From 2008 to 2017, 1,566 workers died nationwide in oil and gas fields, and thousands were seriously hurt. Sadly, many of these accidents happen in Oklahoma, with nine men killed in the state’s oil fields between 2011 and 2012 alone. No matter the type of oil field injury, covering medical expenses and other bills while you are out of work can be daunting.
Fortunately, many injured oil field workers have legal options to ease their financial burdens. You could be compensated if you or someone you love was injured or killed in an Oklahoma oil field. Nix Patterson’s oil field injury attorneys have recovered millions in personal injury and wrongful death cases for our clients. We may be able to do the same for you.
Common causes of Oklahoma oil field injuries include:
Oil and gas workers often work high on oil rigs and other equipment. All it takes is one missed step to fall and seriously injure yourself. Many injured oil field workers file for workers’ compensation to seek payment for their medical bills and partial wages during recovery.
One might think that an oil field accident always involves drilling and excavation work. However, one of the most common causes of oil field deaths is vehicle accidents. Almost 40% of workers who die in the oil fields involve transportation to and from the job site.
Oil field workers often must drive long distances to the work site in a rural area. So, workers are at a higher risk of severe injuries during vehicle crashes.
Many kinds of equipment failures can produce hazardous conditions in an oil field. For example, oil and gas equipment pressure can fluctuate, leading to blowouts and injuring workers. It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure all oil field equipment works properly.
Oil and gas are highly flammable. Workers are at high risk of severe or fatal injuries because of well fires and explosions. The Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire – $20.8 billion. Nix Patterson secured a large settlement for the State of Florida from British Petroleum, eventually recovering $2 billion.
OSHA states that most fires and explosions in oil fields happen from sparks and heat from common sources: overheated equipment, cigarettes, power, welding tools, open flames, static, and friction. These sources can ignite highly flammable hydrogen sulfide, vapors, and gas.
Approximately 60% of oil field injuries are due to crushing, caught by, and struck by accidents. Enormous oil and gas equipment often have areas where employees can be caught, hit, or crushed. Many fatal crushing accidents happen when a negligent driver pins a worker against moving equipment.
There are regulations in place in the oil and gas industry to ensure worker safety. However, some companies may put profits ahead of worker health, and the results can be tragic.
Some oil field accidents happen because employees aren’t correctly trained. Therefore, all oil field companies must provide all workers with sufficient training to do their jobs safely.
There are several kinds of significant Oklahoma oil field injury claims. The one that is best depends on the circumstances of the accident and who was involved:
You’re probably eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured while working in an oil field. Most Oklahoma employers must carry workers’ comp insurance.
In a workers’ compensation claim, proving fault isn’t required, and the company typically must cover your medical expenses. However, your employer generally has to pay 70% of your wages during recovery. Therefore, you could receive workers’ compensation benefits even if the accident was your fault.
You might be eligible for a workers’ comp death benefits claim if you lost a loved one in an oil field accident. The spouse and children of a deceased oil worker can receive burial and funeral expenses up to $10,000. You may also be eligible for wage reimbursement, depending on whether the deceased was married and had children.
If you are an independent contractor and were hurt in an Oklahoma oil field, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the company is possible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Also, you can file a personal injury lawsuit if the company intentionally disregarded your safety. It also is possible in some cases to file a personal injury lawsuit if another worker caused an accident that led to your injuries or if a piece of equipment malfunctioned. Winning a personal injury claim depends on proving another party was negligent or reckless and caused your injuries.
The spouse and children of a deceased worker who wasn’t an employee also may file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may be entitled to money for burial and funeral costs, mental anguish, lost income, and loss of companionship.
Talk to an attorney to learn if filing a workers’ comp or personal injury claim is best for your situation.
Oil field injuries can be severe. Taking the following suggested actions immediately can help preserve your rights:
Our Nix Patterson oil field injury attorneys know how to recover damages for seriously injured workers and their families. Don’t think about going up against an oil company by yourself. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation about your Oklahoma 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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