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The Most Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents and Your Legal Rights After an Oilfield Injury

Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents and Your Legal Rights
Land drilling rig.

Undefeated Texas Oilfield Accident and Injury Lawyers

Texas is the largest oil-producing state in the U.S. with nearly two billion barrels produced each year. The level of oilfield activity and production is a big reason why Texas oilfield workers are at the highest statistical risk of suffering a catastrophic injury in an oilfield accident. For example, every single year, more than 100 oilfield and gas workers tragically lose their lives in Texas oilfields. If that was not bad enough, thousands more oilfield workers suffer catastrophic injuries.

Our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers have decades of experience successfully representing injured Texas oilfield workers and their families, recovering Billions and consistently winning record-breaking verdicts and settlements – including the #1 Largest Oilfield Accident Settlement for an individual in U.S. history.  

The success that we’ve achieved for oil field workers has provided us with the resources, knowledge, and experience to take on the largest oil companies in the world and ensure that our clients are fully compensated for all their injuries and losses. 

Most Common Types of Oilfield Accidents in Texas

There are a number of reasons that Texas oil and gas workers experience a disproportionately high rate of worksite injuries. Causes of major oilfield accidents range from lack of training to defective drilling equipment and human error. 

According to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the following are the most common causes of oil and gas workplace injuries.

  • Crushing, Struck By, and Caught Accidents: Some of the most common types of oilfield accidents resulting in injuries (three out of every five reported oilfield injuries, to be exact) are caused by an oilfield worker being crushed, struck by, and caught between an object. This is because oil and gas equipment often contains numerous pinch points, increasing the chance for workers to be caught and crushed. For example, a crushing accident may occur when an equipment operator inadvertently backs into, and pins, a co-worker. Another common scenario is an equipment operator striking another worker with a moving crane. Unguarded or neglected belt wheels, hoist blocks, conveyors, pumps, top drives, and other equipment also have the potential to cause debilitating crushing injuries that could leave an oilfield worker permanently damaged. 
  • Workplace Vehicle and Transportation Accidents: many people are surprised to learn that motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of serious injury and death to oil rig workers across Texas and the United States. In fact, nearly half of all oil workers who lost their life while on the job died in transport-related accidents either traveling to, or traveling from, the worksite. 
  • Blowouts, Explosions, and Fires: Oil and gas are volatile, combustible and extremely flammable. As a result, oilfield and oil rig workers are at significant risk of suffering devastating injuries  due to sudden blowouts, explosions, and fires. Workers who suffer serious oilfield burn injuries often require numerous skin graft operations and require months of hospitalization and physical and occupational therapy. Oilfield burn victims are also at a substantially increased risk of future medical complications, including heat strokes and skin cancer.
  • Pressurized Equipment Failures: Compressed gasses and deteriorating pipelines are known to cause sudden pressurized equipment failures and, as a result, lead to sudden bursts and explosions. Defective (or poorly maintained) oil rig equipment has the potential to unexpectedly blow under pressure. This can create flying debris and shrapnel that can severely injure nearby workers. Many equipment failure accidents are caused by drill site owners and operators failing to properly follow mandatory safety and maintenance guidelines. 

Figuring Out the Cause of Oilfield Accidents

When an oilfield accident occurs, state and federal officials will often conduct an investigation to determine the cause. The investigative reports created by agencies, such as OSHA, are not admissible in an oilfield accident lawsuit, but they can be used to help determine whether an injured worker has grounds to take legal action against their employer and/or a third party for their harms and losses. 

Oilfield accident causes may include: 

  • Lack of training and worker fatigue caused by long shifts and lack of proper rest periods;
  • Improper maintenance of drilling equipment;
  • Insufficient safeguards at the worksite or refinery facility;
  • Failure to comply with company and industry safety regulations, like those from the American Petroleum Institute; 
  • Defective equipment; and
  • Lack of safety and emergency protocols (or protocols that were neglected by supervisors). 

Injured in an Oilfield Accident? Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation

Having represented hundreds of oil field workers across the country who were seriously injured in connection with the most serious oilfield accidents and explosions in history, our oil field injury lawyers know what evidence to look for, the tricks operators try to use to avoid responsibility, and how to ensure our clients and their families recover the maximum compensation possible for their injuries and losses.

If you or a loved one were injured in an oilfield accident or oil rig explosion, contact our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers for a free consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or by clicking here

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Following an Oilfield Accident Injury

Texas does not require that employers carry workers’ compensation insurance. Nevertheless, a majority of oil and gas companies maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy. To access workers’ compensation benefits, an injured oilfield worker is typically required to submit an injury report to their employer within thirty days following an oilfield accident.

It is important to understand that, in exchange for the limited benefits provided by worker’s comp, you give up your right to sue your employer, either directly or vicariously, for personal injury damages. 

Recovering Your Full Damages Through an Oilfield Personal Injury Lawsuit

Injured oilfield workers will often be able to file an oilfield personal injury lawsuit against any third-parties and contractors that caused or contributed to their injuries.

Unlike workers compensation, which only covers a small fraction of the injured worker’s lost wages, a personal injury lawsuit enables the injured worker to recover all their damages and losses. Recoverable damages and losses include past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and their non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and physical impairment. 

Ultimately, whether an injured oilfield worker has the legal right to file an oilfield personal injury lawsuit will depend on a number of factors, including the cause of the accident, which companies are responsible, and the state where the accident occurred. 

To properly assess your legal rights and options, schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced and respected our Houston oilfield accident lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 or by using the “contact” form on this page. 

Damages Available in Oil and Gas Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you or a loved one were injured while working in the oilfield, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties will provide your best chance at full compensation. 

In Texas, for example, oilfield personal injury lawsuits allow the injured party, or the family of a worker who was killed, to recover both “economic” and “non-economic” damages. 

Economic damages include::

  • Past and future medical expenses;
  • Past and future lost income, including diminished earning capacity or a complete loss of earning capacity due to a disability caused by the oilfield accident; and/or
  • Loss of past and future financial support for any family members who were financially dependent on the injured worker 

In oilfield accident lawsuits, the economic damages are often substantial because, unfortunately, many oilfield accident victims suffer serious, debilitating bodily injuries that can prevent them from returning to their high paying jobs.

In addition to economic damages, oilfield accident lawsuits in Texas also allow the injured oil field workers torecover “non-economic” damages,” which include:

  • Past and future damages for any emotional suffering associated with your injuries;
  • Past and future damages for the injured worker’s physical pain and suffering; 
  • Past and future damages for the injured worker’s loss of enjoyment of life; and/or 
  • Past and future damages for the injured worker’s physical disfigurement or physical disability as a result of the accident.

Secure Your Future: Contact Our Undefeated Oilfield Accident Lawyers at 1-888-603-3636 

With Billions in settlements and verdicts and the #1 largest oilfield accident recoveries in US history, our Oilfield Accident Injury Lawyers have repeatedly shown that we don’t just win for injured oilfield workers — we set records.

If you or a loved one were injured in the oil field, call 1-888-603-3636, use the chat form on our website, or send us a confidential email through our Contact Form.

We’ll answer your questions, explain your rights and options, and provide you with the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.

All consultations are free and completely confidential, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.