From 2007 to 2012, employment in the oil and natural gas industry increased over 30 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this increase in employment, the number of injured workers has also increased.
It may seem like simple math with such an apparent correlation. More workers equate to more injuries. Yet, it isn't that simple — and it isn't that blameless. At Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, we have seen firsthand how negligence and avarice can lead to disaster. That is why we are the voice demanding accountability, advocating for those who have lost their lives and working earnestly for those injured on the job, whose lives will never be the same.
Why So Many Jobs?
The reason behind the increase in jobs within the oil and gas sector is largely due to the modern day oil boom stemming from a series of mergers and acquisitions hailed as The Great Shale Gas Rush. The rapid development fueling these drilling sites brought with it a host of unsettling problems for residents and workers, both those from the local community and migrant workers from out-of-state brought in by the promise of good money and a chance at the American dream.
Why Is Oil And Gas Work So Dangerous?
Often, workers are pressed to work 72-hour shifts, encouraged with overtime pay. In the rush to get the job started, many workers are improperly trained or use machinery that has not been sufficiently maintained. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has safety standards specifically set in place to prevent or reduce the likelihood of accidents. Yet, some drilling companies demonstrate a disregard for these regulations in their haste to get a drilling project underway. This negligence can directly cause serious injuries and even fatalities.
Workers' Compensation Is Rarely Enough
In West Virginia, workers injured in Marcellus Shale-related accidents are eligible for workers' compensation for injuries they suffer while on the job. What you may not know is that workers' compensation may not be enough to cover all of the expenses that stem from a life-altering injury.
This is why we feel every worker should know that in the event of an injury, many Marcellus Shale workers are also eligible for personal injury compensation. At the law firm of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, our attorneys have served injured workers from across West Virginia since 1980. We can represent your interests in the event you or a loved one was seriously injured in a Marcellus-Shale drilling accident.
Local Attorneys, Familiar With Local Laws
Whether you are local or are an out-of-state worker injured in a West Virginia drilling site accident, it is important to find a lawyer familiar with state laws, local judges and the West Virginia court system. State-specific safety guidelines, if not met, could be a huge contingency factor for your case. This is knowledge that we have, and we are ready to put it to use for you.
Personal Injury Compensation For Workplace Injuries In West Virginia
Your safety should never be secondary to gas and oil profits. If you suffered injuries in an accident that occurred while you were working on the Marcellus Shale or other fracking sites, you can pursue personal injury compensation in certain situations. Beyond your employer, third parties such as equipment manufacturers and subcontractors could be fully or partly responsible. Your claim is strengthened when:
- Safety violations are present
- Proper training was not conducted
- Equipment was not maintained
- Equipment was operated under knowledge of defects
- Workers are exposed to toxic chemicals
- Explosions occur
- Poor communication resulted in your being struck by equipment or tools
Find Out If You Are Eligible
The first step in learning whether your Marcellus Shale workplace accident makes you eligible for personal injury compensation is a discussion with an experienced attorney. At Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, PLLC, we offer free initial consultations to all injured West Virginia workers at our Charleston law office. During your initial consultation, we will examine the details of your accident and explain your legal options.
We can assist with claims of injuries and fatalities associated with horizontal drilling, fracking operations, rig work and all Marcellus Shale-related injuries.
Once we know the details surrounding the event that resulted in your injury, we will determine how best to proceed. Workers' compensation often falls short and will not cover hardships like pain, suffering and emotional duress.
Simply put, this is why it is important to determine if anyone else could be responsible for your injury or your loved one's death. If negligence is suspected, we can work to prove exactly where the fault lies and we can seek compensation from all third parties who were liable. In certain situations, we may even be able to hold your employers responsible, particularly if they broke state law by knowingly putting you at risk.
Holding Negligent Parties Accountable
Profits are in the trillions of dollars for companies in the oil and gas industry, so they are not without legal aid to spare them repercussion by way of remuneration — they can afford it.
If you were the victim of an accident while working the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia, you may be eligible for more than just workers' compensation. If you lost a loved one in a Marcellus Shale-related accident, don't hesitate to reach out to our team of lawyers for relief. You don't have to go through this time alone.
Our office is in Charleston and our services cover the majority of West Virginia. Your initial consultation costs you nothing. So find out if you have a case for greater recovery and call our law office at 304-205-1810 or toll free at 800-797-9730. You can also email us to arrange a time to meet with one of our attorneys.