Texas oil country can be dangerous. There are many incidents that can cause injury, and those injuries can be catastrophic in nature. With the expansion of operations into the Permian Basin and other areas, the risks have increased. Even when activity is low, some risks remain high for workers.
What are some common types of oilfield accidents?
There are many, ranging from problems with the land and premises to defective equipment and human error or negligence. Oilfield workers can be injured in incidents involving:
- Motor vehicle accidents, either in the fields or transporting materials
- Oilfield, pipeline and refinery fires
- Explosions and chemical fires
- Well blowouts
- Exposure to sulfur hydroxide fumes
- Exposure to toxic chemicals used in fracking
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Trench collapses
- Fallen objects
- Caught-between or crushing accidents
- Equipment failure
The reasons for these accidents range from mere fatigue, often caused by long shifts and lack of proper rest periods, to improper maintenance of drills or exploration equipment. There may be insufficient safeguards at the site or refinery facility. There may be a lack of safety regulations and emergency protocols.
The dangers are everywhere. Although there have been some improvements over the years, thousands of people are injured in oilfield accidents every year.
Could I have a legal claim beyond workers’ compensation?
You very well may. Most oil and gas workers who are injured on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp covers injuries that were caused by someone in your own company, and there can be many companies involved at an oilfield site.
For example, you may have a personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ comp claim if another crew was responsible for a trench that collapsed. Or, you might have a personal injury claim if you were backed over by a trucker who was delivering materials to the site. Or, you might have an additional claim if a power tool malfunctioned and injured you.
Therefore, it is very important for you to discuss your situation with a personal injury attorney. You could be due personal injury damages as a result of your injuries. Work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience in oilfield accidents in Texas to gain a better understanding of your options.