatality rates of all other U.S. job types combined.
Oil field accidents can be traumatizing experiences and seeking financial compensation for your injuries only adds to the stress of your physical recovery - but you don’t have to do it alone.
Our experienced Corpus Christi and North Dakota based attorneys focus on oil field worker injury claims and can help you collect the maximum possible financial compensation that you and your loved ones deserve.
What Financial Compensation Is Available for Injured Oilfield Workers?
Oil field workers’ compensation may cover some medical expenses and lost wages, but it won’t cover your total expenses. Recovery amounts are usually based on a percentage your income and do not cover pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Oil and gas workers’ compensation also doesn’t cover punitive damages, which can total much more than your actual loss amount and - equally as important - function to dissuade oil and gas companies from continuing their negligent, dangerous behavior.
For these reasons, many injured excavators, oil and gas operators, miners, oil rig workers, pipeline workers, truck drivers, well site engineers and other crew members choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Successful oil field injury lawsuits can secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries, including:
- Current and anticipated future medical expenses
- Lost wages and back pay
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability and / or disfigurement
- Punitive / exemplary damages
In addition, if you have lost a loved one in an oil field accident, you may be entitled to compensation via a wrongful death lawsuit or survivor claim. Family members of deceased oil field workers can collect financial compensation for:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship / consortium
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering of the deceased
To obtain the maximum compensation for an oil field injury, oil and gas company employees must retain an experienced attorney whose meticulous preparation, careful investigation and aggressive legal strategy can ensure you achieve success against even the most powerful oil and gas company.
What Types of Oil Field Injuries Qualify for Compensation?
Unfortunately, many oil and gas companies continue to put profit over safety, often resulting in poor supervision, faulty equipment, a lack of safety training and worker fatigue. When accidents occur, they are almost always the result of negligence or intentional short cuts taken by oil and gas companies trying to save a buck.
Even when oil companies do implement proper safety training and procedures, contractors, equipment manufacturers and other third-party entities can still act with negligence or intentionally cut corners – placing the lives of land rig workers, derrick hands, pipeline operators, roustabouts, platform workers, oil and gas truck drivers and other crew members in danger.
Some of the most common oil field accidents include:
- Blowout preventer failures
- Drilling rig collapses
- Defective drilling equipment, valves, machinery
- Oil field electrocutions
- Ergonomic hazards
- Onshore and offshore chemical fires
- Pipeline explosions and refinery fires
- Exposure to toxic sulfur hydroxide, carbon monoxide poisoning or radiation
- Falls from the mast, drilling platforms, oil derricks
- High-pressure line, pipe, or rotating wellhead injuries
- Oil field vehicle accidents (trucks, aircraft, boating)
- Mine or trench collapses
Oil field accidents can lead to any number of debilitating injuries, including amputations, bone fractures, severe burns, blindness, neck and spine injuries, hearing loss, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), permanent disfigurement and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In most cases, maximum financial compensation is critical to full recovery and quality of life.
Am I Eligible to File an Oil Field Injury Lawsuit?
In general, oil field workers are eligible to file an oil field injury lawsuit against an oil company, contractor or third party when the employer:
- Doesn’t carry appropriate workers compensation insurance: Most North Dakota companies carry workers’ compensation insurance. Texas law does not require all Texas companies to carry this insurance. An experienced oil field injury lawyer will be able to determine whether your employer’s workers compensation program protects them from civil liability.
- Hires a third-party who did not follow safety regulations: Any time you are injured because of a contractor, subcontractor, or other third-party’s actions (or inaction), you may be able to sue that party for damages to cover your losses.
- Uses defective equipment or machinery: If equipment or machinery isn’t working as it is supposed to and causes your injury, you may have a claim against the manufacturer or designer of that equipment.
- Contributes to your exposure to a toxin: If your personal protective equipment (PPE) is ineffective against silica, radiation, sulfur hydroxide or carbon monoxide, you may have a claim against the PPE manufacturer. You may also have a claim against your employer if your employer knowingly exposes you to a toxic substance without providing the appropriate PPE.
- Acts with extreme negligence or intent to harm: Perhaps a company refuses to give you personal protective equipment, or a supervisor intentionally knocks you off of a mast. Many states, including North Dakota and Texas, allow crew members to sue their company for more than worker’s compensation insurance will pay when a worker’s employer intends to hurt them or acts with gross negligence.
As opposed to workers compensation claims where you just have to show that you were injured, to win an oil field injury lawsuit, you must prove that your employer or a third-party contributed to your injuries. This is where an experienced oil field injury lawyer is critical.
How to Collect Compensation for an Oil Field Accident
Oil and gas companies are powerful, wealthy entities that will utilize the best legal defense teams in the country to avoid paying the full compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Without an experienced, aggressive oil field injury lawyer to support your claim, it can be nearly impossible to succeed against oil and gas company giants using popular defense tactics like:
- Claiming that you assumed the risk of injury when you signed on
- Saying you were at fault for your own injuries
- Arguing that you yourself made your injuries worse
- Asserting that your injury was not a direct result of any negligence or intent to harm
- Stating that you waited too long to file and violated the statute of limitations
- Hiding or “cleaning up” evidence you need to prove your case
Adding to the complexity of oil field injury cases, statute of limitations deadlines can be short, and potential defendants can quickly start cleaning up evidence against them.
This is why it’s vital that you contact an experienced oil field injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will make sure you meet all deadlines and will immediately begin work with OSHA and industry professionals to preserve evidence for your case.
Always speak with your lawyer before signing any company paperwork or giving any statements about your injuries. Never accept any premature settlement amount. Never speak with claims adjusters, co-workers or others who could be hired to collect evidence against you.
Make Sure Your Oil Field Injury Lawyer has:
- Extensive experience in oil field drilling and production lawsuits and litigation
- Access to leading U.S. expert witnesses (accident reconstruction professionals, OSHA inspectors, confined space experts, engineers, chemists, safety management experts)
- A solid track record of success in the courtroom
- In-depth knowledge of the oil and gas industry
Williams Attorneys PLLC oil field injury lawyers have successfully represented oil crew members injured in numerous refinery, rig and platform accidents across the Bakken, Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville Bossier plays and Gulf of Mexico, including injured parties of the 2011 Bakken Oil Field Explosion.
Our investigations are thorough, including extensive review of mud logs and IADC reports to identify the cause of an accident at its source – no matter what the company claims was at fault for your injuries.
How the Oil Field Injury Lawyers at Williams Attorneys PLLC Will Help
Justin Williams spent years on the defense side of these cases so now when representing victims of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, he knows their playbook and Williams PLLC offers:
- Unique inside knowledge of oil and gas company defense strategies
- A proven track record in oil and gas litigation
- Expert resources and legal know-how to help victims seek maximum compensation.
Our experience with oil and gas company giants delivers a major advantage to injured oil rig workers seeking compensation for their injuries – leveling the playing filed against high-power oil companies and their defense teams.
Our legal team of attorneys, medical experts and oil industry professional will help prove your case through investigation, depositions, OSHA records, and aggressive cross examination.
If you or a loved one has been injured or tragically killed in an oilfield incident, you deserve the highest financial compensation available.
Contact Williams Attorneys PLLC today for a free, confidential, no obligation case consultation.