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Proving Liability in Oilfield Accidents in Corpus Christi, Texas


At Hilliard Law, we understand the devastating impact oilfield accidents can have on individuals and families in Corpus Christi, Texas. With our experience in personal injury law, we're here to support you in seeking justice and compensation for your injuries. From equipment malfunctions to negligence, we'll investigate every aspect of your case to determine liability. Our experienced team knows how to navigate the legal complexities surrounding oilfield accidents, ensuring that those responsible are held accountable. Let us stand by your side and fight for the compensation you deserve.

When it comes to the bustling oilfields of Texas, understanding the common causes of oilfield accidents is crucial for ensuring the safety of workers and the accountability of employers. The causes range from the mechanical failure of drilling equipment to the human error of an exhausted workforce, and the often-overlooked lapses in mandated safety protocols. For those affected by such accidents, proving liability can be an intricate process, requiring the keen experience of a seasoned oilfield injury lawyer who can help clarify oil and gas laws.

Hilliard Law stands as a support system for those affected by oilfield accidents in Corpus Christi. With a strong history of holding negligent parties accountable, we’re committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers and their families. If you or someone you care about has suffered in an oilfield accident, it’s crucial to act swiftly. 

Contact Hilliard Law at (866) 927-3420  to set up a free consultation and to have a partner who will tirelessly work to ensure your rights are upheld and that you receive the justice and compensation you are entitled to.

The Root Causes of Oilfield Accidents in Corpus Christi

In the high-stakes, high-pressure world of oil drilling, accidents are unfortunately common. From the blowouts and explosions to chemical exposure, the scenarios are dangerous. The root cause of these catastrophes can typically be traced back to three primary factors: defective drilling equipment, human error, and inadequate safety measures. These three variables have the power to transform an ordinary workday into a life-changing disaster.

Faulty Equipment as a Catalyst for Disaster

Imagine working with machinery that’s a ticking time bomb, waiting to unleash havoc at the slightest malfunction. That’s the reality for many oilfield workers, where faulty equipment can trigger catastrophic events like blowouts, explosions, and spills. From poorly maintained rigs to defective machinery, the risks are pervasive and ever-present.

Who shoulders the blame when calamity strikes? Frequently, it is the companies that are held accountable for accidents resulting from poorly designed or manufactured equipment. In these instances, they could potentially face lawsuits, substantial fines, and a damaged reputation.

The Human Factor: Errors and Oversight

At the heart of every operation are the people who make it run. But it’s these very individuals who can inadvertently become the architects of disaster. Human error, encompassing negligent machinery operation and insufficient training, is a prominent contributor to major oilfield accidents.

Imagine an exhausting 12-hour shift, your eyes heavy, your mind foggy. Fatigue sets in, impairing judgment and slowing reaction times. The result? A higher likelihood of accidents occurring. Add in the element of inadequate training, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Safety Measures: When They Fall Short

Safety is a non-negotiable aspect of any workplace, especially in an industry as hazardous as oil and gas. Yet, when safety measures fall short, the implications can be deadly. Whether it’s due to a lack of proper safety equipment, inadequate training, insufficient supervision, poor maintenance of equipment, or forcing workers to work extended hours, employers can contribute significantly to oil rig accidents.

Non-compliance with safety regulations is not only an ethical failure but a legal one too. Companies that neglect to follow safety regulations expose themselves to potential lawsuits, contributing to the increasing number of litigations within the oil and gas sector.

Establishing Negligence in Oilfield Incidents

In the aftermath of an oilfield accident, establishing negligence becomes the foundation of the legal process. But what does this involve? Firstly, a lawyer must prove that:

  • A duty of care existed towards the injured worker
  • This duty of care was breached by the employer or a third party
  • The breach of duty contributed to the oilfield incident.

However, proving a breach of duty is not enough. The next step involves demonstrating a causal link between the breach of duty and the resulting injuries, showing that the breach directly caused the damages. For instance, if a worker is injured due to a piece of equipment that malfunctioned despite regular maintenance, the manufacturer may be liable if the equipment was inherently defective.

The legal intricacies may intensify when the principle of comparative negligence is introduced, which could modify the liability and compensation according to the proportion of fault attributed to all parties involved, including the injured oilfield worker. In such cases, Hilliard Law’s experience becomes invaluable, as we ensure that our clients are not unfairly penalized in the attribution of fault and are compensated justly for their injuries.

Gathering Crucial Evidence from the Accident Scene

In the aftermath of an oilfield accident, preserving and collecting evidence becomes a critical, yet daunting task. The gathered evidence should corroborate the accident, the injury inflicted, and the incurred damages, encompassing medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost employment hours.

While it might seem overwhelming, this process is crucial. Once an individual leaves the accident scene, the opportunity to collect evidence may be significantly reduced. Taking photos and videos, noting witnesses, and obtaining an incident report at the scene are crucial steps in collecting evidence. For instance, capturing images of the faulty equipment, recording the conditions at the time of the accident, and documenting the immediate aftermath can provide indisputable proof of the scene’s state. Similarly, collecting contact information from witnesses who can attest to what occurred can significantly bolster a claim.

This evidence can form the backbone of a strong compensation claim, providing a solid foundation upon which a case can be built.

Legal Challenges Specific to the Oil and Gas Industry

The oil and gas sector has intricate legal challenges. From comprehending the subtleties of state and federal laws to maneuvering through the maze of workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, the legal system can seem intimidating.

Armed with knowledge and backed by an experienced oilfield injury lawyer, these challenges related to oilfield injuries can be tackled head-on, ensuring that injured workers receive the justice they deserve.

Confronting Equipment Manufacturers and Oil Companies

In cases where workers’ compensation does not suffice or is not accessible, it may be necessary to challenge equipment manufacturers and oil companies. These third-party entities can be held responsible for injuries sustained in oilfield accidents, particularly when faulty equipment is involved. For example, if a worker suffers an injury due to a malfunctioning pressure valve that was known to have design flaws, the manufacturer of that valve could be liable for the resulting harm.

The process of identifying and holding these third-party entities accountable can be challenging. At Hilliard Law, our experienced team of attorneys can help identify these entities, gather the necessary evidence, and compile a strong case against them, ensuring that justice is served.

Hilliard Law Can Help You Prove Liability

At Hilliard Law, our objective is straightforward: to assist victims of oilfield accidents in maneuvering the intricate legal process, ensure fair compensation, and attain justice. With a team of Texas oilfield accident attorneys, we actively fight to help injured oilfield workers obtain compensation for severe injuries, lost wages, and other significant losses resulting from accidents.

If you’ve been impacted by an oilfield accident in Corpus Christi, our seasoned attorneys are ready to fight for your rights and ensure that your voice is heard. Call us now at (866) 927-3420 for a free consultation, and let us help you secure the result you need to move forward.

Real Results ReaL Justice

  • Record-Setting
    Million Settlement*
    Wrongful Death

    Hilliard Law attorneys represented numerous injury victims and the families of those killed in accidents caused by GM’s defective ignition switch and their concealment of safety defects.

  • $50
    Million Settlement*
    Class Action

    Mr. Hilliard was the lead class counsel in Haese v. H&R Block, a class action lawsuit involving every Texan who received a rapid refund from H&R Block (approx. 300,000 plaintiffs). He assisted other class counsel in forcing H&R Block to disclose it received kickbacks for arranging loans between its tax preparation clients and predatory lenders.

  • $50
    Million Settlement
    Wrongful Death

    In September 2021, Hilliard Law attorneys secured a $50 Million settlement for the family of a man who died in a commercial trucking accident.

  • $33
    Million Verdict
    Traumatic Brain Injury

    The Hilliard Law trial team won a $33M product liability case against a golf-car company, involving a golf cart that tipped over on a child causing a severe traumatic brain injury.

  • $30
    Million Verdict
    ATV Accident

    A jury determined that the defective design and marketing of an All Terrain Vehicle were the proximate cause of the decedent's injuries in a fatal ATV accident.

  • $25
    Million Verdict
    Negligent Security

    In May 2013, Mr. Hilliard was the lead trial attorney who obtained a $25 million jury verdict in a premises liability case in Nueces County, Texas. His client, a security guard for a downtown Corpus Christi building, was severely beaten while at work.

Workers' Compensation Insurance vs Personal Injury Claim

When an oilfield worker sustains an injury while working, there are two available legal options: workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.

  • Workers’ Compensation: This insurance system covers on-the-job injuries irrespective of fault, ensuring that workers receive medical benefits and wage replacement without the need to prove negligence. For instance, consider an oilfield worker who slips on a slick of drilling fluid and falls, sustaining a back injury. In such a scenario, workers’ compensation would kick in to cover their medical expenses and a portion of their lost wages while they recover, even if the accident was a result of a routine hazard inherent to the oilfield environment.
  • Personal Injury Lawsuit: Unlike workers’ compensation, a personal injury lawsuit requires proving that the injury was due to someone else’s negligence, making it a more complex and challenging undertaking. This legal action allows for the recovery of a broader range of damages, including pain and suffering and loss of future earnings. For instance, if an oilfield worker is injured due to a company’s failure to maintain equipment properly, they may pursue a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries beyond what workers’ compensation provides.

Which route should injured workers take? The answer isn’t always straightforward. While workers’ compensation can provide immediate relief, a personal injury claim can recover damages for non-economic issues, like mental anguish, not available through workers’ compensation. With the right legal guidance from Hilliard Law, injured workers can choose the path that best serves their interests and ensures the most favorable outcome.

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Fighting for Fair Compensation Against Big Gas Companies

Confronting the power of large gas corporations might seem daunting. Yet, with a formidable ally such as Hilliard Law supporting you, you can advocate for the equitable compensation you’re entitled to. Our experienced oilfield injury lawyers leverage their experience in challenging large corporations and securing substantial settlements for victims.

Our legal team at Hilliard Law is committed to securing fair outcomes for our clients, including obtaining maximum compensation. We fight relentlessly to ensure that justice is served and that our clients receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Real Clients. Real Stories. Real Justice. Tell Us Your Story

It’s our mission to hold the powerful accountable for their wrongdoing. Reach out to our team immediately regarding your case to schedule a free attorney consultation today.