Oilfields are spread throughout the Lone Star State, the center of U.S. oil production and refining. Thousands of Texas families rely on income from dependable jobs in this industry, but they also face the risk of devastating injuries when something goes wrong. Even though workers are well-paid and have great benefits, facing recovery from an oilfield accident can bring financial and emotional hardship.
Injuries that happen on the job in the Texas oilfields are often unexpected and severe. Determining who is at fault can be difficult without professional legal assistance.
Common Causes of Oilfield Injuries
Most injuries in the oil and gas industry occur because of a failure by either a person or a piece of equipment. The work is mentally and physically demanding, and machinery operates 24 hours a day for years at a time. Despite regular maintenance, breakdowns can occur. Even seasoned workers can make mistakes that could lead to injury or death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists numerous reported causes of accidents that can cause injuries on the job in Texas oilfields:
- Car or truck accidents
- Caught between or -in equipment or vehicles
- Drilling rig accidents
- Well blowouts
- Heat exhaustion
- Trapped in confined spaces
- High-pressure equipment
- High-pressure gas or liquid lines
- Malfunctioning machinery
- Hazardous or toxic materials
Obviously, working with high towers drilling oil puts workers at risk of falls and fires, but employees can also be hit with falling objects or equipment. This can lead to blunt-force trauma, putting the victim in the hospital for some time. While this list contains sudden events that can harm workers, employees can also suffer repetitive-motion injuries that take years to appear.
Human or Machine: When Failure Puts Others at Risk
When you are hurt, your first concern should be getting medical care for your injuries. Once you have begun to heal, you may realize that your workplace accident was preventable and thus someone else’s fault. As we mentioned earlier, injuries usually arise from the failure of a person or a machine. This could be from mistakes, deliberate or unintentional action, poor design or manufacture, faulty maintenance, and/or other problems on a job site.
Some specific examples of oilfield dangers include:
- Machinery does not receive regular preventative maintenance
- Maintenance and repair records aren’t kept correctly
- Productivity demands override safety protocols
- Workers are tired, distracted, untrained, or under the influence of a substance
- Employees fail to follow safety rules
- Equipment has a design or production flaw the manufacturer didn’t correct
- Unapproved replacement parts are used for repairs
- Improper rig construction
- Contractors, vendors, or visitors fail to follow safety guidelines
- Insufficient safety equipment for workers
- Failure to use sufficient safety equipment
- Poisonous gases that aren’t contained or neutralized
When someone fails to maintain equipment so that it is safe to operate, their negligence can cause an accident. An experienced Texas oilfield accident attorney can investigate the circumstances to determine what led to your injuries on the job in a Texas oilfield. Gathering evidence and witness testimony is one of the first steps to building your personal injury claim against those who hurt you.
Workers with Injury on the Job in Oilfields Need Compensation
Because oilfield work is so dangerous and the injuries are often catastrophic, you and your family must be protected from financial hardship. When another person or entity’s negligence leads to your damages, an oilfield accident lawyer will put together a case to prove negligence – the key to succeeding in your personal injury lawsuit. You also need detailed documentation of your injuries and expenses. This can include the bills you’ve already acquired as well as planning for future care and treatment. When an injury involves amputation, brain injury, or permanent disability, you can be left unable to work at all.
Pursuing compensation can mean the difference between facing astronomical medical bills on your own and having the financial resources you need to recover. It could keep you from being destitute if you can no longer work in the oil industry or hold a job in any other field.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Your Texas Oil field Injuries?
Remember, most oilfield injuries are caused by either human or equipment failure. Equipment failure can be unpredictable, but many accidents result from manufacturers, operators, or maintenance workers who fail in their duties. Even contractors or visitors can cause accidents when they don’t follow safety regulations.
If you have been hurt, you and your personal injury lawyer may discover multiple individuals and businesses are at fault. For example, you could potentially make a claim for oilfield accident injury damages against:
- The oilfield operator
- The companies who own, operate, and/or lease the oilfields
- Manufacturers of rig equipment or component parts
- Truck drivers
- Contractors/subcontractors on the worksite
- Machine or drill operators
- Equipment rental companies
- Regulatory agencies that inspect and approve equipment
- Oil exploration companies
- Other workers who failed in their duties
- Manufacturers of faulty safety and protective equipment
- Manufacturers and inspectors of fire suppression equipment
Your lawyer will collect evidence from sources including but not limited to maintenance records, manufacturing data, witness statements, expert testimony, and security camera videos. This information creates a clear picture of what led to your injuries. No matter how small or severe your injury is, consulting with an oilfield accident attorney can help you understand your options.
Don’t Go It Alone When You’ve Been Injured in Texas Oilfields
Because the Texas oil industry is booming, there are increased risks involved for more workers. Because the equipment is dangerous and demands are high, most accidents resulting in injuries on the job in Texas oilfields will end in catastrophic injury or death. Regardless of how you are injured, you need to focus on healing. If your family has lost a loved one, they need guidance on legal matters while they grieve.
To protect yourself and your claim, leave the hard work of untangling liability to someone with knowledge of the oil industry and the law. Your lawyer will talk to insurance adjusters, file paperwork, and push back on your behalf against lowball offers. They will negotiate with lawyers from the defendant(s) to settle before trial or fight hard if your case goes to trial.
You must act quickly when you or a loved one suffers injuries on the job in Texas oilfields to ensure you have the compensation you deserve. A skilled oilfield lawyer from Liggett Law Group can advise you on the details of how to file your claim.