Establishing Third-Party Liability– Who Can Be Held Responsible For An Oilfield Accident?

The oil industry is a source of employment for millions of people in the United States alone. However, it is also the country’s one of most dangerous industry to work in. Hazards constantly surround the workers as they are forced to work around toxic chemicals, at heights, handle heavy machinery, etc. Several accidents and injuries can happen.

Many employees in the oil industry get injured in transportation accidents, explosions, and other machinery-related hazards. When oilfield accidents occur, the victim can recover their damages through workers’ compensation and a personal injury claim. However, once you agree to a workers’ comp claim, you lose the right to file a legal claim. To know more, speak to a Texas oilfield accident lawyer today. 

Employer liability 

When it comes to the oilfield industry, the employer is responsible for ensuring that each and every one of their workers are qualified and trained professionally to work in such difficult conditions. They are also legally required to provide the employees with a safe working environment by complying with safety regulations and providing safety equipment. Irresponsibility on the employers’ part can result in injury. 

If an employee gets injured, their damages may be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. An employee is entitled to workers’ comp regardless of whether their injuries were caused due to a fault of their own. Workers’ comp is a way to protect the employer from legal liability as it covers the employee’s damages in the case of a serious accident. 

However, if you believe that there has been gross negligence on your employer’s part, you could skip the workers’ comp and head straight to filing a personal injury claim. Gross negligence is when a party has been careless and violated safety regulations to an unreasonable extent. 

Which third parties can you hold liable in an oilfield accident?

In some cases, the accident does not happen due to the fault of the worker or the employer but a third party. This is called third-party liability. Establishing third-party liability can be difficult since there are several parties. However, it is crucial to determine the fault to recover damages. Here is a list of the possible different third parties involved: 

  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • Rig Maintenance Companies
  • Transportation Companies
  • Contractors

Many oilfield accidents in Texas happen when machines begin malfunctioning out of the blue. If a worker is harmed because of an issue in the equipment, manufacturer liability can help recover damages. Parties involved in repairing and maintaining equipment are also potentially liable. 

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