Oil Field Injury Lawyers in Santa Fe, New MexicoLast updated on: May 14, 2022
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Santa Fe oil field Injury Lawyers for free
New Mexico’s oil field workers work long hours performing some of America’s hardest jobs every day. As a result, these workers risk severe injuries or even death from a variety of potential dangers. Often, workers injured in an oil field in Santa Fe face the difficult challenge of recovering from the physical and financial costs of an accident. Without Santa Fe oil field injury lawyers handling your case, you may have a difficult time pursuing the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
If you or a loved one were injured while working in an oil field in New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312. We will help you schedule your free consultation with a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer who can help you determine your legal options and your next steps. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
Is working in the oil fields dangerous?
Oilfields are a demanding and high-pressure work environment, and they also include a variety of serious and potentially life-threatening occupational hazards. The extraction of oil involves the use of heavy machinery, volatile and flammable fluids, and intense pressure on workers to avoid any careless or negligent mistakes. The oil company must ensure the worksite is safe and that adequate precautions are taken to prevent an accident. If the company fails to do so, this failure can create a dangerous work environment and potentially cause catastrophic or even fatal injuries.
Why Is Working In Oil Fields Dangerous?
Each year, an estimated 8,500 non-fatal injuries occur in the oil and gas industry across the United States. In 2017, 69 people died as a result of oilfield accidents, while 3 of these victims died from fatal oilfield accidents in New Mexico. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, injury victims who miss work are commonly recovering from sprains and fractures caused by oil field accidents. Meanwhile, the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) has noted the most common occupational hazards found at oil and gas extraction sites. These occupational hazards include:
- Vehicle collisions
- Workers struck or caught by or in between objects
- Falls from heights
- Slip and falls
- High pressure lines and equipment
- Machine hazards
Response To Oil Field Dangers
The Occupational Safety and Health Association was created by the federal government to set requirements employers must follow to prevent dangerous workplace accidents. Most employers across the United States must meet OSHA standards and guidelines for maintaining a safe work environment regardless of their industry. These federal guidelines cover a variety of hazards found in oil fields, including fall hazards, fire or explosion risks, and electrical hazards. These OSHA guidelines require employers to take numerous steps that require them to:
- Warn employees or anyone present at the worksite of potential risks and hazards
- Provide proper safety equipment such as hard hats, safety goggles, harnesses, or other equipment as necessary
- Train employees how to properly use all safety equipment
- Require such equipment be used or worn at all times where potential hazards are present
- Ensure employees are following all applicable safety guidelines at all times
- Take any other proper precautions as needed that may prevent any workplace accident from occurring
If you think your employer may be violating OSHA regulations , you should file a complaint with your local OSHA office. Meanwhile, if you have been injured in an oil field accident, you should contact a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Common oil field accidents
A variety of hazards exists in oil fields that, if not properly addressed, creates a dangerous workplace environment. Oil extraction requires large, heavy machinery, cables, and piping, all of which may be in motion during certain stages of extraction. Oil field workers also commonly deal with highly pressurized liquids and gasses. In fact, a single spark could cause a fire or explosion. Workers must also maintain proper communication across the job site so critical information about potential hazards, malfunctions, and other issues are properly communicated.
All of these factors, combined with pressure to work quickly and precisely, present many opportunities for dangerous accidents to occur. Common accidents in an oil field include:
- Equipment malfunctions, especially if companies fail to make sure all equipment is regularly maintained and adequately monitored to ensure safe operation
- Fires or explosions, whether caused by sparks or the highly flammable oil or gas otherwise being ignited
- Oil field workers being hit or caught by objects in motion, often because appropriate safety equipment was not utilized, or proper care was not taken by the victim or other workers
- Inadequately trained employees failing to properly fulfill their job duties
- Accidents caused fatigued or intoxicated workers
- Accidents caused by a lack of communication between workers and supervisors warning of potential hazards or dangerous conditions
While attractive wages often draw many hardworking workers to oil fields in New Mexico, workers face constant risks of catastrophic or fatal accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured working in an oil field, you should contact a Santa Fe personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine your legal rights.
Santa Fe oil field injury lawyers near me
If you have been injured while working at an oil field, you should contact the attorneys at Zinda Law Group. Workplace accidents can be very complex and determining if an employer may be at fault can be difficult. Our oil field injury lawyers will use their experience helping injured oil field workers to help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to. Common steps your lawyer may take during the process of handling your injury claim include:
Investigating Your Accident
Once you have secured the services of an attorney, they can begin to thoroughly investigate your accident. This investigation may help determine if your employer failed to abide by guidelines governing workplace safety. Your attorney will also investigate whether another party, such as another worker or the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment may have caused your accident. Your attorney may interview any potential witnesses, examine workplace records, and examine the scene of the accident. This investigation may include gathering all of your medical records to prove the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life.
If you are injured in a workplace accident, you should immediately inform your supervisor and file an accident report. You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible, so any injuries you may have suffered are properly diagnosed and treated by a physician. If possible, document the accident by taking pictures of any equipment or conditions that may have caused your accident.
Filing A Claim
Your attorney will help you file an injury claim describing the general facts of the accident and the injuries and damages you suffered. Your lawyer will then name the potentially liable parties such as the oil company, insurance company, negligent coworker, or other parties, as parties to your lawsuit. Most employers maintain insurance coverage to handle these types of claims, so your attorney may make an initial demand to the insurer offering to avoid the costs of a lawsuit if they agree to settle your claim. The insurer can either accept the claim and agree to pay you the compensation agreed to, or it can reject your claim. If the insurer refuses to accept this preliminary demand, your attorney will generally proceed by filing a lawsuit.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Before your lawsuit goes to trial, your attorney may again attempt to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Insurers will generally reject the initial proposal and present a counteroffer, which may greatly undervalue your claim. Insurers may also make an unreasonably low settlement offer in the hopes of quickly dealing with the case.
Fortunately, the oil field injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group will use their experience and evidence collected during the investigation to strengthen your claim. Offers and counteroffers may be exchanged many times before a settlement can be reached. If both sides can reach a reasonable settlement, the agreement will be submitted to the court for approval. Once approved, the insurer will disburse the settlement amount to your attorney.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney may take the case to trial. During a trial, both sides will present their evidence before a jury that will decide the amount of compensation to be awarded, if any. Your attorney can represent you during this trial and present your case.
how long will it take me to receive compensation?
Every case differs based on the unique facts and circumstances of the case. As a result, it is difficult to determine exactly how long it may take you to receive compensation for your claim. Many variables may influence the time it may take, such as:
- The nature of the accident
- The availability and quality of evidence
- The number of parties and potential witnesses that may need to be deposed by each party’s attorneys
- The willingness of the insurer to accept a reasonable settlement offer
- Potential efforts by the other party to delay your case as long as possible
- The length of the trial and whether it is delayed
At Zinda Law Group, we understand your accident may have left you with mounting medical bills and days or weeks of missed work. Insurers will often try to take advantage of this, hoping you will be desperate enough to accept a small but quick settlement, which may undervalue your claim. They may seek to drag out the process to pressure you into accepting a low offer. However, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will signal to them that you are serious about seeking compensation. A Santa Fe personal injury lawyer can use the information they have gathered in their investigation of your case to bolster your claim and help you pursue the compensation you may deserve.
New Mexico’s Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations is a legal time limit that sets the time frame within which you may be able to pursue compensation after your accident. Most personal injury claims are subject to a statute of limitations which typically vary from state to state as well as depending upon the nature of the claim. An oil field injury claim will be subject to New Mexico’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which is three years. If you do not file an injury lawsuit within three years from the date of your accident, you may be prohibited from seeking the compensation.
New Mexico courts strictly enforce the statute of limitations on personal injury claims and other cases. As a result, exceptions are rare and must clearly fall within the narrowly tailored permissible exceptions that pause the statute of limitations. Typically, the most common exception that may toll the statute of limitations is provided under New Mexico Statutes Section 37-1-10 which provides for extensions for certain individuals. Importantly, even if one of these narrow exceptions apply, it will only toll the statute of limitations until the “disability” lifts, for example, if the victim wakes up from a coma. Once the victim’s “disability” no longer exists, the statute of limitations will begin running again. Further, the disability must have existed at the time of the accident or have been caused by the accident.
Finally, if the oil field accident caused the victim’s death, then New Mexico’s statute of limitations for wrongful death would apply, which allows the representatives of the victim’s estate to bring a claim within one year of the victim’s death.
Contact our experienced Santa Fe oil field Injury lawyers today
Oil field workers often work long hours, spend days or weeks away from their loved ones, and face the risk of serious or even fatal accidents because of their dangerous work environment. At Zinda Law Group, our team understands the devastating physical, emotional, and financial impact an oil field accident can have on victims and their families.
If you or your loved one were injured in an oil field accident in New Mexico, call Zinda Law Group today to let us schedule your free consultation with our oil field injury lawyers. Our team will help you through every step of the process to pursue the maximum compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and damages.
Call (800) 863-5312 as soon as possible for a free consultation with a Santa Fe oil field injury attorney near you. Your lawyer will explain your legal rights and handle your injury claim while you focus on recovering from the accident. You will not pay anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.