Serving the Injured Across North Dakota, Minnesota & Montana
Oilfield Injuries

Bismarck Oilfield Accident Attorney

Demand Justice for Serious Worksite Accidents

When working on an oilfield in North Dakota, you have the right to expect safe workplace conditions, even though the oil and gas industries are notoriously dangerous. If you get hurt on-the-job because of someone else’s mistakes, then you deserve to be fully compensated for your injuries, which might be life-changing. Except the insurance company responding to your injury claim will probably see things differently.

To get your oilfield accident claim underway with confidence, choose Maring Williams Law Office in Bismarck to represent you. We are highly experienced – our team has more than 150 total years of legal practice – and do not shy away from difficult cases or stubborn oppositions. We take each case to heart because we know our clients deserve nothing but the best possible representation that blends professionalism with genuine compassion.

Start your oilfield accident claim by dialing (701) 543-6685 now.

What is an Oilfield Accident?

An oilfield accident refers to any incident that occurs during the exploration, extraction, processing, or transportation of oil and gas resources. These accidents can range from minor incidents to catastrophic events, often resulting in injuries, fatalities, environmental damage, and economic losses.

Common types of oilfield accidents include:

  • Blowouts: A blowout occurs when pressure control systems fail, leading to an uncontrolled release of oil, gas, or drilling fluids from a well. Blowouts can result in fires, explosions, and environmental contamination.
  • Fires and Explosions: Oilfield operations involve flammable materials, and fires and explosions can occur due to equipment malfunctions, ignition sources, or human error. These incidents can cause severe injuries, fatalities, and damage to property and the environment.
  • Equipment Failures: Malfunctions or failures of equipment such as drilling rigs, pipelines, pumps, and valves can lead to accidents in oilfields. Equipment failures may result from poor maintenance, design flaws, or material fatigue.
  • Transportation Accidents: Accidents involving the transportation of oil and gas, including tanker truck crashes, pipeline ruptures, and train derailments, can cause spills, fires, and environmental contamination.
  • Chemical Exposure: Oilfield workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals used in drilling, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and production processes. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to health problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and long-term illnesses.
  • Falls and Collapses: Working at heights, such as on drilling rigs or scaffolding, poses risks of falls and structural collapses. Failure to follow safety protocols, inadequate training, or defective equipment can contribute to these accidents.
  • Struck-By and Caught-In/Between Incidents: Oilfield workers face risks of being struck by heavy equipment or objects, such as pipes or tools, and being caught in or between machinery or structures. Poor communication, inadequate safety measures, and lack of proper training increase the likelihood of these accidents.
  • Confined Space Accidents: Working in confined spaces, such as tanks, vessels, or wellbores, presents hazards such as oxygen deficiency, toxic gas buildup, and entrapment. Accidents in confined spaces can result from inadequate ventilation, improper entry procedures, or failure to monitor atmospheric conditions.
  • Environmental Incidents: Spills, leaks, and other environmental incidents can occur during oilfield operations, leading to contamination of soil, water bodies, and ecosystems. These incidents can have long-lasting environmental and economic consequences.

Common Causes of Oilfield Accidents

Oilfield accidents can occur due to various factors, such as:

  • Equipment Failure: Malfunctions or breakdowns of equipment such as drilling rigs, pumps, valves, and pipelines can lead to accidents. This can result from inadequate maintenance, material fatigue, design flaws, or manufacturing defects.
  • Poor Maintenance Practices: Inadequate maintenance of equipment and infrastructure increases the risk of failures and accidents. Failure to regularly inspect, repair, and replace worn or damaged components can lead to unexpected breakdowns and hazardous situations.
  • Human Error: Human factors play a significant role in oilfield accidents. Errors in judgment, decision-making, communication, and adherence to safety procedures can contribute to incidents. Fatigue, lack of training, complacency, and distractions also increase the likelihood of mistakes.
  • Inadequate Training and Supervision: Insufficient training of workers in safety protocols, emergency procedures, and proper use of equipment can lead to accidents. Similarly, inadequate supervision and oversight of operations may result in workers taking risks or performing tasks incorrectly.
  • Unsafe Work Practices: Failure to follow established safety protocols and procedures, such as proper handling of equipment, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and adherence to environmental regulations, can lead to accidents. Cutting corners to save time or costs increases the risk of incidents.
  • Pressure and Stress: High-pressure environments in oilfield operations can lead to stress on equipment and personnel, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Pressure to meet production targets or deadlines may result in rushed decisions and compromised safety.
  • Environmental Factors: Adverse weather conditions, such as high winds, storms, extreme temperatures, and heavy rain, can pose risks to oilfield operations. These conditions may exacerbate equipment failures, impede visibility, and create hazardous working conditions.
  • Chemical Hazards: Exposure to hazardous chemicals used in drilling, fracking, and production processes can lead to accidents and health risks for workers. Improper handling, storage, or disposal of chemicals increases the likelihood of spills, leaks, and contamination incidents.
  • Communication Breakdowns: Ineffective communication between workers, supervisors, contractors, and other stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings, errors, and unsafe conditions. Clear and accurate communication is essential for coordinating tasks, conveying hazards, and responding to emergencies.
  • Lack of Emergency Preparedness: Failure to have adequate emergency response plans, equipment, and training in place can exacerbate the consequences of accidents. Prompt and effective response to incidents, including evacuations, containment of spills, and medical assistance, is critical for minimizing harm.

Many oilfield accidents will result in a workers’ compensation claim being filed by the injured worker. Yet this is not always the case and it is not always the right solution. Workers’ compensation benefits will only provide so much, and they rarely reflect what the injured claimant deserves. When an accident is caused by a third party’s negligence, a personal injury claim might be the only legal solution. Furthermore, oil workers who are technically independent contractors might have no choice other than to file injury claims, rather than workers’ compensation claims.

What to Do After an Oilfield Accident

When you have been in an oilfield accident, you need to do all you can to prove you were not at fault if you intend on filing a personal injury claim. If you are found to be liable for your own injuries to a considerable degree, it could mean that your claim is invalidated. At the least, your claim will be much more difficult to pursue.

To help lessen your liability after an oilfield accident, you should:

  • Inform your shift supervisor or employer about your accident and injuries as soon as possible.
  • Seek immediate medical attention even if you think you are relatively unharmed.
  • Speak with coworkers and others on the jobsite for testimonies about what they witnessed.
  • Call an attorney at your first opportunity to discuss how to progress your claim.

Types of Damages You Can Recover

The damages that you can recover after an oilfield accident will depend on the type of claim you pursue. If you file for workers’ compensation, then you will likely be limited to recovering costs for necessary medical treatments and a percentage of your lost wages. As mentioned, this amount is often not enough to keep an oilfield worker financially afloat after a serious accident.

If you can file a personal injury claim, your damages could include:

  • All medical bills, including necessary and elective treatments
  • All wages you lost due to missing work
  • Cost of future care or rehabilitative therapies
  • Compensation for your undue pain and suffering

It would be the honor of our Bismarck oilfield accident lawyers to help you determine if you have a valid claim that should be filed as an injury claim. We want to get you as much compensation as possible while simultaneously removing as much stress from your shoulders as possible.

Contact us today so we can discuss the details of your accident.

Successful Verdicts & Settlements

Victories On Behalf of Our Clients & Community
  • Oilfield Accident & Traumatic Brain Injury $19 Million

    Our client suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe burns, and permanent disfigurement when he was involved in a gas explosion in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota.

  • Oilfield Accident & Burn Injury $6 Million

    Our client was severely burned and suffered permanent and disabling injuries in an explosion and fire at a well site in the Bakken oil fields of western North Dakota.

  • Rear-Ended Car Accident $2.35 Million

    Our client was rear-ended while stopped on the highway and sustained significant injuries to his back, ribs and lung.

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How We Provide Exceptional Legal Service to Our Cleints
  • Integrity

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  • Respect

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  • Compassion

    We care about every client who walks through our doors and will stop at nothing to fight for them.

  • Professionalism

    We have more than 150 years of combined experience - and we're just getting started.

  • Excellence

    We are proud to be one of the region's most-trusted and respected personal injury law firms.

  • Commitment

    We are committed to not only fighting for your recovery, but to guiding you through the entire process.

Client Testimonials

Success Stories From Members of Our Community
  • “Lindsay was more than just an attorney. She was very passionate about our case and I felt confident in her with every aspect. Not too many attorneys out there that you can laugh and cry with at the ...”

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  • “I was totally impressed with the quality of service that was provided to me during my journey. Words can not truly express my gratitude for Lindsay and the staff that worked on my file. Lindsay's work ...”

    - S.A.
  • “I really enjoyed working with Jim and team!”

    - Nicole A.
  • “The insurance companies would never treat us fairly without great attorneys like you and your team at Maring Williams Law Office!”

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  • “Everything was explained to me in detail and I felt just as much apart of the legal process as he was. I can't recommend the Maring Williams enough. Amazing people.”

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