As a resident of Texas, you know that rich deposits of oil and gas exist in certain regions. In fact, in recent years, the state has seen a surge in drilling, which creates jobs. Unfortunately, along with an increase in various job opportunities in the oil and gas extraction business, there also appears to be an increase in fatal work accidents, many involving negligence or defective equipment.
It's important to know that if you work in the oil and gas industry, the Department of Labor classifies your job as a type of mining work. Therefore, when you see statistics such as the fact that in 2010, 45 workers died in mining accidents in Texas, you should know that those numbers include people working in the oil and gas industry.
Some of these deaths occurred on drilling rigs while others happened in work-related accidents on well sites. Federal regulators, employers and workers themselves express deep concern regarding the rising death toll, and various projects designed to reduce fatalities in the industry are underway.
Stats on fatal injuries
To better understand the types of accidents we are talking about, let's look at some of the fatal accidents that have occurred on drilling sites in the first years of the 21st Century:
- In 2007, a rig worker suffered a horrific death when a cable made of steel cut his body in half.
- Three years later, another worker died when equipment dislodged, swung around and hit him, causing fatal injuries.
- Gas and oil can rise at very high pressures causing various types of debris to hit workers. These types of incidents occur so frequently that the Department of Labor classifies them as "struck by" accidents.
- Between 2003 and 2008, nearly 700 Texas workers died in oil and gas industry accidents.
Such tragedies can devastate a family. Grief-stricken families often encounter severe financial strain due to the loss of a breadwinner's income. Many spouses and other immediate family members seek justice on behalf of their loved ones when they believe that another party's negligent actions caused their deaths. Successful claims often lead to compensation that helps families restore financial stability in the aftermath of serious workplace accidents.
When filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one, establishing liability on the part of the defendant or defendants can be challenging. For this and other reasons, families of fatal accident victims should seek representation from an experienced personal injury attorney who will aggressively seek maximum compensation.