Even with stringent safety training and appropriate gear, oil rig accidents still occur because oil extraction involves some of the most dangerous jobs available today. Unfortunately, families and workers are sometimes left to deal with the aftermath of injuries because they do not realize that they could be eligible for compensation.
Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, uses injections of pressurized fluid to cause rocks to crack in a way that encourages and economizes the extraction of petroleum or natural gases. This process requires large machinery and almost 40,000 gallons of chemicals (fracturing fluid) per site. Fracturing fluid can be made from a combination of almost 600 chemicals, some of which are known to be toxins or carcinogens, like mercury, formaldehyde, methanol, and radium. For rigs that do not employ fracking, there are still long shifts, combustible materials, and a high potential for injury.
Employee risks, besides those inherent with the operation of heavy equipment also include the dangers of drowning on offshore drilling locations and hearing impairment from the constant noise of the giant machinery. Explosions, exposure to harmful fumes, equipment collapse, and falls are just a few of the many causes of injuries that may occur in oil rig accidents. There is no doubt that this occupation is a perilous one, and sometimes it is negligence by owners or employee fatigue that causes oil rig accidents and injuries.
In the event of involvement with any oil rig accidents the wisest course of action is to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In fact, it is often best to find such an attorney before the need arises. Being aware of the options available as soon as possible is the best way to avoid later complications with payment of medical bills and statutes of limitations.
There are thousands of licensed lawyers available in each state, which can make the process of choosing someone to act as legal representation a long and arduous affair if one does not know what to look for. Finding an attorney with the right background can make all the difference; their knowledge and experience can help plaintiffs receive the help they need to recover from the accident without financial worries.
An attorney who is knowledgeable about oil rig accidents is likely to be well educated in laws relating to occupational safety and health, as well as personal injury. Someone with experience in handling oil rig related personal injury cases will have the most relevant legal advice. Sometimes lawyers have certifications in their specialties that required extra schooling or training to acquire.
Accidents and injuries that occur offshore may have to be handled differently than one that happens on land. The location can determine the jurisdiction and offshore incidents may be subject to being litigated under the Jones Act. Someone who is well versed in Admiralty and Maritime law would be an asset in this situation.
A family suing for the loss of a loved one is going to want someone with knowledge of Wrongful Death suits and some elementary experience with premises liability. The type of lawsuit will determine what area of law will be most helpful to have in an attorney’s background.
Whether it is a high profile case, like the Deepwater Horizon explosion that caused the BP petroleum spill, or a lesser known incident, there are lawyers who will do everything in their power to get their clients the recompense they deserve.