The Rights of Undocumented Immigrants After an Oil Field Injury
31st August 2020
Although oil field injury damages are often settled through legal action, this may not seem possible for North Dakota undocumented workers.
What is the Role of Undocumented Immigrant Workers the US?
Undocumented immigrants work in the community more than you may think and help to keep many businesses afloat, especially labor-intensive workplaces like construction and the oil field industry. The number of undocumented immigrants in the US is estimated to be between 10.5 and 23 million, or about 3.2% to 3.6% of the countries population.
In 2018, 65.7% of foreign-born adults work in labor-intensive fields, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP for short. By relation, only 59.8% of native-born adults were employed in similar roles in the same year. In short, undocumented immigrants help to bolster the community in many ways. They’ll accept jobs that native-born people often won’t. And the CBPP also states that undocumented immigrants also often become industry leaders, creating more jobs for both immigrants and native born people.
Undocumented Immigrants and the North Dakota Oil Industry
North Dakota is a leader in STEM fields, especially fields like oil and gas. As one of the biggest states for oil field work, they tend to have a large influx of immigration as well. Often, people will immigrate to areas like Boston, New York, or Miami, and then move inland to places like North Dakota for work in industries like oil and gas. Between 2010 and 2014, 10,388 foreign-born people immigrated to North Dakota, a 62.4% growth in the immigrant population of North Dakota.
Common Injuries in an Oil Field
Oil fields can be dangerous, especially if employees aren’t properly trained in how to remain safe using the different types of machines. Accidents can also occur because of faulty machinery, or another person’s negligence in the operation of said machinery. Explosions, falls, pipeline accidents, and dangerous chemicals are also known to cause these types of injuries.
Common injuries from accidents in the oil industry can include things like:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Whiplash and neck injuries
- Burns and lacerations
- Fractures or broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
Many injuries can also lead to catastrophic injuries, like paralysis, disability, scarring and disfigurement, as well as fatality. Traumatic brain injuries can have serious complications, such as coma, brain death, and even fatality. Spinal injuries are also equally dangerous, and can lead to complete or incomplete paralysis depending on where the injury occurs on the spine.
What Types of Damages are Recoverable after an Oil Field Injury?
Oil field workers are at high-risk for injury because of the work that they do. Workers’ compensation may cover a portion of your injury. However, it often doesn’t provide enough compensation to fully cover your medical bills and lost wages. If your accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
Medical expenses are one of the biggest stressors after an accident. You may be left worrying about how you’re going to pay all of your bills. However, you can recover compensation for economic damages. This includes any type of medical bill, such as hospital visits, surgery costs, costs for ambulance rides, therapy costs, and even prescription costs.
You can also recover damages for any wages that you may have lost while you were receiving treatment or recovering for your injuries. You may also be able to recover any costs for in-home care that may have been necessary, like a personal grocery shopper or child care.
Non-economic damages refer to anything that doesn’t have an exact number or bill attached to it. The main non-economic damage that people receive is for pain and suffering. There isn’t an exact number to put to this, as it depends on the person’s exact case and injuries.
A person who is paralyzed and now has a lower quality of life may receive more than a person with injuries that will heal over time. Either way, your attorney will help you to get the compensation that you deserve for the damages you’ve endured.
You can also receive compensation for loss of capacity to work in the future as well as loss of consortium.
Overview of the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process
A personal injury case begins when the accident occurs. You will then receive treatment for your injuries and keep all documentation that you receive from the hospital. After this, you should look for an experienced attorney in your area to help you with your case. Once you hire an attorney, the discovery phase of your case will begin.
Discovery refers to the period of time where both parties gather information about each side’s story. They may speak with witnesses, request documentation from each other, and investigate each side’s claim further. The process of discovery can last from six months to one year.
After the discovery process is over, you’ll move onto mediation and negotiation. During this step of the process, your attorney and the attorney of the defendant will discuss any options for settlement through a third party mediator. If a settlement cannot be achieved, your case will then move to trial. During the trial both attorneys will give their client’s sides of the stories, then the judge or jury will decide the verdict.
Why Hire an Oil Field Accident Injury Attorney
A lawsuit can be a long and grueling process. It may be hard to deal with on your own, especially when you’re recovering from a major injury. Hiring an experienced attorney is your best bet at getting the most compensation from your case. Our attorneys here at Sand Law PLLC in North Dakota are standing by to help you win your case. For more information, or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at 701-609-1510.