In oil field drilling, few things can cause as much devastation as when a rig collapses. If workers survive a rig collapse, they are still likely to sustain serious injuries. With the risks associated with rig collapses, you would think that oil companies and everyone responsible for safely maintaining and operating the rig would do everything possible to prevent such occurrences, but this is not often the case. There is often negligence at the center of a rig collapse and the damage it causes cannot be undone.
While the damages incurred as a result of rig collapses may be irreversible, there are legal means for getting compensated for those losses. Through a personal injury action, injured oil rig workers can seek monetary compensation for the harm they suffered in an oil rig collapse. These types of claims can, however, be tricky to navigate and it is likely that any potentially liable party, oil company included, will put up a fight. Our tenacious and experienced team of North Dakota oilfield accident attorneys, however, provides our clients with zealous legal advocacy.
Common Causes of Rig Collapses in North Dakota
It is an unfortunate reality that many, if not all, of the major common causes of rig collapses are preventable. Just see for yourself. Some of the most common causes of rig collapses include:
- Lack of safety measures
- Fatigued workers
- Drilling process errors
- Inadequate worker training
- Heavy equipment failures
- Damaged cables or wiring
- Machinery defects
- Pipe corrosion
- Design flaws
As you can see, things like lack of proper maintenance and inadequate worker training as well as failure to properly train workers are some of the leading causes of rig collapses. All of which can be prevented. Workers could, and should, have been properly trained. The equipment could have been properly designed and maintained. Proper safety measures could have been observed. Instead, when these things fail to be present in the everyday workings of an oil rig, collapses result in tragic, sweeping injuries.
Injuries Sustained in Rig Collapses
A collapsed oil rig can cause oil rig workers to sustain extensive injuries. Some of the most common oil rig collapse injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Amputated limbs
- Broken bones
Not only are workers at risk of being struck or crushed by materials making up the rig itself but they can also be injured by the hazardous chemicals and substances on the rig. Toxic chemical exposure could lead to severe burns, among other injury types. If you’ve suffered an injury due to a collapsed oil rig, contact Pringle & Herigstad.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Rig Collapse?
One of the most complicated parts of bringing an injury claim after a rig collapse is figuring out who can be held liable for the collapse and the resulting injuries. It may surprise you to find out that there can be a number of different parties held liable. Those whose negligence played a role in the oil rig collapse can be held responsible for compensating injured parties for the harm they have suffered. Depending on the nature and cause of the rig collapse, the following parties may be held liable:
- The oil company
- Equipment manufacturers
Third parties commonly play a part in rig collapses and, if their negligence was responsible for the oil rig accident, then they too can be held liable. Such third parties may be independent contractors such as wireline operators and rig movers.
In order to hold a party liable in a rig collapse, you will likely need to be able to prove negligence on their part. The elements of negligence that must be supported in order to bring a claim against a potentially liable party include:
- Duty: The party owed the workers a duty of care in doing their part to keep the workers reasonably safe under the circumstances.
- Breach: There was a breach of the duty of care as the party failed to take reasonable measures to keep workers safe and prevent the rig from collapsing.
- Causation: The party’s breach of the duty of care was both the direct and proximate cause of the worker’s injuries.
- Damages: There were damages resulting from the party’s breach of their duty of care. Damages in these cases will often include things like the cost of medical care, future medical expenses, and lost wages.
Our North Dakota Oil Rig Collapse Attorneys Can Help You
After suffering debilitating injuries in an oil rig collapse, it is likely that no amount of money will completely make things right. The trauma to the body, mind, and spirit may seem insurmountable no matter what compensation is sent your way. All that being said, there are economic realities you will need to face. You may not be able to go back to work. You may have to live with your injuries for the rest of your life. Additionally, you deserve to be compensated as best as possible for all that you have suffered due to the negligence of another.
Let our team hold the negligent parties responsible for the damage they have done. We skillfully handle these complex claims because we know what our clients deserve. If you or a loved one has been injured in an oil rig collapse, do not hesitate to reach out to our office. We are here to help.
Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. is committed to supporting individuals in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and Minot, as well as the surrounding areas, who have been impacted by rig collapses. Our dedicated team is here to provide legal assistance and guidance to those facing the complex challenges that arise from these incidents.