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Oil rigs and fracking sites are important worksites. Not only do they provide a good portion of the energy that our country runs on, but they also provide hundreds of thousands of Americans with work. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 141,000 workers were employed in the oil and gas extraction sector in January of 2021. The downside of this industry, however, is that the jobs can be dangerous. Dangerous chemicals and lots of heavy machinery mean that various types of injuries can happen frequently. An oil rig and fracking injury lawyer may be the person who can best help you seek maximum compensation if you are injured on the job.
POTENTIAL WORKPLACE HAZARDS
The potential for an accident to happen exists in every workplace, no matter how safe it might seem. However, due to the conditions that exist on oil rigs or at fracking sites, workers might be at a substantially higher risk of experiencing an injury-causing accident. Some of the risks present at these worksites can include:
Exposure to Chemicals
Several types of chemicals are used in the production of petroleum. These chemicals can be hazardous and present a threat to fracking workers if they are not stored and used properly. State and federal lawmakers have established a framework of legislation to try to ensure that these chemicals are used safely for workers and the environment, but anytime dangerous chemicals are in play, they present a risk to those who are handling them.
It is not uncommon for oil rig and fracking workers to work extremely long shifts for condensed periods of time. Employers may pressure their workers to work these long hours to be as profitable as possible. What this can do, however, is cause workers to work while extremely tired. When workers are working on a dangerous worksite without adequate rest they may fail to take proper precautions at every turn, and this lack of vigilance can quickly result in serious injuries, or even death.
Explosions and Fire
It is no secret that the products drilled on oil rigs and at fracking sites are very combustible. Explosions on oil rigs and at fracking sites pop up on the news from time to time and capture the nation’s attention for a while. While lawmakers and employers work to maintain safe conditions and minimize these sorts of accidents, the raw truth is that there is simply no way to guarantee the absolute safety of a worksite like an oil rig or a fracking site.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN OIL RIG OR FRACKING ACCIDENT
Because serious injuries can be common on these types of worksites, it is important for employees to be trained on and well-versed in the procedure that they are to follow when something happens. Employers should be providing this information to their employees but it can also be helpful for accident victims to have a well-rounded idea of the post-accident process from a more objective perspective.
1. Seek Medical Attention
As soon as possible, it is critical that you seek medical attention. In some circumstances, your need for medical attention may be immediately apparent, such as if you suffer a traumatic injury in an explosion or fire. Other accidents, such as those revolving around chemical exposure, however, might not present symptoms right away. Going to a doctor can help to catch and prevent the worsening of these sorts of injuries. Getting medical attention quickly can also strengthen the tie between your accident and the injuries sustained, which can be important to support your claim.
2. Report the Accident
After your medical situation is under control, make sure to report the accident to your employer, whether that be to a supervisor or the HR department. Follow the protocol that your employer has outlined for when accidents and injuries occur. Make sure to give details like how the accident occurred and what injuries you sustained. Though you should report the accident quickly and give the important details, it is not necessary to divulge every single detail that you can think of at the outset of your case.
3. Document the Accident
Personal injury claims dealing with oil rig or fracking accidents will usually rely heavily on many different details. It may be difficult for an accident victim to know what details are important in a personal injury case, but it is always better to be overprepared than underprepared. Some things that will likely be helpful later on are photos of your injuries and the accident site, medical records, and contact information for witnesses.
4. Contact an Experienced Oil Rig and Fracking Accident Lawyer
Depending on the exact location of the worksite where your accident took place and the nature of your company, navigating a lawsuit or claim for compensation based on an oil rig or fracking accident can quickly be very complicated. There are lots of layers to work through and the average accident likely has no idea of where to start. This is why it can be critical to your case to contact an oil rig and fracking accident attorney as soon as possible to help give yourself an idea of where your case stands and how you may be able to pursue maximum compensation.
CAUSES OF OIL RIG AND FRACKING ACCIDENTS
With so many moving parts on oil rigs and fracking sites, there are lots of ways in which serious accidents can happen. The way to attack your claim will depend on exactly what caused your accident.
Oil rigs and fracking sites are filled with heavy machinery. Oil rigs are large machines built into the ocean for the purpose of extracting material from the earth. All of this heavy machinery moving around requires precision and constant upkeep. If the equipment is not properly maintained, then it can malfunction with devastating consequences.
Read More: Defective Machinery Injury
Along with the equipment, it is also necessary for all of the workers on an oil rig or a fracking site to work together cohesively. One person not doing their job or following their training means that their co-workers could potentially be in danger. This could come about as a result of a machine operator not taking proper precautions before operating the machine or someone failing to use the proper safety guidelines when handling a dangerous material.
All employers are required to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. This means providing the proper training, equipment, and avenues for reporting accidents. This responsibility is especially magnified on an oil rig or fracking site, where an accident can potentially be a life-or-death situation. If your employer was negligent in discharging any of their duties, then this can certainly be the cause of a serious accident.
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
All personal injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations, which is the legal time limit for how long you have to file a claim based on a given accident. For example, if the statute of limitations for the state that you are in is three years, then you will have three years from the date of your accident within which to file a claim. Claims brought outside of this window will likely be dismissed for untimeliness.
There are some exceptions to the generally applicable statute of limitations, however. For example, if you do not find out about your injury until after the statute of limitations would have expired, then this might extend the time that you have to file. This could occur if your injury is related to a chemical exposure that happened years prior, but you had no way of knowing the damage that was done to your body until later. While exceptions may apply, it is always best to seek the advice of an oil rig and fracking accident attorney as soon after your accident as possible to avoid running into issues with timing that can be easily avoided.
WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
Accidents can cause expenses like medical bills and damaged property to add up quickly. What’s more, they may leave you without a job, and therefore no means to pay them. This leaves many accident victims wondering how much compensation they may receive for their case. There is no way to give an accurate estimate without knowing the details of your case, but generally speaking, the ultimate amount you stand to receive is comprised of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible damages like medical bills and other expenses, while non-economic damages refer to pain and suffering.
CONTACT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
It is daunting to attempt to fight for fair compensation alone, especially when your opponent is a large oil company. Zinda Law Group has experience fighting these battles alongside clients and may be able to help you as well. You won’t pay us anything until we win your case—that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.