Oil Field Injury Lawyer in Midland
Working in an oil field can mean commanding a very good salary, but it can also involve tremendous risks to a worker’s personal safety. Anybody who suffers injuries in an accident on the job in the oil field industry will want to quickly contact a Midland oil field injury lawyer for help holding negligent parties accountable and recovering financial compensation to help pay for the many costs arising from such injuries.
The most recent statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show 120 fatal work injuries within the oil and gas extraction industry, with the three most frequent fatal events being transportation incidents (41 percent), contact with objects and equipment (25 percent), and fires and explosions (15 percent). The most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there were 69 fatalities, with Texas having the most of any state with 44 and 43 deaths in relation to well servicing.
Common Causes of Oil Field Injuries in Midland
Oil field work is a very dangerous profession that involves a number of extreme risks in a variety of daily functions. Workers can be susceptible to many kinds of injuries because of the many dangers they face.
Common kinds of accidents involving oil workers can include, but are not limited to:
- Slips and Fall Accidents — Slips or trips and falls often lead to severe injuries for oil field workers, and some falls can even be career-threatening. Several workers face such dangers while working on elevated rigs, although many of the incidents may have been prevented with proper safeguards that may not have been in place.
- Improper Training — Even though workers in oil fields or on oil rigs should have the most experience, several companies and drillers will employ inexperienced workers or other people who are not entirely qualified to be working in oil fields. Inexperienced oil field or oil rig workers may be unaware of specific safety procedures, protocols, and regulations, meaning they lack knowledge of how to correctly use certain kinds of equipment, machinery, or other tools, and the negligence of these parties can easily have consequences pitting the lives of others at stake.
- Electrocutions — Several offshore oil rigs will have electrical components, and electric shocks in the oil field industries happen when workers come into direct contact with certain types of electronic equipment, energized power lines, or power lines.
- Explosions and Fires — Any kind of fire starter may easily ignite many different kinds of flammable gasses from trucks, wells, and tanks, including open flames, static electricity, or other heated elements. Explosions and fires have the potential to spread very quickly and injure even more people.
- Equipment Failures or Defective Equipment — There is heavy machinery on work sites necessary for drilling, pulling pipes, mixing mud, or any one of many other jobs occurring on worksites that need to be safe for all workers to use and then only used by the individuals who have the proper training for operations and safety, but failure to maintain the equipment or to allow people who do not have the proper training to use the equipment can lead to devastating accidents.
- Well Blowouts — Blowouts refer to uncontrolled releases of crude oil or natural gas from oil or gas wells when pressure control systems fail. While most modern wells have blowout preventers to prevent these incidents from happening, accidental sparks during blowouts may lead to oil or gas fires.
- Employee Fatigue — Oil fields are usually 24-hours-a-day operations, so many workers put in 12 or more hours of work a day. This often means that many kinds of accidents on oil field sites are the simple result of employee exhaustion.
- Hazardous Chemicals and Fumes — Hydrogen sulfide may be the most well-known toxic chemical on oil sites, but there are many other hazardous chemicals that workers could inhale while performing their jobs, and such chemicals may cause many later issues with the health of the workers.
Kind of Midland Oil Field Negligence
Oil field accidents can involve workers performing any one of a number of different functions, including drillers, truck drivers, machine operators, and pumpers. Many of these kinds of incidents stem from the negligence of another party, including:
- Failure to properly train employees
- Ignore safety requirements
- Failure to properly communicate safety procedures
- Workers without safety equipment
- Failure to maintain equipment
- Improper scaffolding or rig construction
Common Oil Fiel Transportation Incidents in Midland
Keeping in mind how common transportation incidents are a cause of oil field worker injuries, these kinds of accidents can stem from a number of possible causes. Some of the most common reasons they occur generally include, but are not limited to:
- Driver Inexperience — Operating an oil field truck can require proper training and experience, but some drivers simply do not have the proper amount of experience. Trucking or oilfield companies could be liable for failing to hire qualified drivers.
- Poor Maintenance — Trucks used in oil fields must undergo proper safety checks and regular maintenance necessary for safe operation. If a company tries to save time or money by neglecting maintenance, the result can be a serious accident.
- Driver Fatigue — Again, several oil field employees who are operating oilfield trucks could drive or otherwise put in work for far longer hours than other drivers because they are exempt from federal hours of service (HOS) regulations governing how long they can drive.
- Speeding — Any large oil field truck will take longer to slow down or stop when it is traveling at a faster speed. This means that any truck exceeding the speed limit might not be able to avoid a crash.
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) — DWI is obviously a criminal offense in Texas for all drivers of all ages, and there is no special exemption for oil field truck drivers. Any truck driver operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can face criminal charges but also become liable for any injuries they cause.
- Distracted Driving — An oil field truck driver could cause an accident if they are distracted by any number of things within their vehicle or outside the vehicle, with people using cell phones often being one of the most common distractions.
- Unsecured or Uneven Loads — An oil field truck that does not have its load properly stabilized could be more unstable and may tip over or sway into nearby lanes when a truck driver lacks proper training. Some loads could also fall off trucks and into oncoming traffic, or drivers could lose control of their trucks.
Types of Oil Field Accident Injuries
The first thing any individual should do after suffering injuries in an oil field accident is to visit a hospital. Obtaining medical care will not only ensure that you did not sustain a serious injury that involves delayed symptoms, but you will also create a medical record that will be beneficial for any injury claims you might file.
Some of the more common oil field injuries include burn injuries, which victims may suffer while working with caustic substances. In other cases, workers suffer serious burn injuries while working with flames or hot objects, and particularly severe burns can cause permanent disfigurement.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are another common kind of injury, and people who suffer TBIs will not exhibit the same symptoms of injuries that are common with other types of injuries, even though the effects are far-reaching. TBI victims could suffer from many physical, psychological, and cognitive issues.
Common Kinds of Injuries Oil Field Workers Suffer:
- Head injuries such as concussions
- Neck injuries
- Head and face injuries
- Back injuries
- Arm injuries
- Leg injuries
- Sternum and chest injuries
- Eye injuries or vision loss
- Broken bones or fractures
- Severe burn injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Limb loss
- Abrasions and lacerations
- Abdominal wall injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Intestinal injuries
- Bruised or fractured ribs
- Nerve damage
- Internal organ damage
- Hearing damage
- Severed limbs and amputations
- Torn shoulder muscles and tendons
In the most serious cases, oil field accidents may cause death. The families of deceased oil field workers may be able to file wrongful death actions.
Damages in Oil Field Accident Cases
While many oil field workers are able to file workers’ compensation claims, the benefits will only be for medical bills, lost income, and death considerations. The benefits will be limited by state law.
Higher damages, however, may be sought in civil actions against other negligent parties, meaning “non-subscriber” employers without workers’ compensation insurance coverage. When you file a lawsuit against a negligent party in an oil field accident case, you may be able to recover compensatory damages.
Compensatory damages relate to both economic and non-economic damages. The Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code defines economic damages as compensating people for actual economic or pecuniary losses, while noneconomic damages are damages for non-financial losses.
A common kind of economic damage will be medical bills because most victims will be incurring all kinds of costs relating to ongoing medical care. No victim should have to pay these expenses out of their own pocket.
Other Economic Damages
- Lost Wages
- Property Damage
- Rehabilitation Expenses
- Physical Therapy Costs
- Costs of Long-Term Care
A common kind of noneconomic damage can be loss of enjoyment of life because certain injuries will severely impact how a victim is able to carry on. Some injuries may prevent people from engaging in their favorite activities and strictly limit what they are able to do.
Other Kinds of Noneconomic Damages
- Emotional Distress
- Mental Anguish
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Physical Impairment
- Loss of Companionship and Society
- Injury to Reputation
- Pain and Suffering
- Physical Limitations
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Midland Oil Field Injury Lawyer
If you suffered major injuries or your loved one was killed in an oil field accident in the greater Midland area, you are going to want to be sure that you retain legal counsel as soon as possible. Get in touch with Cesar Ornelas Injury Law so you can immediately have the help of an experienced law firm that knows how to handle these types of cases.
Our firm regularly represents all kinds of oil field workers in a variety of personal injury claims, so we know how to make sure that people are able to get some measure of justice by holding negligent parties accountable. Call (888) 237-2794 or (210) 405-6503 or contact us online to receive a free consultation that will let us fully review your case and outline all of the steps you will need to take to get real results.