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Pursuing a Settlement in an Oil Field Injury Lawsuit
If you were injured during the course of your duties on an oil field or oil rig, you are entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits compensate injured employees for all of their medical costs and some or all of their past and future lost wages.
In some cases, oilfield workers experience such extreme injuries that they are unable to return to their job because they suffered a permanent impairment. If your doctor can demonstrate that you suffered a permanent injury, you may be able to obtain permanency benefits as a part of your workers’ compensation claim.
Although injured oilfield employees are unable to file a lawsuit against their employers, they may file third-party claims against individuals or entities who caused or contributed to their injury.
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For example, if the plaintiff is able to demonstrate that the accident occurred due to a rig collapse, then the individual may be able to pursue a third-party claim or file a lawsuit against the company that built the rig, or against the firm that sold faulty materials.
Additionally, if the oil field injury occurred due to defective construction equipment, the injured worker may have the ability to file a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.
Finally, if the injury happened because of a slip and fall due to poor maintenance or negligence at the plant, the injured party may file a suit against the individual or entity responsible for maintaining the station.
A lawsuit seeking damages starts when the plaintiff submits a demand letter to the insurance company, in addition to documentation supporting the claim. In most cases, the letter issues a monetary demand for settlement and documents including the accident victim’s medical records, medical bills, lost wage statements, a victim impact statement, and witness reports. The insurance company adjuster will then review these documents and possibly make an offer to resolve the case via settlement.
A knowledgeable oilfield accident attorney can negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf to pursue a favorable settlement that fully compensates you for your injuries.
When determining whether a particular settlement offer is appropriate, you should carefully consider the expenses associated with your medical treatment, the likelihood of future treatment, the inconvenience you incurred because of your injury, the wages you lost, and the pain and suffering you experienced.
If, after the negotiation process, the insurance company offers you a settlement that you feel is fair and just, you can proceed to resolve the claim. If this does not occur, your attorney can file a lawsuit for you.
However, simply filing a lawsuit does not guarantee that your case will go to trial. Instead, your lawsuit will begin heading toward a trial posture, and the parties will complete the discovery process. During this time, your case can still settle at any point.
If you must take your case to a jury trial or a binding arbitration proceeding, your attorney will be with you every step of the way and fight for your legal rights. An experienced oil field injury attorney can also help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer or take your case to trial and let a jury decide what damages you may be entitled to.
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The law firm of Schmidt & Clark, LLP is dedicated to protecting the rights of the American oil and gas worker and is one of the only firms willing to handle this type of complex litigation throughout the entire United States.
Again, if you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in an oil field 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 review and legal advice.
You may be able to recover compensation from an oil company in a lawsuit and our oil field injury lawyers can help.