This is the next post in a series of articles discussing oil field accident cases in Fort Worth, Texas. Our previous article discussed how damages are calculated in such cases. Accidents occurring in oil fields or on offshore rigs can result in catastrophic injuries or death. Depending upon the nature of one’s injuries, calculating the damages to which a victim or their family may be entitled can be complicated. The process typically involves multiple expert witnesses providing estimates of lost past and future wages, long-term medical care, pain and suffering and more. Working with experienced personal injury counsel can help ensure that your family is adequately compensated by the responsible parties. In this article, we will focus on oil field accidents that result in the victim’s wrongful death. If you have experienced such a tragedy and need assistance, contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Few things are more devastating than the death of a loved one in a workplace accident. Unfortunately, given the inherent danger of working in the oil industry, catastrophic accidents are not uncommon. Families of victims are often overwhelmed by grief and may not know how to initiate the legal process to seek compensation from the responsible parties. Under Texas law, surviving spouses and children may bring wrongful death actions when their loved one’s death was caused by the negligence or intentional misconduct of one or more third parties. After establishing the liability of the defendants, the survivors are required to demonstrate the financial and emotional damages they have (or will) suffer as a result of the loss. As with other types of personal injury cases, proving liability and damages can involve complex legal theories and arguments. Multiple expert witnesses may be required to investigate the incident thoroughly and provide testimony in support of the family’s claims. It is essential to retain counsel with the resources required to engage all required experts and handle the case during settlement negotiations and through trial if necessary.
Oil field cases can be particularly complicated for a variety of reasons. First, such cases often involve multiple defendants. For instance, if the victim’s death stemmed from an oil rig collapse, then the potentially responsible parties may include the rig’s owner, operator, equipment manufacturers, contractors, etc. Identifying each defendant and understanding their respective roles in the incident is essential to ensuring that the victim’s family is fully compensated. Second, damages in wrongful death cases may easily reach into the millions depending upon the facts of the case. As such, defendants and their insurance companies are likely to dispute their liability. They may employ teams of attorneys and experts of their own to refute the wrongful death action. This can lead to a lengthy and expensive legal process. We recommend working with a law firm with multiple attorneys who are dedicated to your case and with the resources to aggressively pursue all potentially responsible parties.
When interviewing attorneys to handle an oil field injury which resulted in wrongful death, we suggest that you look for a firm with extensive personal injury experience. We also recommend a firm with lawyers on staff who are Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, with an investigator on-site, and with adequate financial resources. These suggestions apply regardless of whether the accident occurred in the areas of Fort Worth, Dallas, or elsewhere.