Emergency Response: The Critical Steps After an Oil Field Accident - Sand Law North Dakota
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Emergency Response: The Critical Steps After an Oil Field Accident

17th February 2024

Oil field worker in orange hard hat and vest fixes pipe


  • Taking essential steps after an oil field accident can help protect your ability to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
  • The oil and gas industry is dangerous, and accidents put oil workers at a higher risk for serious injury.
  • Oil field accidents can leave injured workers with physical, emotional, and financial damages, and obtaining fair compensation can be complicated.
  • Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages but may leave significant damages unaddressed.
  • Working with an oil field accident lawyer can help you protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

Oil workers take pride in their jobs, and for good reason. It’s tough work, and often dangerous. Accidents can result in significant injuries and property damage.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an oil field accident, you may be wondering what to do next. Luckily, there are a few easy steps you can follow to protect yourself. For additional help, reach out to our capable team at Sand Law PLLC.

We have a proven track record of helping injured oil workers receive fair compensation after an accident. As North Dakota’s premier oil field injury attorneys, we bring years of successful negotiating experience and a relentless work ethic to the table. You can schedule a free consultation by calling (701) 394-3715 or contacting us online.

Immediate Steps After an Oil Field Accident

The aftermath of an oil field accident is a hectic and stressful time. There’s a lot to worry about! The first steps you take after the oil field accident are crucial for both your personal safety and your long-term legal outlook.

Safety First

Immediately after an oil field accident, your number one priority is safety. Assess the situation calmly and ensure your own safety and the safety of others.

Secure the scene by shutting off equipment, containing spills, and otherwise preventing further danger. Be sure to follow any emergency safety protocols your workplace requires.

Call Emergency Services

As soon as you can safely do so, call 911 and report the oil field accident. It’s no secret that oil fields are dangerous, and an isolated accident can quickly become a catastrophic event if equipment or machinery overturns, a fire spreads, or a vehicle loses control.

Prompt emergency response can be a big help if the situation gets worse. Follow any instructions you receive, and cooperate with emergency services when they arrive.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if you don’t feel like you were injured in the oil field accident, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an oil field accident. You may have injuries you’re not aware of, especially with adrenaline pumping and other stress responses.

The paper trail created by medical records will also be key in any workers’ compensation or personal injury claims you need to file later.

Preserve Evidence

After an oil field accident, there’s a lot of blame to go around. A relevant fact about oil field accidents is that they are more often than not the fault of the employer. Making sure that the responsibility lands with the right parties will be crucial for protecting your legal rights and seeking compensation. Take photos and videos of the accident scene from various angles, paying extra attention to anything showing:

  • Faulty maintenance of machinery that leads to an injury
  • Managerial noncompliance with safety regulations
  • Violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for oil extraction
  • Employees lacked training before handling dangerous equipment
  • Defective equipment that contributed to the accident

Speak with your coworkers after the accident to get their accounts of what happened while it’s fresh.

Inform Your Employer

Follow your company’s protocol for reporting accidents or workplace injuries. Notifying your employer allows them to report the accident to their insurance provider and begin any investigations that will need to take place, and it’s usually a requirement for you to receive compensation later on.

Reporting and Documentation Are Key Steps After an Oil Field Accident

After an oil field accident, proper documentation is crucial for establishing the facts surrounding the incident, especially if you were injured. Medical bills and lost wages can be financially devastating, and the right documentation after an accident helps you receive the compensation you deserve.

You don’t want to give an insurance company any excuse to deny your workers’ compensation claim for an oil field accident. To safeguard your claim, follow these steps after an oil field accident. Start by filing a detailed incident report with your employer as soon as possible.

Provide specific details about what caused the oil field accident, including the date, time, location, and any contributing factors. If there were witnesses to the oil field accident, obtain their statements while the events are still fresh in their minds. Witness statements can corroborate your account of what happened and strengthen your case.

Gather all medical records related to the accident, including hospital visits, diagnostic tests, treatments, and prescriptions. These records serve as evidence of the injuries sustained and the medical care received.

Keep copies of all reports, statements, and documentation related to the oil field accident. Organize these documents in a secure file for easy access. Make sure that you request that any malfunctioning equipment be preserved and examined if you think there’s a chance that it contributed to the oil field accident.

Your Legal Rights After a North Dakota Oil Field Accident

After an oil field accident, medical bills and lost wages can put your financial future at risk. However, you have the right to pursue compensation for the damages you’ve suffered.

There are several different ways that you can seek compensation after an oil field accident, including:

Workers’ Compensation: North Dakota workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. These benefits may include medical expenses, lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. However, workers’ compensation has limitations, and may not truly cover your damages.

Third-Party Liability Claims: In addition to workers’ compensation, you may have the right to pursue a third-party liability claim against other negligent parties involved in the accident. This could include subcontractors or manufacturers of defective equipment.

Personal Injury Lawsuit: Workers’ compensation law often protects employers from lawsuits, even if you suffer damages that workers’ compensation doesn’t cover. However, there are still cases in which you could file a personal injury lawsuit for fairer compensation.

If your loved one died in a North Dakota oil field accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for your losses.

Importance of Legal Representation

Navigating the legal complexities of an oil field accident case can be challenging on your own. Hiring a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling such cases can significantly benefit your claim.

A knowledgeable attorney will protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for the compensation you deserve. Don’t hesitate to seek legal representation.

Contact Sand Law Should Be One of Your First Steps After an Oil Field Accident

After surviving an oil field accident, you face another challenge: seeking justice. Oil and gas companies and their insurers have teams of lawyers working to avoid liability and limit payouts. You deserve somebody fighting by your side, too.

At Sand Law, we are tenacious truth-seekers with a strong record of successful settlements. Our team of expert oil field injury lawyers will not hesitate to intervene on your behalf to ensure that the negligent party acknowledges your damages and offers fair compensation.

The personal injury attorneys at Sand Law have relevant experience working with North Dakotan oil workers to defend their rights and secure the compensation they deserve. Learn more by contacting us online or calling (701) 394-3715 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file a personal injury claim for workplace accidents?

Workers’ compensation law often protects employers from legal action after a workplace accident, even if they’re at fault. However, you may still have the right to pursue an additional civil claim in some cases, like if a third party’s negligence contributed to the accident.

Consult with an experienced oil field accident attorney at Sand Law for a personalized assessment of your case.

How much time do I have to file a claim after an oil field accident?

If you are filing a personal injury claim as opposed to a workers’ compensation claim, the North Dakota statute of limitations gives you six years after the date of the injury to take action.

Do I need a personal injury lawyer for an oil field accident claim?

Technically, you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim on your own after an oil field accident. However, it’s not always that simple. Employers and their insurance providers may not be cooperative, and if a third party is involved in the oil field accident, the situation often becomes even more complicated.

An experienced oil field accident lawyer can help you protect your rights whether you are pursuing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim.