NewsOK reported on July 25, 2017, that a deadly accident happened near Dacoma, Oklahoma at Midstates Petroleum Co. in Woods County. The accident occurred in the morning; one person was killed, and another was injured. The company spokesman said the cause of the accident is being investigated. The Oklahoma OSHA (the Occupational Health and Safety Administration) office confirmed that an investigation was underway.
The spokesman acknowledged that another oil field accident had occurred at another Midstates Petroleum Co. site just one week earlier. That accident injured two workers when they were struck by a pipe.
Both accidents show how serious, and even deadly, oil field accidents can be.
Some of the common causes of oil field accidents that are likely part of the investigation include:
- Fracking accidents
- Equipment that does not work properly
- Vehicle accidents
- Drilling and rig accidents
- Violations of OSHA regulations or other safety regulations
- Exposure to toxins
Experienced Oklahoma oil field attorneys work with professionals and investigators called to the scene to determine what caused the accident.
The rights of the victims
In both accident cases, the injury victims—who were not employees—would have the right to hold Midstates Petroleum Co. and any other companies that owned or had authority over the site operations liable for negligence. If found liable, victims would be entitled to lost wages, payment for all medical bills—including doctor visits and hospital stays—and to compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering. Any victims who were employees could bring a worker’s compensation claim for medical bills, lost wages—usually up to 2/3 of average weekly wages—and other allowable benefits.
The family of the deceased victim, if the victim was an independent contractor, would have the right to demand payment for funeral expenses, any pain and suffering the deceased experienced before dying, the family’s grief and emotional suffering, and possibly punitive damages. If the deceased victim was an employee, then the family would have a right to worker’s compensation death benefits, which can be up to $100,000 for a spouse and $25,000 for each child – with certain limits.
If the injury victim or the deceased was an employee, the victims and/or family also have the right to bring claims against third parties, such as parts manufacturers who designed defective products that were in use at the time of the accident.
If a loved one died, or you were injured in an oil-field accident, Stipe Law Firm can help. Our Oklahoma oil-field accident attorneys have been helping victims get just recoveries for over 60 years. We prepare each case for a jury trial and negotiate strong settlements. To review your claim, please call our McAlester office at (918) 505-7741 or schedule an appointment by using our contact form.