Oil field work can be lucrative, but this is a dangerous occupation with many risks, as sobering industry statistics reveal. CDC reported that 470 oil and gas workers died on the job between 2014 and 2019, and 1,400 were injured in 2011. Many of the injuries and deaths were caused by contact injuries, explosions, and motor vehicle accidents.
Many oil and gas workers are also injured and killed in Oklahoma on the job. For example, nine men died in Oklahoma’s oil fields between 2011 and 2012, and many were injured. Regardless of the oil field injury suffered, paying your medical and other bills when you can’t work can be overwhelming.
Luckily, injured oil field workers in Tulsa can often take legal steps that may result in compensation. You may be eligible for compensation through workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim if you or a loved one was injured or killed in an Oklahoma oil field accident. Nix Patterson’s Tulsa oil field injury lawyers have obtained millions in personal injury claims and lawsuits for our clients. Contact our attorneys today to determine if we can do the same for you.
Working in oil and gas fields is inherently hazardous, similar to working in construction, often requiring workers to be around heavy machinery, rigs, and other equipment. There are many reasons Oklahoma oil workers have many work-related accidents that may require the help of a Tulsa oil field injury lawyer. The most common causes of oil field accidents are:
When we first think of oil field accidents, fires, and explosions may come to mind. However, slip and fall accidents are among the most common causes of oil field injuries. All it takes is one slip and fall for an oil worker to break a leg or dislocate their shoulder. Depending on how bad the injury is, the mishap can be enough for the worker to be put on the unemployment line because they can’t do their job.
Some oil field accidents happen because a piece of equipment falls and strikes the worker. Oil equipment and rigs are large, tall structures that must be inspected and maintained to work and stay safe. If just one part of an oil rig is loose or damaged, something can fall off and injure or kill a worker.
Oil rig valves and pumps need to be within certain pressure levels. If levels are too high, there is a greater chance of an explosion or fire, which could cause many injuries. But if levels are too low, a leak could lead to other types of injuries.
Oil and gas extraction requires companies to use heavy equipment and complicated machinery that must be constantly maintained. If equipment is not maintained or malfunctions, there can be devastating injuries.
Also, oil and gas equipment pressure levels can fluctuate or register an inaccurate value because of equipment malfunctions. If the pressure on specific equipment is too great, it can lead to various accidents. Oil and gas companies are responsible for maintaining equipment and ensuring pressure levels are safe.
Many oilfield accidents occur because of improper training. Some accidents happen not because the workers overlooked warning signs but because they didn’t know what to look for. The employer must correctly train every oil field employee so they know how to do their job and know when something is wrong.
If employees are not fully trained on oil and gas field safety procedures and an accident occurs, the employer could be liable for the resulting injuries and damages.
The CDC says that motor vehicle accidents comprise about 40% of job-related deaths in the oil and gas industry. Truckers must take special care when driving near chaotic worksites to avoid accidents.
Many regulations are in place in oil and gas fields to ensure the safety of every worker. Sadly, some companies care far more about the bottom line than worker safety. Overlooking regulations can cause all kinds of injuries, including broken bones, burns, and even death.
Many things can go wrong when you work in an oil field. There are potentially hazardous conditions around almost every corner, which is why training is so important. Some of the most common types of oil field accidents are:
Workers are often around highly flammable gasses and liquids. Trucks, tanks, wells, and equipment can catch fire or even explode. Many things can lead to a devastating fire in an oil field, such as heated elements, static electricity, and malfunctioning equipment. Fires at oil fields are hazardous because they can quickly spread because of high pressure and volume.
Rigs usually weigh many tons and are generally robust and rugged equipment. But if poorly built or maintained, they can collapse, leading to workers being hit or crushed by falling metal beams.
Oil field workers are often exposed to dangerous chemicals and fumes. Many can harm the body, especially after regular exposure. Exposure to chemicals can cause an injury that takes years to develop, such as injuries to delicate lung tissues.
For example, workers may be exposed to hydrogen sulfide when working in an oil field, and it’s difficult to detect because it is colorless. If workers do not have proper breathing equipment, they can be severely injured or killed.
Oil field employees must use electricity to power equipment and machinery, which can present tremendous dangers. Also, workers near oil rigs are at risk of potential lightning strikes.
There can be an uncontrolled release of hazardous liquids and gasses when wells are drilled, which can cause a dangerous blowout. If the blowout ignites, it can cause a devastating fire and many injuries. In 2017, the most deaths of oil and gas workers happened because of blowouts during well servicing.
Between dangerous equipment, fires, explosions, heavy machinery, and chemical exposure, workers can suffer many injuries on an oil field. Some of the most common injuries are:
These oil field workers are particularly likely to be injured on the job:
There are two things you should do immediately after an oil field accident. First, get immediate medical treatment. See a doctor or go to an ER immediately for treatment. This is important for your health and well-being and to preserve your future legal options.
Depending on the situation, there are a few legal options after an oil or gas field injury. The most common way to obtain compensation in Oklahoma is to file for workers’ compensation. Oklahoma workers’ compensation should compensate you for your medical bills and partial lost wages during recovery. You cannot generally file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer in Oklahoma, except in rare circumstances.
However, many companies are usually involved in oil and gas field work. If a third-party company’s negligence contributed to your injuries, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Some third parties that could be liable for your oil field injuries could be:
If you suffer injuries in an Oklahoma oil or gas field, your employer will typically cover your medical bills and lost earnings with workers’ compensation. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit if a third party’s negligence caused your injuries and other losses. Third parties vulnerable to a third-party lawsuit could be subcontractors, property owners, equipment manufacturers, etc.
Compensation for oil field accidents is usually provided through the worker’s employer and the workers’ compensation system. If that is the case for your accident, you could be entitled to money for your medical bills, lost income from temporary or permanent disability, and disfigurement.
However, if a third-party company caused the accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover these damages:
It can be challenging to determine who is liable for an oil or gas field accident; there are usually multiple companies working onsite. However, our Nix Patterson injury attorneys will review the details of the case to determine who is potentially liable. We will advise you of the best way to recover compensation from the at-fault party or parties.
If an oil field accident caused the death of your loved one, the employer may owe you death benefits through the workers’ compensation system. Also, if a third-party company caused the death of your loved one, you may be able to sue for wrongful death and receive the following compensation:
Being injured in an oil field accident can leave you saddled with pain and suffering, substantial medical bills, and many questions about your future. However, our Nix Patterson oil field injury attorneys in Tulsa are skilled in recovering ample compensation for severely injured workers and their loved ones.
Never consider taking on that big oil company and its high-powered attorneys alone. Contact us today for a free consultation about your Tulsa 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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