New Mexico Oilfield Injury Lawyers
New Mexico is one of the largest oil and gas producing states in the U.S. Given the presence of powerful forces, combustible materials, heavy machinery and equipment, slippery surfaces, and the fast pace of work it is not unusual for injuries and accidents to occur. Many times injuries are a result of the negligence of one or many people. This negligence may come in the form of defective or faulty equipment, improper or inadequate employee training, deferred maintenance, faulty policies and procedures, and other preventable causes.
Most companies operating in New Mexico oilfields have workers compensation coverage. That insurance will often cover your medical bills, provided benefits while you are unable to work, and in many cases, provide additional benefits for permanent impairment when you are released back to work. Worker’s compensation coverage does not take into account who is at fault, even if it was only the injured person or no one at all. If the injury was the result of your employer or someone who works for your company, including you, and no one else, then you are limited to recovering worker’s compensation. There may be an exception to the bar on suing your employer or coworkers if the injury was the result of intentional injury or gross negligence. If you think this exception applies to you or your loved one’s injury or death, you should contact us or another experienced New Mexico oilfield lawyer immediately.
If, however, your injury was the result of the negligence of someone that did not work for your employer, even if you believe you may share some responsibility, you should consult with an experienced oilfield attorney immediately. In a civil suit for your injuries, you may recover the full scope of damages available under state law, which are typically: medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and impairment.
When someone, not protected by the worker’s compensation bar is responsible for your injury, we typically refer to this as a “third party claim.” A third party is any company or person other than your employer or an employee of your company. If the worker’s compensation adjuster has mentioned that they are investigating the involvement of third parties, typically they are evaluating a potential third party claim. In that case, you should speak with an experienced oilfield attorney immediately to protect your rights.
For example, for a roughneck where the company man (the oil company’s representative) and other contractors are third parties everyone aside from the other roughnecks on your crew, your driller, and your tool pusher, are third parties.
Many times, more than one person or company may be at fault for your injury. You can pursue a recover against everyone at fault for your injury, assuming they are not your company or an employee of your company if your company does have worker’s compensation, unless the exception discussed above applies. The jury will apportion the percentage of fault for each party, including you, if you bear some fault. In New Mexico, you can recover for your injuries even if you were mostly at fault.
Oilfield injuries can take many forms, some examples are as follows:
- Defective equipment
- Poisonous gas exposure
- Slip and fall injuries
- Use of improper equipment for the task
- Operation of machinery or equipment while under the influence
Due to the varying nature of these injuries and the presence of multiple parties on most New Mexico oilfield locations, it is very important to speak with an experienced oilfield injury lawyer as soon as possible. As you are no doubt familiar, work moves quickly in the oilfield, and in many circumstances, the oil company will move quickly to clean up the incident and return to work. This also means that important evidence in your case may be destroyed. It is very important for the preservation of evidence and protection of your rights to contact an experienced oilfield injury lawyer immediately.