Oil Rig & Refinery Injury Lawsuits

How to win a refinery or oil rig accident lawsuits video by Justin Williams. Maximize injury cash damages well beyond workers comp. Expert insights from Oil and Gas Lawyer.

Transcript:

My name is Justin Williams. I'm a senior trial lawyer and shareholder at Williams Attorneys PLLC. Our firm handles personal injury cases involving oil field injuries all over the United States. We specialize in those claims in states where the oil industry is heavily involved in drilling activities, pipeline activities, trucking activities, or reworking activities.

I get asked two questions all the time. The first one is simple, "Why should we hire your firm?"  And the easy answer to that is because of our experience. For 20 plus years, I represented as two of my three major clients, Mobil Oil Corporation, and then after the merger, Exxon Mobil. And, I represented Halliburton Energy Services. Prior to Halliburton combining its businesses, I represented Halliburton Company dba Halliburton Services, Otis Engineering, their offshore drilling company, and Brown and Root their construction company.

I represent most of the major oil and gas companies or major wildcatters in the United States, as well as the major service companies such as Western Atlas, Baker Hughes. We have experience with the various types of activities that occur on an oil and gas location. We understand that fishing doesn't involve a rod and reel and a boat on a lake or a river or out in the Gulf.

We understand why snubbing is a dangerous activity.

We have been involved in all of these cases, and I learned about oil and gas activities from engineers and people who were very good at their jobs who did it every day.  

One of the things that occurs when you hire people who are good as trial lawyers but maybe not experienced in oil and gas is, they lose valuable time learning about your case. They have to hire experts to learn about the case and to present your case. We know who the oil and gas experts are we're going to use in the case. If it's a safety expert, we have those ready to testify and to investigate your case.  

We have the best, in our opinion, oil and gas expert in the United States who works for us in North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Texas, or anywhere else we need him. He has been hired by the State of California in the City of Los Angeles involving an underground well explosion to help try and put that fire out from the explosion. He was hired as Halliburton's lead expert in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and he spends most of his time working for defendants, but he does work for us.

We know the experts. We know what kind of activities injure people, and we know how to make the cases against the oil and gas industry without stumbling on defense theories like what's called "Chapter 95," a premises liability here in Texas, that limits the ability to win your case against an oil and gas company.  

The other thing I'm asked is, "What do I need to do, or what do I need to look for to find out if I have a case?" Well, the first thing, if it's a personal injury case is, "What are your injuries?"

If your loved one was killed as a result of an accident, obviously, you've been damaged, and you need to call us as soon as possible where we can get started in the investigation and get started working on the case and not lose the Statute of Limitations.  

Every case, be it a personal injury or a death case, has a Statute of Limitations. After the Statute of Limitations is run, that's the time in which you can bring suit, you no longer have a claim. It's extinguished. It cannot be reinstated unless there was some type of fraud and you didn't learn about it. If you knew about it because the person was injured or died, it's very unlikely you're going to be able to reinstate your claim, and you need to contact a lawyer. Especially contact us as soon as possible.

The other things you're going to need is the name of the well, the location, the offshore, whether it was a platform, whether it was a jackup rig, whether it was a drilling vessel. We need to know the name of the owner of the vessel, the operator of the well, some information that can identify that.

A lot of that information will be contained within either your Workers' Comp file or a Longshore and Harbor Workers' claim if you got injured offshore and were paid benefits. We can obtain those records for you.

Your medical records are things we can order for you if you sign up with our firm. We are able to, with the contract, get you to sign what's called a "HIPAA Form and Release," and we can obtain your medical record.

There are social media policies we want to talk to you about so that you don't talk about your case and say something inadvertently that hurts or harms or makes your case worth a lot less than it would be without you inadvertently saying something on social media.

Make no mistake about it, if you are injured, your Facebook, your Instagram, your Twitter accounts will be followed by the defendant, the insurance company, and defense lawyers. So, you have to refrain from discussing anything on those pages about your injury. You also can't be seen water skiing.

If you're hurt, and you're claiming to be hurt really bad, then you shouldn't be water skiing. You shouldn't be able to. Or, if you're doing so, it's against doctor's advice, and it's the kind of thing you're going to get hurt doing. So, don't go water skiing.  

We'll tell you about the physical activities. You can't snow ski. You can't jump out of an airplane or scuba dive, or do the things that require strenuous physical activity if you're hurt really bad.  Nobody believes you're hurt if you're scuba diving, water skiing, or snow skiing on a regular basis, or even periodically. If you're caught one time going down a steep mountain snow skiing, nobody's going to believe you have a really badly injured back and can't work.  

So, those are the kinds of things lawyers can help you with and help you to understand what happens in lawsuits, the fact that they'll talk to your neighbors, they will get an investigator to follow you, see if you're going to the gym and working out, lifting weights, if you're running or jogging around your neighborhood, if you're taking out heavy trash cans, the kinds of things that everyday life requires us to do.

I represented a client who was injured in a trucking accident and unable to work, lost his apartment, and didn't have any food to eat or any place to stay at night. He was videotaped cleaning out an apartment building because he needed the hundred dollars they were paying him that day to get food for himself and his family.  

I was able to overcome that video tape that the defendants had and argued that, "Even injured people sometimes have to work in order to feed their children and themselves and keep from starving." It's not a thing I enjoy. It's not something I want to do. And it's something I would like to, hopefully, get you Workers' Compensation or Longshore benefits so you don't have to face not feeding your family or not being able to provide housing for them during the time of a lawsuit.

Lawsuits aren't fun. They will go back into your life into all the bad things you've ever done, any criminal activity, anything that you've been injured in your previous activities. If you've made claims or you've been hospitalized. Anything that has happened in your past, they'll claim is what is causing the problems instead of what happened in this accident.  

It takes fortitude. It takes preparation and having a lawyer who's experienced and is able to direct you and give you the kind of guidance you need not to trip up, not to get tripped up by an insurance company or a corporate defendant or their lawyers. That's the reason that hiring us is a good idea. That's the thing we do, not just for the money but because we believe in the justice system. We believe in trial by jury, and we believe in the right of each individual to justice.

Call us if you have an oil field, and offshore, or a trucking accident, and you need to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Thanks very much.