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

Fargo Oilfield Accident Attorney

Oilfield Accident Claims After a Fire, Explosion, or Disaster

In recent years, North Dakota has been experiencing an oil boom. With the new job opportunities and budding industry comes the inherent risk of oilfield accidents, though. When safety protocols are relaxed at an oilfield, the dangers of the industry only become more prominent.

Were you severely injured during an oilfield accident in North Dakota? Did you lose a loved one in an oilfield disaster? Maring Williams Law Office in Fargo can help you seek justice and compensation.

We can help clients from oil towns throughout North Dakota, such as:

  • Williston
  • Watford City
  • Alexander
  • Arnegard

We are known as hard-hitting attorneys when we deal with the opposition but truly compassionate friends and allies when working with our clients. You have been through enough after your oilfield accident. The last thing you need is more stress because your legal representative does not take your case seriously or pressures you to make moves you are not sure are the right ones. We give you time, space, and support as your case develops.

For a free consultation with our Fargo oilfield accident lawyers, dial (701) 402-6644.

Common Types of Oilfield Accidents

An oilfield accident refers to any incident that occurs during the exploration, extraction, processing, or transportation of oil and natural gas. These accidents can vary in severity, ranging from minor injuries to fatalities and significant environmental damage.

Common types of oilfield accidents include:

  • Fires and Explosions: Oil and gas are highly flammable substances, and fires or explosions can occur due to equipment malfunctions, leaks, sparks, or other ignition sources. These incidents can lead to serious injuries, fatalities, and extensive damage to infrastructure.
  • Blowouts: Blowouts occur when there is an uncontrolled release of oil or gas from a well. This can happen due to the failure of well control equipment or human error during drilling or production operations.
  • Chemical Exposure: Oilfield workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals during drilling, fracking, or maintenance activities. Exposure to these chemicals can lead to health problems ranging from skin irritation to respiratory issues and long-term illnesses.
  • Vehicle Accidents: Oilfields often involve the use of heavy machinery and vehicles such as trucks, cranes, and drilling rigs. Accidents involving these vehicles can occur due to driver error, equipment failure, or hazardous road conditions.
  • Falls and Slips: Oilfield sites can be hazardous environments with uneven terrain, elevated platforms, and slippery surfaces. Workers may suffer injuries from falls or slips, especially if proper safety precautions are not followed.
  • Structural Collapses: Structures such as drilling rigs, storage tanks, and pipelines can collapse due to structural weaknesses, overloading, or natural disasters such as earthquakes or severe weather events.
  • Equipment Malfunctions: The machinery and equipment used in oilfield operations can malfunction due to mechanical failure, inadequate maintenance, or improper operation. Malfunctions can result in injuries to workers and damage to property.
  • Confined Space Incidents: Oilfield facilities often contain confined spaces such as storage tanks, pits, and pipelines where workers may be exposed to hazardous conditions such as toxic gases, lack of oxygen, or entrapment.
  • Struck-By or Caught-In/Between Accidents: Workers may be struck by moving equipment or caught in-between machinery during oilfield operations, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.
  • Environmental Spills: Accidental spills of oil or hazardous chemicals can occur during transportation, storage, or processing activities in oilfields, resulting in contamination of soil, water bodies, and wildlife habitats.

Common Oilfield Accident Injuries

According to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), North Dakota is notorious for its on-the-job dangers. Information from the organization reveals that North Dakota has the highest death rate among workers at about 12.5 worker fatalities for every 100,000 people in the population. Approximately three-fourths of those workplace deaths happen within the oil and gas industries.

Aside from workplace deaths, what other types of oilfield accident injuries are there?

  • Severe burns: Some of the worst oilfield accidents occur when a fire breaks out, causing an inferno in a matter of minutes. If a fire starts in a pressurized system, then it can trigger a massive explosion. In either situation, workers are often exposed to intense heat and flames, resulting in widespread, third-degree burns.
  • Amputations: Crush injuries are a serious risk in all industrial workplaces, including oilfields. When a worker is caught in a piece of heavy machinery, it can result in the amputation of a limb, causing immediate and permanent catastrophic harm.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Falls from heights, falling objects, and the concussive force of an explosion can all cause an oilfield worker to suffer a brain injury. Some brain injuries may appear mild at first, starting with headaches or memory loss. As time passes, the injury can worsen dramatically, resulting in a wide range of severe complications.
  • Chemical exposure: There are many chemicals and substances around the average oilfield that can cause serious health problems like cancer due to repeated exposure. Most notably, the oil and gas being extracted by derricks, rigs, and other equipment are highly toxic when inhaled in even small quantities.

Determining Liability in an Oilfield Accident

Some entities that may be held liable for an oilfield accident include:

  • Oil Companies/Operators: The companies that own or operate the oilfield may be held liable for accidents that occur on their premises or as a result of their operations. This liability can extend to negligence in maintaining safe working conditions, failure to comply with safety regulations, or inadequate training of employees.
  • Contractors and Subcontractors: Oil companies often hire contractors and subcontractors to perform various tasks in the oilfield, such as drilling, well maintenance, and transportation. If an accident occurs due to the negligence or misconduct of these contractors or subcontractors, they may be held liable.
  • Equipment Manufacturers: If an oilfield accident is caused by a defective or malfunctioning piece of equipment, such as a blowout preventer or pipeline valve, the manufacturer of the equipment may be held liable under product liability laws.
  • Service Companies: Companies that provide specialized services in the oilfield, such as well cementing, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), or wireline logging, may be held liable if their actions or equipment contribute to an accident.
  • Landowners: In some cases, the owners of the land where the oilfield is located may be held liable for accidents that occur on their property, especially if they fail to maintain safe conditions or adequately warn workers of hazards.
  • Government Agencies: Regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing oil and gas operations, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States, may hold companies liable for violations of safety regulations that contribute to accidents.
  • Insurance Companies: Insurance companies providing liability coverage to oil companies and contractors may be involved in determining liability and compensating victims of oilfield accidents.
  • Employees: In cases where an accident is caused by the negligence or misconduct of an individual employee, that employee may be held personally liable for their actions.

To prove liability in your oilfield accident, see if you can get evidence of what went wrong and why, or leave it up to our attorneys to investigate. Jobsite safety records and eyewitness testimonies from coworkers are often the two greatest pieces of evidence that can be used in your favor as the plaintiff. With a strong claim, your liability could be reduced to 0%, meaning the defendant would be liable for all of your damages, like medical bills and lost wages.

Filing a Claim with Legal Guidance

The claims process after an oilfield accident can get complicated quickly. You can expect resistance from the opposing parties at every step. Just investigating your accident can be difficult if the oilfield owner does not want to willingly share jobsite safety records, for example.

It is a safer choice to allow a lawyer to represent you from start to finish. Choose our Fargo oilfield accident attorneys to be there for you each step of the way. We can assist with initial filings, negotiations, investigations, mediations, and even litigation.

For comprehensive legal representation, call (701) 402-6644 now.

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.

  • Car Accident and Tractor-Trailer Accident $2.25 million

    Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that collided with a semi-tractor on a highway.

  • 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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