The very nature of oil and gas extraction makes it a risky proposition for workers, even in the safest conditions. The hazards they face are unique, numerous, and likely to cause extreme injuries or death. These dangers include:
- Transportation accidents
- Insufficiently trained workers
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Explosions and chemical fires
- Well blowouts
- Exposure to and inhalation of sulfur hydroxide fumes
- Fatigue due to lack of proper rest periods or long shift hours
- Improperly maintained drills, exploration equipment, and machinery
- Inadequate safeguards at drilling sites and refinery facilities
- Lack of safety regulations or emergency protocols
- Trench collapses
- Oil field, pipeline, and refinery fires
The injuries suffered by oilfield workers range from those that can heal in a matter of weeks to those that are permanent and life-altering. Some of the most common oilfield injuries include:
- Chemical burns
- Gas inhalation burns
- Lung damage
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Crushed limbs
- Amputation of limbs or digits
- Torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
- Electrical burns
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Nerve damage
Our attorneys have handled various cases, including cases involving defective equipment, a case where mismatched threads on a wellhead assembly caused a pipe failure, a head-injury case where an oversized elevator hung in the derrick during casing operations, a case where drilling pipe was being stacked on the rig floor swung out and crushed an oilfield worker, and a case where the wrong blow-out preventer was used leading to a fire at the well-head severely burning our client, pipeline cases, hot oiler cases, broken cable cases, and dozens of other cases involving catastrophic injury or death We have the expertise and resources to aggressively represent clients in oilfield accident cases.
Glasheen Valles and Inderman was the best choice by far. - Eleana Flores
Most of all, we can rely on our experience in past cases to identify where problems are likely to occur and where to begin looking for answers. We can hit the ground running when hired on an oilfield case.
The Texas and New Mexico oilfield injury attorneys at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers know how hard it can be for oilfield workers and their families when a catastrophic injury upends their lives. The inability to earn a living and support a family, debilitating or permanent injuries, and mounting medical bills and other expenses all create a perfect storm of financial, physical, and emotional challenges. We have seen first-hand the struggles faced by injured workers and families left behind after a loved one perishes in an avoidable oilfield accident. With respect for hardworking oilfield employees and a passion for helping them through difficult times, we fight tenaciously to get them the compensation they need to recover and move forward.
When oilfield workers seek damages from their employer for on-the-job accidents and injuries, even those caused by the employer’s negligence or violation of safety rules, they are often – but not always – limited to the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. But the sad reality for many oilfield workers is that getting these benefits is often a struggle, adding insult, frustration, and anxiety to their injuries. Like all insurance companies, the insurer providing workers’ compensation coverage to your employer wants to pay out as little as possible in claims. That means they may challenge your right to receive benefits. They might assert that you did not get injured on the job, that your injuries were pre-existing, that they aren’t as severe as you claim, or otherwise don’t warrant the amount of benefits you seek. Having an experienced oilfield injury lawyer who understands the nuances of the law is crucial to getting compensation aligned with your injuries.
Even when an employer provides all available workers’ compensation benefits, these benefits can be woefully inadequate when the injuries are catastrophic, the medical bills are astronomical, or a family loses a breadwinner. That is why, besides fighting for all the workers’ comp benefits to which our clients are entitled, we also pursue claims for compensation against any third parties that may be responsible for an accident.
An employer’s negligence isn’t the only reason behind many oilfield accidents. If a third-party other than your employer is at fault for your accident and injuries, you can seek damages from them in a civil personal injury lawsuit. The compensation available in such a lawsuit can far exceed workers’ compensation benefits and include damages for losses like pain and suffering, loss of consortium and companionship, and other elements of personal injury damages that are not included in workers’ compensation benefits.
Examples of third parties that may be responsible for an oilfield injury or death include:
- Contractors and subcontractors
- Rig owners and manufacturers
- Equipment manufacturers
- Trucking companies
- Vehicle manufacturers
Additionally, if your employer does not subscribe to workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. The oilfield injury attorneys at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman Injury Lawyers will help you navigate the complexities of the law.