Injury Attorneys Serving Oil and Gas Workers in Nevada and Nationwide
Hiring an oil and gas injury lawyer is crucial if you were hurt or a loved one was killed on the job. You may be entitled to compensation beyond what you can get through workers’ comp, but your right to personal injury damages may be difficult to recognize without legal assistance.
Founded in 1976, Burg Simpson Law Firm is a national leader in personal injury law. Our firm is renowned for developing innovative legal strategies on behalf of workers whose injuries were caused by negligent third parties. Such an approach enables us to obtain maximum compensation for our clients.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries working in the oil and gas industry, call Burg Simpson Law Firm at 702-668-2070 for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our oil and gas injury lawyers serve clients in and around Las Vegas, throughout Nevada, and in other petroleum-producing states.
How Big Is the Oil & Gas Industry in Nevada?
The University of Nevada, Reno considers Nevada a “frontier state for oil exploration.” Although peak oil production was reached in the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of barrels are still produced annually and exploration of potential oil deposits is ongoing.
An interactive map created by the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology shows multiple oil and gas wells throughout the state. Most are clustered in the northern and central parts of Nevada, but there are also operational oil and gas wells in and around the Las Vegas area.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has identified Nevada as the state with the highest average wages for roustabouts. It may not be a major oil-producing state, but oil and gas is still big business.
Workers in the oil and gas industry have rights if they are injured on the job. Burg Simpson explores all legal options for pursuing fair compensation.
What Causes Oil & Gas Injuries?
Accidents in the oil and gas industry are typically the result of multiple factors. Some of the most common causes of injuries include:
- Collisions with vehicles and heavy equipment
- Heavy machinery, particularly if machines are unguarded or lockout/tagout procedures are not followed
- Negligent maintenance of pipelines
- Pipeline failures
- Exposure to hazardous fumes and chemicals
- Falls from heights
- Product defects and failures
- Fires and explosions
- Oil well blowouts
- Casing failures
Multiple agencies may investigate oil and gas accidents. Until you hire an attorney, however, no one is looking out for your best interests.
Identifying the cause of the accident is essential for determining potential legal remedies. Our oil and gas injury lawyers get to work right away, collecting evidence in a timely fashion and consulting expert witnesses to establish what led to your injuries and who is responsible.
What Are the Most Common Oil & Gas Injuries?
Oil wells and other sites are inherently dangerous. Workers face a number of hazards on the job every day. These hazards can lead to serious accidents and potentially catastrophic injuries.
An oil and gas injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Lung damage due to chemical exposure or blast injuries (blast lung)
- Damage to other internal organs
- Amputation injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vision loss and blindness
- Hearing loss
- Musculoskeletal injuries
Sometimes the injuries suffered in an oil and gas accident can prove fatal. If your loved one died in a job-related accident, you and your family may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits. Additional compensation may be recovered through a wrongful death claim if it can be established that negligence was a factor.
Can I Get Compensation for Oil & Gas Injuries?
Yes, workers are generally entitled to compensation if they are injured while working at an oil well or other facility. The legal remedy or remedies available depend on the circumstances of the accident.
Broadly speaking, there are two primary options for recovering fair compensation for oil and gas injuries:
The most common recourse workers have for job-related injuries is workers’ compensation. If you suffer an injury on the job, you are entitled to certain benefits paid by your employer’s workers’ comp insurer.
Nevada requires all employers with one or more employees to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. This provision applies to oil and gas companies. If you are an employee and you are hurt in the course of your employment, you should be covered by workers’ comp.
Employees are entitled to the following benefits for work-related injuries:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to the injury
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits
- Mileage reimbursement for medical-related travel
- Partial replacement of lost wages (Temporary Total Disability)
- A Permanent Partial Disability award, if your ability to work is permanently reduced
- Permanent Total Disability benefits (if applicable)
- Death benefits, if your loved one died as a result of a workplace accident
In Nevada, workers’ comp is usually considered the “exclusive remedy” for workers to obtain compensation for a work-related accident (see Nevada Revised Statutes 616A.020). With rare exceptions, workers are barred from suing an employer for injuries they sustain on the job.
The tradeoff is that benefits are paid on a “no-fault” basis, meaning workers do not have to present evidence of someone else’s negligence to recover compensation. Unfortunately, workers’ comp claims may be wrongfully denied or benefits may be underpaid. It is in your best interest to seek knowledgeable legal guidance when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Although employers cannot typically be sued for the injuries their employees sustain, this rule does not apply to third parties that cause workplace accidents. It is crucial to consult an oil and gas injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine if third-party liability applies to your case.
Negligent third parties may be held liable for accidents and injuries they cause at oil wells, oil seeps, and other sites. Unlike with workers’ compensation insurance, you can pursue compensation for ALL of the damages you have sustained for oil and gas injuries arising from third-party negligence. This may include:
- Any and all medical expenses to-date
- Future medical expenses, including surgeries, rehabilitation, counseling, etc.
- Lost wages
- Medical-related travel costs
- The cost of home and vehicle modifications
- Household services expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and other wrongful death damages (if your loved one died)
Compensation in a third-party liability claim is not automatic. You will need to prove that your losses are the result of negligence on the part of one or more defendants. This task is best accomplished with the assistance of a qualified oil and gas injury lawyer.
When Does Third-Party Liability Apply?
Multiple third parties may be responsible for oil and gas injuries. Timely investigation by an attorney is critical for identifying all of the defendants and establishing fault.
Potential parties in these claims include:
- Contractors and subcontractors who fail to follow safety regulations
- Product manufacturers, if defective machinery or equipment led to the injury
- The owner of a well site or other facility who fails to keep the premises safe
- Drivers and companies that negligently operate trucks and other vehicles involved in the transport of oil and gas
Negligent training and supervision of employees, improper signage, errors in the operation of heavy equipment—these are just a few examples of when third-party liability may apply. The key is to act quickly in determining who is responsible and what claim or claims you may have.
What Should I Do After an Oil & Gas Injury?
The steps you take after being injured on the job can have a major impact on your right to compensation. Our oil and gas injury lawyers recommend that you do the following:
1. Get Medical Attention
Receiving medical care for your injuries should be your top priority. This may involve calling 911 and being taken to the hospital. Alternatively, you may be able to follow up with a doctor on your own, but be sure to do so as soon as possible—some serious injuries do not have immediate symptoms, but the consequences of waiting may be dire.
You should closely follow your doctor’s recommendations concerning treatment and recovery. In addition, you should keep detailed records of communications with medical professionals and any costs you incur.
2. Report the Accident
In Nevada, workers have just 7 days to report a work-related injury or illness to their employer. Failure to do so may result in your workers’ compensation claim being denied and any third-party liability claim being contested.
Your employer and/or the workers’ comp insurer will likely ask you to fill out a form describing the accident. Provide all of the requested information, but be careful not to say anything to suggest that you may have been at fault.
3. Collect Evidence
Ideally you will be able to start collecting evidence immediately following the accident. This includes:
- Taking photographs of the work site and any conditions that contributed to your injuries
- Interviewing witnesses, including coworkers, bystanders, etc.
- Checking the surrounding area for any surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident
4. Document the Accident
Write down any details you remember about the accident. You should also document any issues you experience as a result of your injuries, such as the inability to work, difficulty performing tasks, etc.
Often, oil and gas accidents occur due to previously reported safety violations. You might have even reported concerns of your own. An oil and gas injury lawyer will work diligently to uncover previously reported violations, as these may support your claim.
5. Speak to an Attorney
Having knowledgeable legal counsel is beneficial for recovering the compensation you deserve. An attorney well-versed in oil and gas injury claims will be able to determine your options and prepare a strong case on your behalf.
People who try to handle the matter on their own run the risk of overlooking potential avenues for recovering damages. By hiring an experienced lawyer, you improve the likelihood of maximizing your benefits and any additional compensation to which you are entitled.
How Long Do I Have to Make an Oil & Gas Injury Claim?
The statute of limitations is the time limit imposed on a legal action. Given that oil and gas injury litigation may involve more than one type of claim, it is of the utmost importance to know how long you have to exercise your rights.
In Nevada, the important time limits that may apply to your case include:
- 90 days: This is how long you have to file a workers’ compensation claim if your employer has not submitted the necessary paperwork to their insurer.
- REMEMBER: You have just 7 days to notify your employer of an injury or illness.
- 2 years: The statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death claims is 2 years.
Ultimately, there is no time to lose when it comes to taking legal action. If you or someone you love was injured as a result of an oil and gas accident, you owe it to yourself to consult an attorney at once. Your lawyer can take immediate steps to preserve your right to compensation, such as filing a workers’ comp claim, moving forward with a personal injury lawsuit, and more.
Contact a Las Vegas Oil & Gas Injury Lawyer Today
For more than 45 years, Burg Simpson has been a preeminent leader in the field of personal injury litigation. Workers often do not realize that job-related injuries may intersect with third-party liability, potentially entitling them to damages beyond those covered by workers’ compensation. This is often the case with injuries and accidents in the oil and gas industry.
Burg Simpson has recovered more than $2 billion in compensation for our clients. We doggedly pursue the optimal outcome, whether that is a settlement or taking your case to trial.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation with an oil and gas injury lawyer, call Burg Simpson at 702-668-2070 today. Our attorneys serve clients in and around Las Vegas, all of Nevada, and nationwide.