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Who is Liable for Oil Accidents?

The oil industry is a source of employment for thousands of Texans. Sadly, one of the state’s most significant industries is also one of the most dangerous. Many employees in this industry are injured on the oilfields every year in transportation accidents, fires and explosions, and machinery-related incidents. When oilfield accidents occur, injury victims have a right to recover compensation both through the workers’ compensation system and through personal injury claims. Different entities may be liable for the damages that result from oilfield accidents, including employers, equipment manufacturers, and other third parties.

Employer Liability

In many cases, the company that is in charge of an oilfield is responsible for any accidents that occur on the premises. Employers are responsible for complying with safety regulations, providing their workers with the proper equipment, and regularly conducting safety inspections at their business. The failure to meet any of these responsibilities can result in injury.

Often, cases of oilfield accidents caused by employer negligence are handled as workers’ compensation claims. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so it’s possible that an employer will not be held directly responsible for their negligence. However, it is possible for injured workers to file claims against their employer if the employer exhibited gross negligence and caused their injuries. Gross negligence includes incidents in which a person is extremely careless, commits safety violations, or engages in misconduct, Depending on the details of your case, it’s possible that gross negligence caused your injuries. If so, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer.

Manufacturer Liability

Oilfield accidents can be caused by equipment issues. Machinery malfunctions can contribute to serious injuries such as burns, bone fractures, and crush injuries. If a worker is harmed because of an issue with equipment, the company that manufactured the equipment could be held liable for designing and producing defective machinery. Machinery malfunctions can also be caused by improper maintenance and repair or a lack of proper safety inspections. The people who are responsible for inspecting and repairing equipment could be held liable for a worker’s injuries.

Third-Party Liability

Oilfield accidents can be caused by the negligence of third parties. For example, many incidents occur during transportation. A driver could be held liable for damages if their negligence causes an accident with an oilfield worker’s vehicle.

Webb, Stokes & Sparks represents injured oilfield workers in the pursuit of fair compensation. If you need assistance filing a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both, our legal team can help.

To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call (325) 221-0822.

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