Oilfield work is known for being a high-risk occupation, with workers facing numerous hazards on a daily basis. In North Dakota, the oil and gas industry plays a significant role in the state's economy, but it also brings with it an increased risk of accidents and injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered an oilfield injury, it's crucial to know the steps to take in order to protect your rights and receive the compensation you deserve. In this blog post, we'll provide a comprehensive guide to handling oilfield injuries in North Dakota, including what to do immediately after an accident, understanding workers' compensation, and seeking legal assistance.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
First and foremost, your health should be your top priority. If you've been injured in an oilfield accident, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Even if your injuries appear minor, it's essential to get checked out by a medical professional, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent. Additionally, having a record of your medical treatment will be vital when it comes to filing a workers' compensation claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
2. Report the Accident to Your Employer
Once you've received medical treatment, it's important to report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. In North Dakota, you're required to provide written notice of your injury to your employer within 7 days of the accident. Be sure to include details about the incident, such as the date, time, and location, as well as any witnesses who may have been present. Failing to report your injury in a timely manner could result in a denial of your workers' compensation claim.
3. Understand Your Rights Under Workers' Compensation
Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program designed to provide benefits to employees who have been injured on the job. In North Dakota, the Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) is responsible for administering the workers' compensation program. If you've been injured in an oilfield accident, it's important to familiarize yourself with your rights under workers' compensation, including what benefits you may be entitled to, such as medical expenses, wage replacement, and disability benefits.
4. Consult with an Experienced Oilfield Injury Attorney
While workers' compensation is designed to provide benefits to injured workers, navigating the claims process can be complex and challenging. Additionally, in some cases, you may be entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer, if their negligence contributed to your accident. To ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve, it's crucial to consult with an experienced oilfield injury attorney who can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.
5. Document Your Injuries and Expenses
Throughout the claims process, it's essential to keep detailed records of your injuries and expenses related to your accident. This includes medical bills, prescription costs, lost wages, and any other expenses you've incurred as a result of your injury. Having thorough documentation will be invaluable when it comes to building a strong case for compensation.
At Maring Williams Law Office, our team of experienced oilfield injury attorneys is dedicated to helping injured workers in North Dakota navigate the complex process of filing a workers' compensation claim or pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. If you or a loved one has suffered an oilfield injury in North Dakota, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.