Protecting Your Rights After a Serious Back Injury on a Rig

Serious Back Injury on a RigWorking on an oil rig is a demanding job. It requires strength, stamina, and a commitment to safety. Unfortunately, even in the best conditions, accidents can happen. Back injuries are some of the most common and debilitating consequences of these accidents.

Back injuries can also be life-altering. They can cause chronic pain, limit mobility, and affect your ability to work. Depending on the severity, you may require extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and ongoing pain management. These costs can add up quickly, leaving you with a significant financial burden. If you’ve suffered a serious back injury on a rig in North Dakota, here’s what you need to know about protecting your rights and getting the compensation you deserve.

Should I file a lawsuit if I’m injured on an oil rig?

As an oil rig worker in North Dakota, you might be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This program provides benefits for medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident. However, it’s important to remember that workers’ compensation benefits are often limited and may not cover all your needs.

In these cases, you may also have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party responsible for your injury. You can’t file a claim against your employer. A third party includes a subcontractor who failed to maintain equipment properly, a manufacturer of defective machinery, or persons or companies that control parts of the work and whose negligence caused your accident. A successful personal injury lawsuit can recover compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses: This includes everything from surgery and medication to physical therapy and rehabilitation. It also includes expenses for transportation to and from the doctors’ offices and any medical devices or adaptive devices you may need. North Dakota allows you to seek damages for the toll your injury takes on your emotional and mental health, too.
  • Lost wages: You can be compensated for both lost wages due to missed work and any future earning capacity you may lose due to your injury. You can also seek compensation for non-wage income losses, like the contributions you cannot make to your retirement account, or the benefits you now have to pay out-of-pocket because you cannot work.
  • Pain and suffering: This includes physical pain, emotional distress, and any loss of enjoyment of life caused by your injury.

What steps can I take to help protect my injury case?

Your primary focus should be your recovery from your back injury, but if you plan to seek compensation through a lawsuit, you should take the following steps:

  • Seek immediate medical attention: Call an ambulance if you need to, or have someone bring you to a doctor. Don’t delay getting a thorough medical evaluation. This will not only document your injury but also ensure you receive the necessary treatment.
  • Report the accident: Report the accident to your supervisor and follow all company reporting procedures. This documentation can help your claim later. If the company does not want to report the injury to workers compensation look on the North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance website and report the injury on your own.
  • Gather evidence: If you are able, take photographs of the accident scene, damaged equipment, and any visible injuries.
  • Call one of our Minot oilfield accident lawyers: We’ve been helping oil and gas workers for more than four decades. We know what these cases are like, and we’ve seen just about every kind of rig-related injury there is.

After these immediate steps, the best thing you can do for yourself is continue your treatment. You want to follow up with your doctors regularly and follow their treatment plan. Doing so is your best chance of recovering, but it also shows that you really are as injured as you say you are.

If there’s one tip we could offer once you get the legal process started, it’s this: don’t discuss the accident with anyone other than your doctor and lawyer. This includes insurance adjusters and company representatives. Statements made early on can be used against you later. And for the love of Pete, stay off social media, too. Insurance companies love to use social posts against you.

How a Minot oilfield accident lawyer can help

Worksite accidents can present certain legal challenges that other types of accidents don’t. If you’re filing a lawsuit, whether for negligence or because of a defective product, you’re probably going to need help. Insurance companies will often try to minimize your injuries or deny your claim altogether, and working with your own attorney can help level that playing field. Our experienced oilfield accident lawyers in Minot can:

  • Investigate the cause of the accident and gather evidence to determine who is liable for your injuries.
  • Review your medical records and speak with your doctors to determine the true extent of your injuries, and what your future treatment plans may require.
  • Handle all communication with insurance companies, property owners, businesses, and their legal teams so you can focus on your recovery.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company based on your current and future losses.
  • Represent you in court if negotiations fail and a jury trial becomes necessary.

Remember, time is of the essence. Evidence can disappear, memories can fade, and witness accounts may be unreliable. The sooner you contact our oilfield accident lawyers in Minot, Bismarck, or Fargo, the sooner we can begin investigating your case and securing the evidence needed to build a strong claim.

If you’ve suffered a serious back injury on an oil rig in North Dakota, don’t wait to protect your rights. The dedicated oilfield accident lawyers at Larson Law understand the physical, emotional, and financial hardships you face. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and develop a personalized strategy to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today and let us fight for your future. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced back injury attorney in Minot, Bismarck, or Fargo, call our offices or fill out our contact form.