An oilfield accident can happen to anyone working in the gas and oil production or extraction process. It is a dangerous industry where risk of injury is high. Suffering a cataclysmic injury is common resulting in loss of limbs, sight, or life. Those affected by such tragedies have a right for financial compensation, and a qualified personal injury attorney can assist the person or family in regaining financial stability.
Common accidents are blowouts, explosions, falls, and exposure to toxic chemicals. They can be triggered by co-workers or non-employees, poor maintenance and upkeep, and sleep deprivation. Some procedures, such as fracking, are dangerous. Fracking is a process that breaks into shale rock to release the gas inside, and it often leads to serious injury or death to the workers.
An oilfield accident often leads to a severe injury. Broken necks, limbs, and backs can happen because of falls, and chemical fires and spills can cause severe burns that can maim, scar, or even kill. Equipment malfunction and electrocution can lead to serious head injury that can affect the quality of life or cause a loss of life. Short term and long term exposure to toxic gases and chemicals can have long lasting, negative impacts on living day to day, and sometimes, they can even cause birth defects.
Regardless of the reason, the worker should not be left worrying about supporting a family while trying to recover from the injury. Some of the injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, and the companies usually understand the severity of the risk and injury. When an injury or death occurs they will often rush to be “supportive” offering to compensate the family. However, this show of support may not be all that it seems.
Think twice before signing anything without first contacting an attorney, and remember, even if forms were signed, the worker may still be able to obtain compensation. However, it is more difficult once the release from liability form has been signed.
Why contact an attorney after an oilfield accident if the company is offering compensation?
If the company is offering compensation it understands it is responsible for the injury. When the person accepts the compensation there is a series of forms that will be signed before receiving the monies. The forms release the company from any further reliability. That big check may seem fine at first, and then the reality sets in. That check doesn’t even cover the cost of the medical bills, and now the person has to live with a permanent disability that will keep him or her from working. That initial check sure doesn’t go far.
How soon after the incident should an attorney be contacted?
In any oilfield accident, the employee should immediately consider contacting a qualified attorney. While some companies may offer compensation (in exchange for a release from liability), many other companies simply refuse to acknowledge the incident. An attorney can evaluate each situation, and make a decision whether or not the company should be held liable for the injury. The attorney usually does not get paid unless the client wins, so the attorney chooses cases wisely.
An oilfield accident can cost a person a lot of money due to hospital bills and lost wages. There is nothing to lose by contacting a qualified lawyer or firm that specializes in such litigation. The lawyer will know if there is a possible civil case. There is nothing to lose, and a win can pay for potential lost wages and medical bills incurred due to no fault of the worker.