In the oilfield industry, an accident can change everything you think you know about your employer. In this video, Kurt and Jason talk about the first moves an energy company will take after an accident.
Hurt in an Oilfield Accident?
Following an injury on a land rig, companies are pretty aggressive.
You got to remember: when you get hurt, you’re not dealing with your boss anymore. You’re not dealing with your co-employees anymore. As soon as someone’s hurt, it’s a call to Legal, and it’s a call to Risk Management. And their plan is to try to minimize liability, which means they minimize having to pay money. And the best plan, typically, that they can come up with is to try to blame the person that got hurt.
The company goes into cover-up mode right away—and the first step that they use is this rapid response team. Their job is to be anywhere in the world, at any time, within 12 hours, to start the process of essentially covering up an accident. What our job is to do is, if you call us, we have our own rapid response team. We will get there and make sure that the scene does not get changed.
That’s why it’s important to have our experts come and inspect it. Because once we tell them, “You’ve got to preserve the evidence,” if they destroy it, they have to pay serious fines and sanctions. So once we get involved, we kind of freeze the state of the evidence until we get our people there. That’s how we level the playing field.
In 2017, we set the national record for an oilfield accident in terms of a voluntary settlement where a company voluntarily chose to pay our client money to avoid having to go to trial against us.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, when something really bad happens, and you’re looking for “who is the lawyer that can help me, help my family. Make sure we’re taken care of. That my medical bills are taken care of. That my lost wages are taken care of. That my family never has to worry again.”