Oil Field Accidents
The American oil boom of the past few years has produced a huge increase in the number of jobs in the oil fields. Unfortunately, this boom has also seen an increase in the number of deaths and injuries to roughnecks. The oil business is a profitable and deadly one. If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil field accident, you need to know how to get the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Oil Field Accidents
There are three major causes of oil field accidents. The first, and the one that is responsible for the majority of the accidents, is human error. People make mistakes. But, when mistakes are made in the oil field people get hurt, or even killed.
Some accidents are unavoidable. Nobody is at fault for them; they are just a natural consequence of the oil business. Modern technology and safety protocol are limiting these kinds of accidents, but they still happen every year.
The last cause of oil field accidents is intentional acts. These can be anything from sabotage by an environmental group to a fight between workers. These kinds of accidents make up a small portion of the overall total.
Types of Oil Field Accidents
There are several different types of oil field accidents. Some of the most common include:
- Oil rig explosions
- Collapsed rigs
- Chemical spills or leaks
- Toxic chemical inhalation
- Frac tank accidents
- Equipment failure or malfunction
- Well blowouts
- Falls from the rig
- Safety equipment failure or malfunction
Types of Oil Field Injuries
Because of the nature of oil field work, injuries are often catastrophic. Many injuries leave workers permanently disabled or disfigured. Some common types of injuries in oil field accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Crush injuries
- Fractured bones
- Burns from fires
- Chemical burns
- Internal burns from toxic fume inhalation
- Neck and back injuries
- Torn or ruptured ligaments and tendons
- Amputated limbs or digits
The sooner you can get treated for your injury the more likely you are to recover faster. Even if you do not need emergency treatment, you should still see a medical professional within the first 72 hours after being inured. This will help you to make sure you don’t have any serious internal injuries.
Going to a doctor right away can also help improve your chances of getting the maximum recovery for your injuries.
Role of Worker’s Compensation
Many roughnecks are covered by worker’s compensation policies. Employers in many states are required to pay for worker’s compensation insurance. If an employee is injured, regardless of who is at fault, the injured worker can recover money for lost work time, medical expenses, and even future lost wages if the worker is permanently disabled or dies.
Employees are not allowed to sue employers to recover damages if they are covered by a worker’s compensation policy. However, if an employer failed to get the legal worker’s compensation insurance, they can be sued for damages, often even beyond what a worker’s compensation policy would have paid out.
Most workers’ compensation policies do not cover pain and suffering. They only pay the employee back for out of pocket expenses such as lost wages. Sometimes, they only pay a percentage of the lost wages.
Oil field accidents are not always the fault of the employer of one of the employees. Sometimes third-parties such as equipment manufacturers or contractors are negligent and cause oil field accidents and injuries. In cases like these a roughneck may be able to recover both from worker’s compensation and from a lawsuit against the third-party for pain and suffering.
Only a knowledgeable lawyer will be able to evaluate your claim to see if there is potentially any third-party liability. Having the right lawyer look over your case will make sure you don’t miss out on any compensation for your injuries.
What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need?
Usually worker’s compensation attorneys represent workers who suffer injuries on the job. Even though some form of worker’s compensation system covers most U.S. based roughnecks, the types of injuries and issues with oil field accident claims are beyond the experience of many worker’s compensation attorneys.
Instead, you need a lawyer that has specific experience with oil field accident claims as well as experience in bringing third-party claims. Without this combination of experience you may miss out on getting all of the compensation you are legally entitled to for your injuries.
We can help you find the right lawyer for your case. Don’t try and muddle your own way through filing a claim or just hire the first lawyer you can find in the local phone book. We will match you with a tough and experienced lawyer who has a successful track record in oil field injury cases. Contact us today. You only have a limited period of time to make a claim.