Despite available safety equipment and extensive operational regulations, negligence and lack of training continue to contribute to serious oilfield accidents. Workers are not only exposed to the dangerous nature of volatile elements but also face completely avoidable hazards that stem from working conditions.
One of the top oil production states, California oilfields provide many economic benefits, but have also seen numerous incidents that have cost lives and caused catastrophic injury. The Kern River Oil Field which covers over 10,000 acres northeast of Bakersfield is the densest operational oil development in the state of California and has been the site of recent preventable incidents.
It is important for oilfield workers to understand their rights and the appropriate steps to take in the event they are injured in an oilfield accident. Continue reading to learn the best way to handle an oilfield accident emergency and seek both physical and legal help to protect your well-being and future.
- Seek Medical Attention
After an accident, your health and safety are the priority. Seek medical treatment immediately if you are hurt to ensure timely care. Many oilfield accidents involve falls or equipment issues resulting in internal injuries that may not be noticeable right away including damage to organs and internal bleeding. Even if you believe your injuries to be minor, medical care will provide you with proper treatment as well as documentation of your injuries.
- Contact an Oilfield Attorney Immediately
Every oilfield accident is unique and requires an experienced eye to ensure that your rights are protected completely. Hiring a personal injury attorney with specific experience handling oilfield accident cases who has the tools and resources to conduct thorough investigations and negotiate with oilfield companies and large insurance companies will be in your best interest.
- Report the Incident
Your attorney will be able to help you file claims within required time limits including workers’ compensation and filing formal reports with authority organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Safety Council. Proper documentation of the incident, working conditions, and involved parties can help these organizations identify if companies are in noncompliance with laws and regulations, or if they are repeat offenders.
- Keep Track of Expenses
Maintaining accurate records of all major and minor expenses that arise from your injuries is essential in helping your attorney properly determine damages in your claim. Hospital bills, transportation, therapies, lost wages, and medications are all examples of economic damages that can be claimed for monetary compensation.
- Avoid Speaking to Insurance Companies
Always consult your attorney before providing statements to insurance companies or signing agreements or settlements with your employer. Statements may be used to try to get you to admit fault, and employers may offer lowball settlements that will not adequately cover medical needs. An experienced attorney will know how to discuss claims with insurance companies that are looking to avoid a payout.
Top California Oilfield Accident Attorneys
Daniel Rodriguez, founder and president of Rodriguez & Associates, has firsthand experience working in the oilfields of Kern County and understands the unique and dangerous nature of oilfield jobs. Renowned top personal injury attorneys in Bakersfield, he and his team work to protect the rights of oilfield workers who have been injured on the job due to negligence.
Our firm prides itself on dedication to its clients and the drive to see cases through to resolution. Contact Rodriguez & Associates today to ensure your rights are protected and you are fully compensated for all potential damages.