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New Mexico Oil Field Injury Lawyers

New Mexico oil field workers operate in hazardous conditions every day, and even when safety precautions are taken, accidents happen with startling frequency. This grim reality can be seen in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data that show the work site fatality rate in oil and gas work is 700% higher than in any other industry in the U.S. 

If you’re a New Mexico oil field worker and were hurt on the job, you don’t have to go through this traumatic experience alone. Oil field injury attorneys at Nix Patterson will fight for your legal and financial rights. We regularly represent injured oil workers and know that negligent companies can harm their employees in a dangerous work environment. 

What Are Common New Mexico Oil Field Injuries? 

Drilling for oil and gas is inherently dangerous, and accidents happen regularly in New Mexico in many regions of the state. Oil and gas drilling occurs in the Permian Basin in Eddy, Lea, Chaves, and Roosevelt counties in New Mexico’s southeastern corner. There also is drilling in the San Juan Basin of Rio Arriba, San Juan, Sandoval, and McKinley counties in northwestern New Mexico. 

Unfortunately, many accidents in the oil fields of New Mexico are caused by employee or employer negligence and improper safety regulations. Common oil field accidents include: 

Equipment Malfunctions

Heavy machinery that has the power to extract large amounts of oil from thousands of feet below the surface can cause devastating injuries if there’s a malfunction. Whether the problem is due to human error or a manufacturing defect, equipment failures in the New Mexico oil fields can lead to frightening, painful injuries: 

  • Crushed arms, legs, fingers, or feet
  • Broken bones
  • Severe back and neck injuries
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries

If you are hurt by malfunctioning oil field equipment, you could be partially or fully disabled. How will you provide for your family? A Nix Patterson personal injury attorney can help. 

Gas Injuries

Oil drilling often releases hazardous gasses into the environment, including hydrogen sulfide, which can fatally injure workers lacking safety equipment. Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless gas that builds in tight spaces and can overwhelm unprotected workers, causing injury or death. 

Far too many oil companies are lackadaisical about safety inspections, so gas injuries can leave a worker with life-long medical problems. In addition, even though OSHA requires it, workers may have no respiratory protection in areas where gas injuries are possible. 


A staggering amount of electricity is needed to power oil and gas equipment. Without sufficient safety precautions, electrocution in the New Mexico oil fields is always possible. Electrocution can cause these sometimes serious and fatal injuries: 

  • Shock
  • Unconsciousness, coma, or death
  • Severe burns
  • Nerve damage

Sadly, an injured oil field employee might not receive prompt medical care after an electrocution event because of its remote location. That’s why many electrocutions are fatal. 

Slip and Fall

Oil field workers must often operate on high platforms around chemicals and oil. These daily hazards increase the chances of severe and fatal injuries from slip and fall incidents: 

  • Fractured bones
  • Pulled and strained muscles
  • Spinal cord and neck injuries
  • Internal injuries
  • Concussions

Unfortunately, many falls from heights in the oil field can cause fatal injuries. If so, a Nix Patterson wrongful death attorney can help the grieving family, including by potentially filing a wrongful death claim. 

Fires and Explosions

Workers in New Mexico oil fields work around flammable and toxic chemicals daily. The ever-present risk of fires and explosions can be exacerbated by company negligence. Oil and gas fires and explosions may lead to severe injuries: 

  • Third- and fourth-degree burns
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Nerve damage

If you are burned in an oil or gas explosion, you could have painful injuries for the rest of your life. Multiple skin grafts and ongoing medical care could be needed. 

What Compensation Can You Get After an Oil Field Injury? 

If you or a loved one was injured in a New Mexico oil field, it’s understandable that you want to know how much and what kind of compensation you can receive: 

Workers’ Compensation 

Most New Mexico employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage should pay your medical bills and partial wages on a limited basis if you’re hurt in the field. The program may also cover job training if you cannot return to your previous position. 

Workers’ compensation will not pay for pain and suffering, nor will it pay your full salary. However, taking workers’ comp means you don’t have to prove negligence to receive benefits. Even if you caused the accident that injured you, your employer should still pay workers’ comp benefits during your recovery. 

Personal Injury Lawsuit

You cannot usually sue your employer for your job-related injuries in the oil fields. An exception is if your company intentionally tried to harm you. However, you can typically still file a personal injury lawsuit if another company’s negligence caused your oil field injuries. 

Suppose you’re driving a tanker truck in the oil field, and the driver for another company hits and injures you. You should be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and his company for your injuries and losses. 

Wrongful Death Lawsuit 

Did you lose a loved one in an oil field accident in New Mexico? If your attorney can prove another person or entity was negligent or reckless, you may receive wrongful death benefits in a lawsuit. Some compensation you may be able to recover could include: 

  • Lost future wages your loved one would have earned if they’d lived
  • Compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering during death
  • Your emotional and mental anguish
  • Loss of inheritance and retirement benefits
  • Funeral and burial expenses

What Should You Do After A New Mexico Oil Field Injury? 

The first step anyone should take after suffering an occupational injury is to seek medical attention. Don’t shrug it off or tough it out — these injuries can have long-lasting effects and negatively impact your quality of life for years to come.

Next, report the injury to your manager or HR department immediately. The sooner you report the injury, the faster you’ll be able to get the paperwork started on your claim. Also, consider speaking to an oil field injury attorney to determine if you should take legal action. 

Contact a New Mexico Oil Field Injury Attorney Today 

Our oil field injury workers in New Mexico at Nix Patterson can help you fight for economic justice. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation about your oil field injury. 


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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