This is the last post in a series of articles in which we have discussed common issues that arise in oil field injury cases in Fort Worth, Texas. When an oil field accident is caused by the negligence or willful misconduct of others, victims and their families may be entitled to compensation. It may be possible to recover financial damages for medical bills, lost wages, long-term care, emotional distress, and more. The goal of this series has been to provide information to individuals who have been seriously hurt in a catastrophic accident. If you or a loved one has been harmed from such an event, we recommend contacting an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve your legal rights.
This series addressed each of the following subjects:
- Naming fictitious parties to oil field injury lawsuits
- The need to hire a law firm with significant resources to handle an oil field injury case
- The possibility of facing a bifurcated trial
- Calculating and proving damages after an oil field injury
- When an oil field accident results in wrongful death
We felt it was important to write about these issues for several reasons. First, oil field accident cases often involve large commercial enterprises. As a result, it can be difficult in some cases to identify all potential defendants. When that occurs, seasoned counsel will name various “John Doe” defendants as parties to the victim’s lawsuit. Doing so acts as a placeholder for defendants identified after a lawsuit is initiated. Second, complex litigation, such as oil field injury actions, can be expensive. Most are taken on a contingency basis, meaning that law firms incur the costs of such cases up front and until a case is resolved. It is imperative, therefore, to engage a firm with the financial resources to see the case through to conclusion. Third, it is not uncommon for attorneys representing defendants in serious injury matters to request a two-part, or bifurcated, trial. The purpose of bifurcation is to separate the liability phase from the damages phase to prevent the jury from considering the victim’s injuries when evaluating the defendants’ liability. Experienced personal injury attorneys will oppose such requests on their client’s behalf. Fourth, estimating a victim’s damages can be challenging in serious injury cases. Multiple experts may be required to understand the full array of damages, including medical expenses, long-term care, punitive damages, and more. Finally, should an oil field accident result in the death of a loved one, the victim’s family should understand what to expect during a wrongful death proceeding.
Oil field accidents often result in serious injuries for their victims. The importance of choosing a law firm with personal injury experience cannot be overstated. When choosing representation, we suggest that you look for a firm with multiple 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 traits should be sought regardless of whether you were injured in the areas of Fort Worth, Dallas, or elsewhere.