Have you or a loved one been seriously injured or killed in an oil rig accident? If so, you should contact us immediately for a free consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and our law firm can help.
Schmidt & Clark, LLP is dedicated to protecting the rights of the American oil worker and is one of the only firms willing to handle oil rig accidents litigation throughout the entire United States.
Study Finds Oil and Gas Industry Lied About Occupational Fatalities
According to the report, which was published in Southerly Magazine  in August 2021, “nearly half of known offshore worker fatalities in the Gulf of Mexico from 2005 to 2019” were not counted because they did not fit the criteria used to report such accidents to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which is responsible for enforcing environmental regulations governing the offshore oil and gas industry.
Additionally, BSEE accident statistics do not include “offshore fatalities that occur in state waters, or deaths that occur while workers are in transport to offshore facilities,” the study found. “They don’t count deaths that happen on offshore platforms that aren’t work-related, either, even though the remoteness of offshore platforms makes it more difficult to seek medical attention and workers often stay on platforms for two weeks at a time.”
Oil and Gas Companies Fatality Statistics
As the above study illustrates, obtaining accurate oil and gas rig accident statistics can be difficult. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 6 fatalities and 222 injuries in 2019 (the most recent year for which statistics are available) on offshore oil rigs. Such figures are the most since 2010, when at least 12 fatalities and 220 injuries occurred.
However, these figures don’t tell the whole story. According to the study noted above, “there were three additional deaths among offshore workers not reported by BSEE in 2019, including two in a helicopter crash heading out to a rig and one that law enforcement determined was not work-related.”
For example, Southerly Magazine reported that in April 2021, "...six men died and seven went missing after a lifeboat capsized on its way to an oil and gas lease in the Gulf.” Yet these fatalities will not be counted among the 2021 offshore oil rig deaths by the BSEE, which confirmed the information for Southerly Magazine.
What To Do if You Lost a Loved One in an Oil Rig Accident
If you suffered serious physical harm or lost a loved one due to an offshore oil rig accident or in the oil and gas extraction industry, you are likely entitled to compensation through either workers’ compensation or a third-party claim. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation rarely covers fatal accidents and losses.
If you received a workers’ compensation payment for non-fatal injuries, you are likely unable to sue your loved one’s employer. However, in some cases, a third party might be liable for the serious injury your loved one suffered.
Several different companies may be working together on an oil rig, which means that several parties could share liability for gas worker fatalities.
What Damages Could I Be Awarded if I'm Hurt in an Offshore Oil Rig Accident?
If you were working at the time of the accident, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits, which cover lost wages, as well as reasonable and necessary medical expenses.
If you can show that your injuries were caused by the carelessness or negligence of someone other than your employer or a coworker, you can simultaneously file a personal injury lawsuit, asking for additional damages:
- Lost income, salary, or other wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life—the ability to engage in activities that have brought meaning or satisfaction in the past
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Any unreimbursed medical expenses, including rehabilitation, physical therapy, and the costs of retrofitting your home or vehicle to accommodate your injury
- Physical pain and suffering
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Why it's Important to Hire an Attorney After an Oil Rig Accident
After an oil field accident injury, an employer and their insurance company will conduct an investigation to assign fault. Don’t be surprised if they determine that they weren’t negligent — that’s why hiring a lawyer is essential to protect your legal rights.
Factors that can increase the likelihood of a successful claim include:
- Defective tools
- Toxic gases
- Lack of protective gear
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Lack of training (workers not sufficiently trained are left at risk)
- Not allowing employees to take breaks
- Inadequate emergency protocols/warning signs leave workers unprotected
- Dangerous places
Tragically, oil rig disasters can end in death. Losing a spouse, child, or parent in an oil rig incident causes unspeakable pain, and you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
You’ll be eligible to recover damages for things like mental pain, lost earning capacity, and lost companionship. Contact the law offices of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, for a free case evaluation if you have been injured in an oil rig accident.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The law firm of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is dedicated to protecting the rights of oil and gas rig explosion victims and is one of the only firms willing to handle oil industry litigation throughout the entire United States.
Again, if you or a loved one is an oil or gas rig worker that has been seriously injured or killed in an accident, you should contact our lawyers immediately by using the form below or calling our law firm toll-free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600 for a free case evaluation and legal representation.
You may be able to recover compensation for lost wages in a personal injury lawsuit and our oil rig injury lawyers can help.