Oil production is among one of the most important industries in the southwest United States, especially in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. While this industry plays a vital role in both the local and national economies, workers often put their health and lives on the line. If you or a loved suffered serious injuries while working in an oil field, an oil field injury lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can help you recover the compensation you are owed.
Common Oil Field Accidents
Conditions at oil fields are some of the most dangerous in the country. When things go wrong on a drilling rig, the potential for workers to suffer serious harm is high. Oil field accidents tend to be much more severe than the accidents we might expect in other industries. A typical oil field worker might be at risk for the following types of accidents:
- Oil field explosions
- Oil truck accidents and other transportation accidents
- Oil well fires or blowouts
- Fracking accidents
- Equipment failure accidents
- Falls from heights
- Slip and fall accidents
- Trench collapses
- Chemical leaks or spills
- Crush or caught-by accidents
What Causes Oil Field Accidents?
There is no one single cause of oil field accidents. However, in their years helping injured clients secure compensation for their injuries, our oil field injury lawyers have identified some of the most common contributing factors to oil field accidents:
- Insufficient training
- Defective or poorly maintained equipment
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) failures
- Language barriers and lack of accommodations
- Staffing shortages and overworked employees
- Unreasonable drilling schedules
OSHA Safety Regulations
Lack of adherence to safety regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is also a common cause of workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities in the oil industry. Every oil field in the United States should carefully follow OSHA safety regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of all workers. This includes some of the following:
- Providing required minimum training
- Maintaining minimum machinery and equipment standards
- Following minimum requirements for equipment maintenance and cleaning
- Providing workers with PPE
- Providing fall protection for anyone working 10 or more feet above a lower surface or level
- Banning flammable items or clothing, loose hair, or jewelry that can snag on equipment
- Labeling hazardous substances
- Providing well-stocked first aid kits
- Maintaining emergency eye wash stations
Common Oil Field Injuries
The types of injuries oil field workers suffer tend to be severe, often requiring time away from work. The average injured worker who requires time off to recover needs only eight days, compared with 24 days for injured workers in the oil industry.
Some injury victims are never able to return to the industry and must pivot to a new industry. Others suffer injuries so debilitating that they become disabled and are no longer able to work at all. As an oil field worker, you are at risk for suffering potentially traumatic injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Anoxic or hypoxic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Respiratory injuries
- Broken bones
- Complex fractures
- Crush injuries
- Burns from fires, chemicals, or electrocutions
- Facial injuries
- Dental injuries
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Loss of limb
Unfortunately, not all accident victims survive their injuries. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, our oil field injury attorneys have guided families whose loved ones have died through the process of recovering compensation related to this unimaginable loss. There are generally two courses of action available to families in this situation:
- Temporary death benefits through their state’s workers’ compensation system. These benefits pay a portion of the average monthly wage of the victim. Exact benefits may depend on whether the victim left behind minor children.
- Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is appropriate if there was an at-fault party other than the employer or workplace. The manufacturer of a defective tool, a reckless driver, or negligent contract worker are examples of who may be held responsible in such a claim.
Why Work With an Oil Field Injury Lawyer?
When you are seeking compensation for an oil field injury, you are not just going up against a negligent employer or third-party—you are facing off with a powerful insurance company. Insurance companies are generally the party responsible for payment in personal injury, wrongful death, and workers’ compensation claims, and their goal is never to help you.
Insurance companies employ a wide range of tricks and tactics to minimize their liability and lower your settlement. If you try to handle your case on your own, you won’t have an advocate on your side who will stand up for what is right. Here are a few things the oil field injury lawyers at our law firm do for our clients:
- Thoroughly investigate claims to establish liability.
- Hire experts like medical professionals and accident reconstructionists to substantiate claims.
- Properly value claims, including economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages.
- Gather and interpret important documents, including medical records.
- Complete and submit all required documents and forms on time.
- Communicate and negotiate with the insurance company.
- Aim to settle out of court, but be prepared for trial if necessary.
Oil Field Injury Lawyers Serving Areas Nationwide
Clocking in at work should not mean putting yourself at risk for serious or disabling injuries. Unfortunately, for the men and women working in the oil industry, this type of risk is often considered acceptable and even unavoidable by employers. At Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm, we don’t find this attitude acceptable. Our oil field injury attorneys will fight tirelessly for you if you were injured while simply trying to perform your job duties.
We serve oil field injury victims nationwide, including those located in southwest states like New Mexico and Texas that have booming oil industries. There is no time to waste, as the clock is already running on your ability to file a claim. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with an oil field injury lawyer.