Oil Field Injury Lawyers in Albuquerque, New MexicoLast updated on: May 9, 2022
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Albuquerque oil field injury lawyers
In addition to providing many New Mexicans with jobs, oil fields also provide a significant percentage of the energy that our country runs on. However, extracting this vital resource from the ground comes with a hefty share of perils. The heavy machinery and dangerous chemicals that are involved in the process of removing and refining oil can lead to injuries for the workers tasked with these important jobs. After an oilfield injury, speaking with Albuquerque oil field injury lawyers may be the best way to ensure your rights are protected.
Experienced personal injury lawyers like the ones Zinda Law Group can also help you seek the compensation that you deserve. If you or a loved one were injured in an oil field accident in or near Albuquerque, New Mexico, call (800) 863-5312 to speak with our Albuquerque oil field injury lawyers today.
Albuquerque oil field injury lawyers know the significance of oil and gas in New Mexico
Ever since hydrocarbon resources were first discovered in New Mexico in the 1920s, the state has been a major producer of oil and natural gas. On an annual basis, well over 100 million barrels of oil are produced from over 2,000 NM oil and gas fields. In addition, in recent years the state of New Mexico has gotten over 25% of its general fund revenues from taxes and royalties on the production of hydrocarbon products.
While the oil and gas industry brings many positive benefits to New Mexico, the very powerful companies that comprise that industry can be obstacles to injured workers’ recoveries. When oil field workers sustain injuries on the job, these companies have many resources at their disposal to enable them to fight to pay as little in compensation as possible. This is one of the reasons it is critical that oil field injury victims work with oil field injury lawyers: to make sure that their rights are protected.
Are oil fields dangerous?
The short answer is that oil fields have the potential to be very dangerous for employees or anyone who happens to be present there. While all workplaces—even the most mundane of office spaces—have the potential to be sites of serious injury, there are particular dangers characteristic of oil fields, including:
1. Exposure to Dangerous Chemicals
Many types of potentially dangerous chemicals are used in the process of extracting oil and other resources from the ground. These chemicals are generally safe when used according to the proper safety protocols. Nevertheless, anytime dangerous chemicals are handled, they present a risk to the people who are tasked with handling them, or even to others visiting the worksite.
At the end of the day, the goal of any oil and gas field company is to make as much money as possible. This means that workers at oil field can sometimes be pressed to work extremely long shifts in an effort to be as profitable as possible. The result of this is that workers may sometimes be forced to work while extremely tired, without adequate rest. When combined with all of the dangers inherent to an oil field worksite, this can be a dangerous, and even deadly, combination.
3. Heavy Machinery
The presence of heavy machinery at oil fields is, in and of itself, a serious risk factor. Because of the size of the machinery itself, any sort of malfunction or user mistake can have very serious consequences for anyone who is present. Whereas mistakes made in a typical office setting usually won’t result in very serious injuries or death, the presence of heavy machinery at oil field worksites magnifies the potential severity of things not going according to plan.
4. Fire and Explosions
It doesn’t take a chemist to tell you that oil is an extremely combustible material. As a result, a fairly comprehensive framework of safety rules and regulations are put into place by both private companies and lawmakers to minimize the occurrence of explosions or fires. However, again, when working with heavy machinery and a very combustible product, there are natural, unavoidable risks involved.
What to do after an oil field accident
Because oil fields can be dangerous places to work, it is important that employees have an understanding of what to do after they are injured in an accident. This is particularly important because the people in charge of dealing with oil field accidents on the side of oil and gas companies may be able to exploit any failure to abide by the proper protocol. They may attempt to do so in order to pay less than the amount that would make the victim whole.
1. Seek Medical Attention
First and foremost, it is critical to get the proper medical attention for your injuries. This is obviously important in the case of very serious injuries, but it is also important even if the injuries don’t seem particularly serious. There are a few distinct reasons for this:
- First, some injuries might be more serious than they seem to be at first, and getting medical attention quickly can help catch these types of injuries, preventing them from getting any worse.
- Second, a significant delay between the time the injury occurred and going to a doctor’s office could potentially be used by the other side to argue that a victim’s injuries are not as serious as they claim.
- Third, if your injuries are never officially treated, the defendant can claim they weren’t caused by the responsible party at all.
2. Report the Situation
After ensuring that your immediate medical needs are taken care of, it is time to report your injury and the incident that caused it to the proper oil field authority. This could either be a supervisor, the HR department, or both. Make sure that you follow any and all protocols that your employer has put into place for how employees are to report on-the-job accidents. Relay the important details of what happened, but also keep in mind that it is not necessary at this initial stage to divulge every single detail of how the accident occurred.
Speak with an Experienced Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyer
No two personal injury cases are ever exactly the same. This is true even amongst the narrower field of oil field injuries. Depending on exactly where and how you sustained your injury, a successful claim process can look vastly different. Many personal injury lawyers are in Albuquerque, but it is important that you speak with an attorney who has the necessary experience to know how to handle a case like yours and then the resources to follow through and fight on your behalf.
Causes of oil field accidents in ABQ, New Mexico
With so many complicated moving parts on an oil field, there are lots of ways that an injury-causing accident can potentially occur. The way an accident comes about is important because it can affect whom a claim may be filed against, and how a legal argument is structured.
Oil fields are home to many pieces of massive, complex machinery. As anyone who is driven a car knows, machinery requires constant upkeep to continue to run smoothly. Even with constant upkeep, machinery failure can still happen on a regular basis. Given the size of the machines that are on oil fields, when they fail, the consequences can be extremely severe and potentially even deadly.
Negligent Co-Workers or Supervisors
In addition to oil field machinery, the large team of people operating the worksite also have to be working in perfect sync to keep everyone present safe. There are countless reasons why this might not happen, however, ranging from a worker being sleepy from being forced to work very long shifts, to someone who is simply not paying close enough attention for a few seconds. When failure to pay close enough attention happens with someone is operating heavy machinery or handling dangerous chemicals, the outcome can be serious injury.
While it is the job of oil field employees to follow the rules for operating the jobsite safely, it is the job of the employer, first and foremost, to develop those rules to keep people safe in the first place. They are also the entity responsible for:
- Purchasing the proper machinery,
- Keeping it maintained, and
- Insuring that everyone who is there has the proper training for their particular job.
Workers count on employers to meet their responsibilities so they can work in relative safety. When the employer fails at any point in their responsibility and it leads to injury, it is possible that they could be held liable.
Statute of limitations
For every personal injury case, there is a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the legal term for how long an injured party has to bring a claim based on the injury that they sustained.
In New Mexico, the general statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years. This means that someone who is injured because of the fault of another has three years from the date of their injury to file a claim. If they miss the deadline, their claim will likely be dismissed.
Potential exceptions to the statute of limitations do exist in oil field accidents, however. For example, if someone does not discover their injury until more than three years after it occurred, then they may be able to file a claim outside of this window. This could occur at an oil field if someone was exposed to dangerous chemicals and didn’t realize what the impact of that exposure was until after the typical time to file a claim would have expired. However, the best way to avoid running into any kind of problems with the statute of limitations is to speak with experienced oil field injury lawyers.
What is my case worth?
When people begin to wonder, “Where do I find an Albuquerque injury lawyer near me?” they also typically begin to wonder about how much their case could be worth. There is really no way to answer this question without speaking to an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer, but the money that an injury victim may eventually receive will be comprised of a few different types of damages.
Economic damages are designed to compensate victims for their tangible, measurable losses. They include compensation for things like medical bills, damage to any physical property, or wages you were unable to earn as a result of your injuries. Economic damages are damages that can typically be proven through things like receipts and bills.
Non-economic damages are less tangible than economic damages. This certainly doesn’t mean that they are any less real to the victims who experienced them, though. Broadly speaking, non-economic damages refer to the pain and suffering that accident victims experience as a result of their injuries.
This could be physical pain stemming from something like a burn wound or a broken bone. It can also include things like the emotional or mental anguish of no longer being able to spend time with friends and family in the same way or no longer being able to enjoy the same activities that one enjoyed before the injury. While non-economic damages cannot be proven in the same way that economic damages can, the worse that pain and suffering is, the more a victim may stand to receive in compensation.
While economic and non-economic damages may be fairly commonplace in oil field injury cases, punitive damages are reserved for a particular category of cases. Both economic and non-economic damages are focused on making the victim of an accident whole again. In contrast, punitive damages are actually focused on the wrongdoers themselves.
Punitive damages are applicable in cases where the person responsible for causing damages acted in a particularly reckless or even purposeful way. These sorts of damages act as a punishment to the wrongdoer, and as a warning to other similarly situated parties not to act in the same way.
Call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation with Albuquerque oil field injury lawyers
Fighting for fair compensation is a daunting enough task in any situation, let alone when the entity you are fighting against is a powerful oil company. The best way to arm yourself for this battle is to have the right Albuquerque personal injury lawyer by your side.
The attorneys at the Zinda Law Group have the necessary experience to effectively fight for your rights. We have helped many in your situation seek the compensation they were entitled to. In addition, we won’t charge you anything until we win your case for you; that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.