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Denver Oilfield Injury Lawyer

Oil rig accidents, though infrequent, are disastrous. Learn about the types, causes, liabilities, fatality figures, and role of a Denver oilfield injury lawyer.

An oil rig accident doesn’t happen as frequently as traffic accidents. However, they do occur, and when they do can cause a wide variety of injuries. It could be a catastrophic injury or a fatality. Either way, if an oil field worker suffers a common injury on the oil field, they can file a field injury claim. To win adequate compensation, such an accident victim requires aggressive representation. So, it’s excellent news that the Firouzbakht Law Firm can offer its services to clients with valid claims.

What Are the Common Types of Oilfield Accidents?

Denver Oilfield Injury Lawyer

Many kinds of accidents could happen in an oil drilling facility. The wide range of mishaps almost trumps those of traffic accidents. Some oil rig accidents that occur often include:

  • Slip and Falls: Oil rig platforms can get slippery because of the liquid and semi-solid substances involved in oil exploration. This can make employees slip and fall while working. That’s why it’s essential to wear protective gear while working at sea. 
  • Crush Injuries: Heavy drilling equipment can fall on a worker and crush their skin and bones. This is a severe kind of accident and can easily result in disabilities. 
  • Blowouts: Blowouts occur because of drilling into high-pressure zones. If the driller cannot relieve the pressure, oil and gas can gush out of the well, resulting in significant injuries. 
  • Transportation Accidents: Many oil and gas industry accidents occur during the transportation of the product. This class of dangers can be just as dangerous as accidents on the oil rig platform.

Some other types of accidents include:

  • Oil field fires and explosions
  • Oil well accidents
  • Drilling and fracking accidents
  • Hazardous materials poisoning

What Are the Common Oil Rig Injuries?

Where an employer fails to provide a safe workplace, oil rig accidents are almost bound to happen. Any oil rig accident can cause multiple types of injuries. These wounds are similar to those of motor vehicle accidents. Personal injuries to look out for include: 

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Loss of limb
  • Finger injury
  • Burn injury
  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Respiratory injuries
  • Amputations
  • Nerve damage
  • Internal injuries and organ damage

An excellent field injury attorney can get you a fair settlement if you have any of these injuries. 

How Many People Have Died From Oil Rig Accidents?

You don’t see an oilfield accident every day. You may even live your entire life without witnessing an oil rig accident. This is because the drilling rigs for the oil and gas industry are pretty far from residential areas. Many times the accidents occur far away at sea. Therefore, to know how many deaths oil rig accidents have caused, we must rely on statistics. 

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics factsheet for April 2010 gives us an insight into the oil and gas industry fatalities. The fact sheet shows that in 2008, 120 people in the oil and gas extraction industry suffered a fatal workplace injury. Below is a breakdown of the three most important classes of these oil field accidents.

  • 41% were transportation accidents
  • 25% resulted from contact with objects and heavy machinery
  • 15% were caused by fires or were an explosion injury

The number of fire and explosion fatalities rose from 10 in 2007 to 18 in 2008. The CDC’s analysis of BLS statistics above for 2003 - 2013 showed a 27.6% increase in work-related fatalities within this period. During this time, the oil and gas extraction industry recorded about 1,189 deaths. Finally, it’s noteworthy that more than 50% of the injured workers were from companies that service wells. 

What Are the Causes of Oil Rig Accidents?

Oil rig accidents don’t just happen. There are human actions and other factors that result in accidents. They include: 

  • Bad Weather Conditions: Terrible weather conditions can result in severe accidents. For instance, hurricanes and storms can cause flooding, sinking, or capsizing rigs on the high seas. 
  • Collisions: Collisions on the high seas can be pretty dangerous. Depending on the objects involved, it might even be fatal. Vessel collisions can result in flooding and leaks. A leakage can then result in an explosion with fires.
  • Defective Equipment: As with every endeavor, inadequate oil drilling equipment is bound to cause accidents at some point. The machinery can malfunction at any time and endanger the lives of the operatives using the equipment. 
  • Poor Safety: The owners of oil rigs, landowners, and employers of labor must take adequate safety precautions. Especially, offshore drilling requires special care because of the highly combustible nature of the substances on site. Safety gear and protocols must be in place to protect employees. The workers must also abide by the safety regulations. 
Oil drill

Who Can You Sue for Oil Rig Injuries in Colorado?

A personal injury claim in the oil and gas industry can arise in different ways. Depending on how exactly the injury occurs, you can claim against other people too. It’s essential to know who’s responsible for your oil rig mishap. If you sue the wrong person, you’ll end up wasting time and resources. 

Your Employer

If you suffer any type of injury from an oilfield accident, you can get workers' compensation benefits from your employer. Colorado law requires that employers who have more than one employee take out workers' compensation insurance for them. The law covers all employees, including part-time workers.

Alternatively, your trial attorney can sue some of the other persons below.

  • Contractors and Subcontractors: If a real person working for a company that isn’t your employer injures you, you can institute an action against that person and their employer. 
  • The Landowner: Landowners can also be responsible for oil accidents. This will be the case where their premises was in a harmful condition, and they did nothing to improve the safety of the workers.
  • Transportation Companies: If you suffer an injury because of oil transportation, you can sue the trucking or shipping company. You may even proceed against the vehicle or vessel manufacturer or some other third party.

Is There a Time Limit for Filing Oil Rig Accident Claims?

Most civil lawsuits have a time frame in which plaintiffs must bring them. For instance, you don’t have forever to sue the fault party in most personal injury cases. You must initiate your claim within a definite time frame.

However, does the Statute of Limitations apply to oil rig accidents in Denver too? Yes, it does. If your oil field injury happened in Denver, you must file your personal injury claim within two years. This two-year period starts to count from the date of the wound. 

Statute of Limitations for Claims Under the Jones Act

The Merchant Maritime Act of 1920 (Jones Act) is a federal statute covering certain maritime accidents. Only seamen and sailors who spend at least 30% of their work period on a US vessel in navigable waters can recover compensation under this federal law. If you’re filing your claim under the Jones Act, you have three years to do so.  

It would be best to hire a personal injury lawyer to know whether you should bring your job injury claim under Colorado law or the Jones Act. This is because of the different statutes of limitations that apply under the various legal regimes. Whatever law you choose to file your lawsuit under, the court will bar your claim if you file later than the deadlines. 

Denver OilField Injury Attorneys Can Help You Get Damages

Do you know any oilfield worker who has suffered a personal injury while working on an oil rig? An injured worker deserves to receive monetary compensation for their injuries. However, it’ll be challenging to do this without legal representation.

Oil pump at sunset

Personal injury law can be complex at times. Furthermore, the responsible parties in oil rig mishaps have sufficient money to employ the best lawyers. Therefore, it would be best to hire an experienced attorney too. An injured client will have nothing to worry about if they pick any personal injury attorney from Firouzbakht Law Firm. If you call us today, we can start working on your field injury claim.

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