The statistics regarding oilfield accidents are startling. From 2008 to 2017, 1,566 workers in the United States died while attempting to extract oil or gas, according to the Center for Public Integrity. In a study published by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, researchers found that the occupational fatality rate for oil and gas workers is four to seven times higher than the rate in other industries.
When someone is injured on an oilfield, a McAllen oilfield accident lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins may be able to investigate and determine the victim’s rights. We can discuss your possible claim during a free consultation you can arrange by calling (800) 777-7777.
HOW OILFIELD INJURIES CAN HAPPEN
Direct and indirect jobs of the oil and gas industry represent about one-third of the Texas economy. With so much money at stake, companies may prioritize drilling over the safety of their workers. Oil companies may be tempted to circumvent safety measures to increase their profitability, leading to worker injuries caused by:
- Toxic exposure: oilfield workers may work around dangerous chemicals and toxic fumes that can harm them. Workers who open hatches may be exposed to high amounts of benzene, which can cause damage to the nervous system, immune system, and internal organs over time.
- Transportation accidents: many oil worker injuries involve transportation accidents in which a vehicle transporting these workers collides with another vehicle. Because the vehicle may be carrying oil, the possibility of a fire or explosion of the vehicle is more likely.
- Explosions: explosions in oilfields are often attributed to a lack of proper safety procedures or equipment malfunction.
- Falling objects: if a worker drops a tool, it can hit another worker, potentially causing blunt force trauma to the head.
- Falls: oilfield workers often work at extreme heights. If they do not have proper fall protection equipment, they may fall and suffer catastrophic injuries or death.
- Lack of government oversight: for the most part, oil and gas companies do not have much government oversight, despite the rise in activity in this sector and fracking. When the government is not watching, oil companies may feel confident that they can avoid safety precautions that take more time and money, since no one will be there to regulate their action.
For a free legal consultation with a oilfield accident lawyer lawyer serving McAllen, call 800-777-7777
POSSIBLE INJURIES AT OILFIELDS
In a Houston Chronicle exclusive, investigative reporters found the following rates of injuries in Texas oilfields during a one-year period:
- 79 amputations
- 92 burns
- 675 fractures
- 82 crushing injuries
Additionally, workers can be exposed to dangerous fumes and toxins, which can cause burns and respiratory problems. Oilfield explosions can also cause serious injuries like head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and brain trauma. An analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that injured oilfield workers had a median time of 30 days off work in a particular year, compared to a median of 7 days for all other industries, which illustrates the severity of oilfield worker injuries.
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SAFETY PROBLEMS AT OILFIELDS
The Center for Public Integrity reviewed OSHA records from oil companies from 2008 to 2018 and found that the federal agency cited companies in the oil extraction industry for over 10,000 violations. 64% of these violations were considered “serious,” indicating that they could potentially result in the death or serious physical injury of workers. 3% of the violations were classified as “repeated,” indicating the oil company had been cited previously for the same hazard, or “willful,” indicating that the company had purposely disregarded the law or had shown little or no concern for employee safety.
Safety issues that may contribute to oilfield injuries include:
- Old rigs
- Old equipment
- Not properly training employees
- Hiring inexperienced workers
- Equipment failure
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POSSIBLE DAMAGES IN OILFIELD ACCIDENTS
You may have a right to compensation if you were injured or your loved one was killed because of an oilfield accident. You may be able to recover compensation for the damages you have sustained, such as:
- Medical expenses, past, and future
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of support
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Burial and funeral costs, if you lost a loved one
Contact our team at (800) 777-7777 to learn more about how the value of your claim is calculated.
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WHY YOU MAY WANT TO HIRE A LAWYER TO FIGHT AGAINST THE OIL COMPANIES
The oil industry is one of the richest and most powerful in the world. When an accident becomes public, the oil company, its insurer, and its fleet of lawyers may take immediate steps to mitigate the responsibility of the oil company, possibly engaging in the following tactics:
- Denying responsibility for the accident
- Losing or discarding evidence that would establish its liability
- Blaming you for the accident
- Refusing to fairly compensate you or your family for your injuries
- Trying to limit you to only workers’ compensation benefits
- Dictating the terms of your medical treatment
- Terminating your employment as soon as the opportunity presents itself
A McAllen oilfield accident lawyer may be able to help combat these aggressive tactics and take immediate steps to protect your rights by:
- Advising you of your legal rights and options
- Sending spoliation of evidence letters to preserve important evidence
- Providing notice of your potential claim to the insurance company
- Interviewing witnesses and conducting depositions under oath
- Communicating with the insurance company and negotiating a fair settlement
- Filing a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, if necessary
- Sending out formal discovery requests to obtain additional evidence to establish liability and the full extent of your damages
CALL OUR PERSONAL INJURY TEAM FOR YOUR FREE CASE EVALUATION
If you were injured in an oilfield accident or explosion or you lost a loved one in this type of accident, a McAllen oilfield accident lawyer from Loncar Lyon Jenkins may be able to help you with every aspect of your claim. We may conduct a thorough investigation into your case and determine all potentially liable parties. We are committed to securing fair compensation on your behalf, and we do not charge any attorney fees until we accomplish that objective. Call us today at (800) 777-7777 to speak to a member of our personal injury team.