When To Hire an Oilfield Accident Lawyer (2024)

Reviewed By Adam Ramirez, J.D.


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Whether you work onshore in an oilfield or offshore on an oil rig, your work comes with significant risks. If you’ve been injured in an oilfield accident, legal representation can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

In this article, we’ll guide you through how oilfield accident injuries occur and when you may be eligible for compensation. We’ll also share tips to help you find the best oil rig accident lawyer to handle your case.

Understanding Oilfield Accidents

Oilfield accidents can be devastating, leading to severe injuries or even fatalities. These incidents often result from equipment failures, explosions, falls, or other hazardous conditions. Even driving oil tankers between locations puts you at higher risk. Poor road conditions and fatigued driving can cause dangerous truck accidents.

Let’s take a look at the most common injuries for oil and gas industry workers, and the safety regulations intended to limit injury risk.

Common Oilfield Injuries And Oil Rig Injuries

Injuries from working in the oil and gas industry can be severe, or even fatal. According to the CDC, at least 470 industry workers died on the job between 2014 and 2019. The types of injuries most commonly experienced include:

  • Burns. Explosions and fires are a significant risk due to the presence of flammable materials. These accidents can cause severe burns.
  • Fractures and crush injuries. Heavy machinery and equipment can cause fractures or crush injuries if they malfunction or are improperly handled.
  • Head and spinal injuries. Falls from heights or being struck by equipment can result in traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
  • Chemical exposure. Limited or long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals can lead to a host of health conditions, including respiratory issues and skin diseases. An example of chemical exposure health conditions can be found in AFFF foam cancer.

Health & Safety Regulations in Oilfield Workplaces

In all U.S. states, employers are required to follow regulations set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA regulations require safety protocols, equipment maintenance, and emergency response procedures. These regulations also apply to offshore oil rigs in many circumstances. An oil rig lawyer can help you determine which protections apply in your workplace.

Oilfield accidents sometimes occur when health and safety procedures are not followed correctly. If you have been injured due to unsafe work conditions, you may be entitled to oil injury compensation. Fill out the form on this page to connect with an oilfield injury attorney near you.

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Steps To Take After An Oilfield Accident

What should you do right after an oilfield accident? Follow these steps to protect yourself or any others who have suffered an injury.

  • Seek medical attention. Your first consideration should be taking care of your health. Once past any emergency needs for treatment, continue medical treatment as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Notify your employer. Report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. In most states, you are required to report workplace injuries swiftly to be eligible for a workers’ comp settlement.
  • Document the incident. Evidence of the accident can improve your claim success. Useful documentation includes: photos of your injuries and the accident scene, medical records and receipts, and any emails or other documents showing safety concerns prior to the accident.
  • Consult a lawyer. A qualified oilfield accident attorney can help you navigate your injury claim and identify liable parties. Initial consultation meetings are often free.

Fill out the form on this page for a free case consultation.

Oilfield and Oil Rig Accident Compensation

You may be eligible for compensation after a work injury. Some injuries will qualify you for workers’ compensation, while others may be suitable for a personal injury lawsuit. Even in cases covered by workers’ compensation, there are sometimes third parties responsible for compensating you for your injuries.Speaking with a personal injury lawyer familiar with the oil and gas industry can help you determine which path suits your case.

The types of personal injury settlement compensation you may be eligible for include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Disability
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering

Time Limit to File an Oilfield Injury Lawsuit

It is vital that you act on your claim before it expires. The statute of limitations is a state law that defines how long you have to file an oilfield injury lawsuit. It can vary from one year to six years from the date of injury or date you became aware of the injury. Here is the deadline for some of the states where oilfield injury claims are most common:

State Statute of limitations
Texas2 years
Oklahoma2 years
New Mexico3 years
North Dakota6 years
Wyoming4 years

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How To Find the Best Oilfield Accident Lawyer

Hiring an oilfield injury lawyer or oil rig accident attorney can help protect your rights while you focus on healing and getting back to work. Choosing the right lawyer for your case is vital to securing the best outcome possible. Here are some traits and tips to keep an eye on:

  • Oilfield expertise. You already know that oilfield work is unique. Be sure to work with a lawyer who understands the nature of your work and the laws that apply in your industry.
  • Reputation. Research reviews or request testimonials to see whether their prior clients would recommend you choose them.
  • Communication. Ask how they will keep you updated and what their process is for responding when you have questions.
  • Consultation. Take advantage of a free consultation to gauge how a lawyer will approach your case.

Fill out the form on this page to start your free case consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Over 40% of severe oilfield injuries impact the upper extremities. 86.1% of those upper extremity injuries involve the hands.

  • When a loved one dies in an oilfield accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances, you might receive a payment from your loved ones’ workers’ compensation coverage. In cases where third parties are to blame, a wrongful death claim may also be appropriate.

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