The increased demand for crude oil and natural gas have created a marked increase in drilling activity in the U.S. oil and gas industry. Particularly, the demand for oil has created an oil boom that has affected the Texas Permian Basin. The Permian Basin oil boom has led to an increase in workplace gas and oilfield accident injuries. Additionally, only 2% of Texans live in the Permian Basin, however, the area accounts for 11% of all traffic accidents in the state. If you or a loved one were injured in an oil field accident, explosion or trucking crash, you must start taking steps to protect your rights. Your employer and its insurance adjusters may attempt to discard relevant evidence and take other measures to limit your ability to hold the company accountable. A qualified oil field accident injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The Carlson Law Firm has been helping victims of workplace injuries for more than 40 years. We can help you navigate the legal hurdles that may exist for injured on the job workers in their recovery process. A qualified legal representative from our team is ready to assist you through the process from start to finish.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an oil field accident, don’t wait to contact The Carlson Law Firm. Our team of attorneys will fight for your rights when you have sustained injuries in accidents that were caused by no fault of your own.
Oil Field Accidents: By The Numbers
The oil industry is vital to the economy in the state of Texas. Oil rig and exploration companies employ many individuals and provide the potential for advancement and security. Unfortunately, these jobs can also be extremely dangerous.
From 2012 to 2016, the U.S. oil and gas industry (both onshore and offshore combined) had a collective fatality rate that was seven times higher than the rate for all U.S. workers combined. Between 2008 and 2017, 1,566 oilfield workers lost their lives while on the job.
In 2012 alone, 65 gas and oilfield workers lost their lives in the course of doing their jobs. These stats mark a 50% increase over the year before and a ten year high in the state of Texas. On top of those deaths, there were over 18,000 amputations, broken bones, explosion injuries, burns, cuts, and other injuries reported in Texas oil and gas fields in the last five years.
A year-long investigative report by the Houston Chronicle found that safety standards and procedures have not been enforced at Texas oil fields for over 20 years. Safety violations occurred in 78% of reported accidents, many of which could have been prevented with better equipment and processes.
Why are oilfield jobs so dangerous?
Even with proper safety and training, oilfields are inherently dangerous places. To do the job, workers need to move between large and heavy equipment. Additionally, the men and women who work on the oilfields are working around dangerous, hazardous substances. These combustible substances can lead to explosions. For other offshore oilrigs, the element of working in the middle of the ocean presents its own set of risks.
But these jobs often come with salaries that exceed $100,000—making them highly sought jobs.
What are the most dangerous jobs in the oilfield?
While all oilfield work is dangerous, three jobs stand out as being the most dangerous:
- Oil field driver. Driving in the oilfields is an alluring profession because of the pay. Often, oilfield exemptions from highway rules allow oilfield drivers to work longer hours than other drivers. This means that oilfield drivers’ shifts can be as long as 20 hours or more. Operating heavy vehicles while tired can lead to fatal crashes. Additionally, poorly maintained trucks lead to more crashes for oil and gas workers.
- Derrick Hand. This position has a responsibility to monitor the drill pipe as it is inserted and extracted from a drilling hole. The derrick hand is responsible for fixing any problems that may arise such as equipment jams. The reason this position is so risky is because they are often dealing with extreme weather conditions, heights and long hours. Any mistake made can lead to injury or death.
- Roustabout. These are entry-level positions who need very little technical knowledge to carry out strenuous physical labor in extreme, unpredictable weather conditions. Roustabouts work on the front lines of the petroleum industry.
Oil and gas workers are at the highest risk of serious injuries on the job, above all other professions. If you or a loved one was injured or killed while on the job, contact a Carlson Law Firm oil field accident injury lawyer.
Oil Field Accident Dangers
Oil companies profit when worksites operate around the clock. But heavy machinery, truck traffic, and cramped working conditions pose a variety of accident dangers to workers.
Oilfield injuries range from mild to severe. Common injuries include:
- Severe burns
- Broken bones, backs, and necks from falls,
- Head injuries from falling equipment,
- Loss of limbs from explosions of defective equipment,
- Exposure to toxic chemicals, gasses
Wrongful death claims can occur by:
- Faulty electrical equipment
- Work rig collapses
- Falls from rigs and equipment
- Frac tank mishaps
- Well blowouts
- Explosions and fires
- Improperly maintained equipment
Filing a lawsuit against responsible parties can sometimes be the best way to recover your damages from an oil field accident or injury claim. Depending on your situation, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the following parties:
- the oil or gas company
- an oil refinery equipment manufacturer
- a third-party claim against an oil field maintenance contractor
- other parties identified through the investigation
Contact a qualified oil field accident injury lawyer to discuss your claim.
Oil Field Transportation Accidents
Most oilfield deaths are related to transportation, especially when workers drive from one job site to another on unsafe rural roads. About 4 out of every ten deaths on the job occur as a result of vehicle collisions. Employers are responsible for protecting workers by enforcing driver safety policies and developing work schedules to avoid the dangers associated with driver fatigue.
Texas Permian Basin Trucking Crashes
The Texas Permian Basin is the home of some of the nation’s most productive oil fields. As the area booms with oil, it has also become home some of the deadliest roads in the country. Only 2% of Texans live in the Permian Basin. However, the area accounts for 11% of all traffic fatalities in the state.
The area is becoming so deadly, that one of the main roads used in the area to carry supplies has earned the nickname Death Highway. Route 285 has had a 43% increase in crashes since 2012.
The oil boom has led to truckers now clogging once rural roads with large trucks helmed by inexperienced drivers because of a driver shortage. Also, truck drivers are often working 14-hour shifts or speeding along the highways to make specific deadlines.
Contact With Objects And Equipment On Oil Fields
Three out of five fatalities on well sites occur as a result of hazards associated with workers being struck, caught in or between moving vehicles or equipment, high-pressure lines and falling equipment. Cranes, derricks, hoists, and other heavy equipment pose risks to workers on the job. Everyday oilfield activities such as moving pipes, site clearing, transporting heavy loads and movements around pressurized lines, also pose a serious risk.
Oil Field Fires And Explosions
Oil field workers are put at risk every day by flammable gases and vapors. Explosions can occur when these gasses are released from the following:
- Shale shakers
- And other production or surface equipment
Fires and explosions can start when these materials come into contact with things such as lightning, static, cigarettes, welding and cutting tools, open flames, electrical sources, or even hot surfaces. Employers can prevent catastrophic injuries to workers by conducting fire risk assessments, enforcing work safety guidelines, and through the adoption of engineering controls.
If you suffered an explosion injury on the job, contact a qualified oil field accident injury lawyer.
Oil Field Fall Injuries
Oil and gas workers often have to perform their job duties in locations high off the ground, which makes them more vulnerable to injuries associated with falls. Falls from drilling platforms, elevated equipment, and the mast can cause serious and life-threatening injuries.
What To Do After An Oil Field Accident Injury
An on the job accident can be confusing. But you must remain mindful of what you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Further, it is vital that you
- Stop working immediately.
- Report your injury as soon as possible.
- Ask for immediate medical treatment.
- Do not give a formal statement, sign any paperwork, or accept any money from the company (besides your normal paycheck) prior to speaking with an experienced oil field injury lawyer.
- Contact an experienced Oil Field Accident Lawyer as soon as possible.
You Are Not Alone When You’ve Got Oil Field Accident Injury Lawyer On Your Side
When working conditions, faulty equipment, or the negligence of others leaves you hurt and facing a mountain of bills, you should not have to bear the burden alone. Our team of experienced attorneys will stand by you and stand up for your rights every step of the way.
We represent a wide variety of oil field accident victims, including workers who:
- Suffer broken bones, head or spinal injuries.
- Develop occupational illnesses.
- Are seriously injured due to defective equipment.
Can My Employer Be Held Responsible For My Oil Field Injury?
The answer is yes. There are rules in place that businesses must follow due to the guidelines set in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state and federal regulations. When employers fail to uphold these standards, they can be held liable for any injuries. The job of an oil field accident injury lawyer from The Carlson Law Firm is to know these standards and to prove that your employer didn’t meet them.
Speak to a compassionate member of our legal staff today and find out how we can help.
How Much Does An Oil Field Injury Attorney Cost To Hire?
After an injury, we want you to focus on one thing, and one thing only: moving forward. We don’t want you to worry about how you will be able to afford legal assistance while trying to heal. This is why The Carlson Law Firm operates on a contingency fee agreement. This means you’ll only pay if we recover compensation for you. Our firm will pay for all of the expenses of your case upfront. Further, if we win, our payment will come from the recovery, not out of your pocket.
Timing Is Crucial — Contact Oil Field Accident Injury Lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm Today
Any delay in obtaining information or gathering evidence could hurt your claim. These claims are often complicated because of the possibility of making third-party personal injury claims against trucking companies. You may also be able to bring a claim against others who work alongside the oil industry. For these reasons, immediately contacting an experienced oil field accident injury lawyer is essential.
Why Choose Carlson Law Firm Oil Field Accident Injury Lawyer
Oilfield injury litigation is extremely complex, requiring specialized knowledge about the industry, equipment, personnel roles, company roles, and more. Our experience as oil field accident injury lawyers in numerous oilfield cases gives us an advantage when handling oilfield cases. We know the relationships between the different parties that are present at a site. We understand the terminology and jargon specific to that industry.
If you suffered an oilfield injury, contact an oil field accident injury lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm. We can help you determine your legal options and your next step. A member of our team is available to speak with you 24/7. A consultation with The Carlson Law Firm is always free.