For the past few years, oil basin residents have been exposed to the oil and gas industry in a way they never have before. While many people reap the benefits of royalties from leasing their land to oil and gas drilling companies, others feel like their land has been invaded. Many landowners do not even own the mineral rights to their own property.
Because of this, oil and gas drilling companies could set up operations at any time and not give the (surface) landowners a dime—despite how extraction affects the land.
How does it get extracted? Hydraulic fracturing. This is the process in which extremely deep holes are punctured into the ground and "fracking fluid" is injected inside of it in order to break up the sediment and push the oil to the surface. This method has led to health concerns, not only for the residents exposed to the side effects of fracking operations, but for the workers who conduct it.
How Do I Get the Best Medical Care?
One way that drilling companies transport their gas is by truck. If these trucks are involved in collisions then they pose an environmental threat as well as a threat to the safety of individuals—especially since there could be a gas and oil explosion. In virtually all explosions, equipment malfunction is to blame.
Oil rig workers may also become ill due to toxic exposure. According to a National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety study, fracking workers are routinely exposed to extremely high levels of benzene. Benzene is a colorless gas that has been linked to cancer.
Research conducted on fracking sites shows that workers opening hatches on well sites will be exposed to high amounts of benzene on an average day. Hatches are opened around four times per hour, with workers breathing in benzene for two to five minutes. Long-term, this results in damage to the nervous system, kidney, liver, and immune system. It is also linked to leukemia.
If an employer does not provide their employees with the necessary safety equipment while dealing with these toxic chemicals, they are liable for the illness that results.
If I'm found partially at fault, is there still hope?
Absolutely. The law recognizes when there's shared fault in an accident. Comparative negligence (or percentage of fault) is the principle that will be used if you were found to have been partially at fault for the injuries that you sustained. If you were found to be 20 percent at fault, for example, you may only seek up to the amount of compensation that the other party was found liable for. If this were a case where there was an estimated $1,000,000 in damages, this would mean you could recover up to $800,000.
When will my case go to court?
Not all cases have to go to court—many can be settled outside of the courtroom. Our firm will pursue a settlement outside of court if your opponent makes an offer that's fair to you, but we are not afraid to pursue a court case if the defendant is not willing to settle for a proper amount.
How long do I have to file my oilfield injury claim?
It depends on the specific nature of your claim. Different states have different time limits on accident claims. For example, North Dakota law gives personal injury plaintiffs 6 years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Texas, meanwhile, only gives people two years from the date of injury. However, workers' compensation benefits have a 1-year statute of limitations, so any work injury claims need to be filed very quickly after an injury. Our attorneys have experience winning maximum compensation for both.
How do I know who is responsible for my accident?
Many times it will not be obvious who is at fault for your injuries. Because negligence is not a direct action, most people tend to only see the consequences rather than the negligence itself. The job of our firm is to investigate your claim so that we can accurately determine, with the help of other industry experts, who was at fault for your injuries. It may be one party, but it also may be multiple parties. Whatever the case, whoever is found to be responsible will be held liable.
Arnold & Itkin's commitment to the success of our clients is our first priority. We will not compromise when it comes to your success and security—both today and for the rest of your life.
We fight so tenaciously and effectively for our clients, the legal industry has made our firm an example for other firms to follow:
- The Best Lawyers in America®
- U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
- The Inner Circle of Advocates
- 2015 & 2016 List of Elite Trial Lawyers
- Super Lawyers® & Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ Lists
- 2017 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
If you have been injured in a drilling rig accident, consider speaking with our firm as soon as possible. At Arnold & Itkin, we are proud to take on the cases of injured oilfield workers so they do not get cheated out of the compensation they rightfully deserve. Even if you are unsure if you are entitled to a claim, the best way to find out is by speaking with someone who regularly handles these cases.
Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
Arnold & Itkin represented a pregnant woman who experienced stomach pain and called Acadian Ambulance. The driver of the ambulance drove the ambulance into the back of a sugar cane truck causing the plaintiff's spine to be severed at T4 and for her to sustain serious brain injuries. We succeeded in obtaining a $117 million verdict for the mother, as well as her two daughters.
Arnold & Itkin obtained a record settlement for individuals harmed by defective, dangerous products. The result exemplifies our commitment to clients and justice for those seriously injured by the conduct of others.
Arnold & Itkin’s legal team helped represent those harmed by dangerous products. We were successful in recovering a $105 million settlement.
Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.