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Common Oilfield Injuries in Colorado

11/14/2021

The oil extraction and processing sector is a billion-dollar industry, ad provides employment for 5.6% of the US workforce. Given its strategic importance, this industry should offer optimal safe working conditions for oilfield workers and provide them with ample compensation benefits in case of workplace injuries. In reality, an injured worker has to fight against a powerful system that puts profits before safety. However, victims of oilfield accidents are not alone in this fight. An experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney at Firouzbakht Law Firm is always ready to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve for job injuries.

Oilfield accident lawyers know how difficult it is for an individual to fight against a giant company and how severely underreported oilfield injuries are. And we also know that justice will prevail if you trust us with your case and hire us to investigate the circumstances of your workplace injury and prepare your workers' compensation claim.

The Oil Industry - High Risk of Injury and Occupational Fatality Rate

four men in orange work uniform repair equipment

Oil extraction, processing and transport are very dangerous activities. Oil is one of the most flammable substances on earth and requires highly specialized safety regulations for each type of activity. Workers should receive training and safety equipment and their employers should strive to mitigate hazards.

In reality, according to the specialized publication E&E News, the oil industry has one of the highest risks of severe injuries for workers, exceeding even the rate of injury on construction sites. And statistical data shows that 127 oil field workers suffered fatal injuries in work-related accidents in 2019.

This number is a conservative one and does not reflect the full extent of work-related injuries in the oilfield industry, for several reasons:

  • oil field accident reporting is not compulsory by federal mandate
  • many injured employees are oil field truck drivers, not directly employed in oil extraction and processing
  • when accidents happen in remote areas, the injured worker is treated at a local hospital, far from the oil field site.

Often, oil workers are discouraged by their employers to give full and truthful details to accident investigators and insurance adjusters concerning their work-related injury. For this reason, in order to obtain adequate compensation, we encourage you to hire an oilfield accident injury lawyer in Colorado to represent you, prepare your injury claim and negotiate your workers' comp settlement..

The Leading Causes of Oilfield Injuries

Looking over the detailed data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational fatalities in the oilfield sector were caused by:

  • transportation accidents - 66 cases
  • contact with object or equipment - 18 cases
  • exposure to dangerous substances or environment - 15 cases
  • slip & falls - 14 cases
  • fires and explosions - 9 cases.

However, there are several underlying causes for these types of accidents that led to workers' death. Many workers receive inadequate training (sometimes, there is an almost complete lack of training) and are not provided with safety equipment. When they operate poorly maintained heavy machinery they risk suffering severe injuries or wrongful death by crushing or by electrical shock. An oil truck accident can lead to catastrophic injuries for the driver and potentially other drivers involved in the crash ranging from severe burns to loss of limb or other permanent disability (loss of vision).

Thus, lack of experience, lack of proper safety procedures, lack of supervision and malfunctioning equipment represent the core leading causes of severe and fatal occupational injuries in oil drilling companies. According to a research paper focused on occupational exposures in the gas and oil industry, new employees and small oil companies present the highest risk of fatal workplace accidents.

What Are the Common Injuries in the Oil and Gas Extraction Industry

As we showed above, the oil and gas drilling sector has the highest average injury rate among workers compared to other industries. It also holds an unfortunate leading place for fatal oilfield injuries among other occupational hazards. Unfortunately, due to the specific nature of the work, common injuries in oil field related accidents range from severe to catastrophic.

A simple comparison presented in a research paper indicates that motor vehicle accidents in the oil sector have a fatality rate of 7.6 deaths per 100,000 workers, while other private wage and salary drivers have a rate of only 0.9 motor vehicle fatalities per 100,000 workers..

In our experience as oilfield accident attorneys, most of these occupational accidents in this industry result in:

  • severe burns
  • head injury
  • eye injuries
  • traumatic brain injury
  • intoxication with various dangerous substances that exceed the safe exposure limits
  • loss of limb and internal organ damage due to heavy machinery accidents.

These injuries require intensive and specialized medical treatments until you reach the point of maximum recovery. In some cases, the injuries are so severe that they leave a permanent impairment. The patient is left with a reduced capacity of working or is unable to resume work at all. An experienced accident injury attorney will calculate the fair compensation you deserve for your oil field injuries.

Man in orange jump suite poses for picture on an oil rig

Reasons to Hire an Oilfield Accident Attorney

As we explained above, most companies in the oil and gas industry tend to underreport labor incidents. This means that many workers are denied their workers' comp claim. Insurance companies will not pay benefits if they cannot determine the complete circumstances of a labor incident. When someone is left with a permanent injury and does not even get financial relief, what is to be done?

The answer is: hire an experienced accident injury attorney. A personal injury law firm has the know-how and the resources to fight big oil companies and win the fair compensation their workers deserve if they were injured on the job.

A Colorado oilfield injury lawyer will:

Discover the Full Details of Your Accident

Your employer may try to cover up your accident, but an astute accident attorney will find out what really happened. Using your own story, various sources of information (witness statements, medical records), the attorney will prove that the responsible company did not give sufficient importance to safety issues or was otherwise negligent.

Negligence is the core principle of personal injury law.. If someone was negligent to a person to whom they owed a duty of care, the injured person has the right to obtain compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. Moreover, since the state of Colorado uses the comparative negligence principle (Colorado Revised Statutes 13-21-111) in establishing eligibility to recover damages, you are entitled to  compensation benefits even if you were partly at fault for your injuries, as long as the proportion of fault is less than 50%

Estimate Your Total Damages

How much did you lose as a result of your oilfield accident? Even common types of accidents of this kind require spending a long time in hospital and then recovering at home. During this period, you accumulate hospital bills, various other medical costs and do not receive your wages.

All these are so-called economic damages. What about your pain and suffering? You deserve compensation for your emotional trauma, physical pain and loss of quality of life if you are left disfigured or with a permanent injury. An experienced oil field accident lawyer will know exactly what types of damages you can include in your claim and estimate other future cost you will incur for:

  • physical therapy and counseling
  • professional rehabilitation
  • loss of future incomes (if you are unable to work)
  • assistive devices (wheelchair, walking frame)
  • modifications to your home
  • life care services.

Negotiate Your Claim

Personal injury attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating with employers and with insurance companies. They cannot be intimidated or tricked by the tactics they use with injury victims in order to minimize their compensation amount.

We know the law and we know your rights and how much you lost as a result of the workplace accident. In some cases, we may identify other potential responsible parties, such as the manufacturer of a defective product or other third parties. This will give us more opportunities to maximize your compensation settlement.

Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm that Provides Exceptional Service to Clients!

At Firouzbakht Law Firm, our business vision is to put clients at the heart of our work. We believe that everyone deserves justice, no matter how powerful the other party is. As an injured worker, you are in pain, traumatized by the experience, and worried about your chances of recovery. Thus, you are in no capacity to estimate a fair compensation amount and fight for it.

Large oil rig in the ocean

This is what we do - we fight on behalf of accident victims and we make sure that they can at least get financial recovery for families and their own wellbeing, if not their full health and capacity to work and enjoy life.

We know that oilfield injuries can happen at all times, so we are available for a free consultation 24/7. We also work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will not ask you to shell out money for our fees out of your already reduced family budget. Instead, we will get our fees after we win your case, out of the compensation amount we negotiated for you. Call us now: 303-529-1722!

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