The oil and gas extraction industry is a powerful force in Colorado. It employs thousands of people in well-paying jobs and produces fuel that people all over the country depend on to run their vehicles and heat their homes.

Oilfields are also extremely perilous places to work. Oil and natural gas are highly flammable, and it is impossible to eliminate the risk of a fire or explosion. In addition, oilfield work requires heavy equipment and machinery. Unfortunately, if these machines break down or malfunction, the results could be tragic.

If you suffered an injury due to an oil field equipment malfunction in Denver, contact a legal representative with experience representing people like you. A seasoned oil field accident attorney at Roberts Markland LLP could help you hold the equipment manufacturer and other responsible parties accountable for your losses.

How Do Oilfield Equipment Malfunctions Occur?

There are multiple ways for a worker to suffer an injury while working in an oilfield. It is a dangerous job, and the risks cannot always be mitigated, even when workers are well-trained, and employers take reasonable steps to protect their employees.

Companies often fail to invest in new equipment when they should, resulting in malfunctions. Additionally, poor maintenance is common in oilfields and employers sometimes prioritize getting work done quickly instead of servicing equipment when necessary. Sometimes oilfield equipment has a flaw in its design or manufacturing process, rendering it defective and unreasonably dangerous.

A knowledgeable attorney in Denver could investigate an oil field equipment accident to determine who is responsible. Once they have reviewed the circumstances of a case, a legal professional could fight to get an injured worker the maximum compensation available.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Colorado employers must offer Workers’ Compensation benefits to their employees. The Workers’ Compensation program provides injured workers free medical care until their injury has reached maximum medical improvement. These benefits also provide a weekly payment to replace a worker’s income while they are unable to work due to their harm. In addition, if an injury leaves a worker permanently disabled, the program will pay them for their disability.

The rules surrounding workers’ compensation claims can be complicated, and companies are not always as cooperative as they should be. Therefore, it is wise for an oilfield worker to enlist the help of an attorney as soon as possible after an injury caused by faulty machinery. A legal representative in Denver could help the worker file their claim, ensure they meet filing deadlines, and represent the worker if they need to contest or appeal a decision.

Bringing a Lawsuit Against the Responsible Parties

When an equipment malfunction causes an injury to an oil field worker in Denver, the circumstances determine whether the worker could bring a lawsuit. If a lawsuit against the responsible party is possible, the worker could receive damages for their unreimbursed medical costs, lost wages, diminished future earning capacity, pain, suffering, and disability.

If the equipment malfunction was the sole result of an employer’s negligence, the worker could only receive worker’s compensation benefits. However, in many cases, a hardworking lawyer could identify another party who might be liable for the accident. If another party bears partial responsibility, the injured employee could collect workers’ compensation from their employer and sue the responsible party.

For instance, a lawsuit could be possible if the malfunctioning equipment was owned, leased, or operated by someone other than the injured worker’s employer. Likewise, if the actions of an independent contractor or an employee of another company contributed to the accident, the injured person could sue the other company. Finally, if the manufacturer produced a defective piece of equipment, the manufacturer and distributor could be liable to the injured worker.

Work With an Attorney in Denver if You Were a Victim of an Oil Field Equipment Malfunction

Oilfield workers subject themselves to huge risks to keep the energy flowing. Although employers and everyone who engages in oilfield work should take all reasonable precautions to ensure worker safety, this is not always possible.

When an oilfield equipment malfunction in Denver causes an injury, it usually means someone was negligent. A local attorney could investigate a case to identify the negligent parties and help you hold them accountable. Speak to an experienced lawyer today.