There’s been a pretty big push lately to get oil wells back in production. That push means we’re likely to see an increase in fracking over the next few months, as the country cries out for oil and natural gas.
North Dakota has a substantial fracking industry, primarily in the Bakken and Three Forks rock formations. This industry provides employment to many residents and keeps our state’s economy robust. However, like any job, fracking does have its risks and dangers, especially when negligence is involved. Fracking workers who have been seriously injured at drill sites have the right to seek compensation for their injuries, especially when their injuries could have been prevented.
What is hydraulic fracking?
Hydraulic fracking is an extracting process where workers drill an underground rock layer using millions of gallons of pressurized fluid. Instead of relying on a powerful drill to extract the natural oil or fuel from a surface, workers allow the fluid to release the fuel into spaces where it is easier to extract the fuel.
How might fracking workers suffer injury on the job?
There are several dangerous elements of fracking that can seriously injure workers, including toxic chemicals, oil truck accidents, explosions, pollution, and more.
- Toxic chemical exposure. Fracking workers are exposed to 40,000 gallons of chemicals per job. Workers can suffer various types of illnesses and conditions from consistent exposure to these dangerous chemicals.
- Oil truck accidents. Fracking workers must use oil trucks to transport the gallons of pressurized fluid and other natural resources. Fracking workers are at risk of being involved in oil truck accidents and suffering from serious burn injuries if they come in contact with spilled or ignited chemicals.
- Explosions. Being constantly exposed to highly flammable chemicals increases the potential of a deadly explosion or fire. Flammable substances like methane are released from fracking and can ignite a fire or explosion.
Common injuries from fracking accidents in North Dakota
Some of the common injuries that fracking workers experience from fracking accidents include respiratory diseases, burns, oil truck accident injuries, and more.
- Injuries from oil truck accidents. Fracking workers who operate oil trucks can cause accidents from being fatigued or distracted. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and crushed body parts are some of the common injuries that occur from oil truck accidents.
- Burn injuries. Fracking workers who are involved in fires and explosions are at risk of suffering from first-, second-, or third-degree burns.
- Falls from heights. There are many opportunities for a fracking worker to fall at a drill site. Liquid chemicals and pressurized fluid can create a slippery surface and cause workers to slip and fall. Fracking workers can also fall from various levels of the drill site.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Fracking workers can also develop brain injuries from being struck by falling objects or being caught between heavy machinery.
- Respiratory diseases. Fracking workers develop these types of health conditions from being constantly exposed to toxic chemicals like methane and silica sand. Silica sand is an agent distributed into pressurized fluid to help release the fuel. Constant exposure to dust particles like silica sand can cause workers to develop respiratory issues. Exposure to toxic substances can cause fracking workers to develop health conditions like lung disorders, kidney failure, skin disorders, and cancer.
What should I do after I’m injured in a fracking accident?
When you or a loved one have been injured from a fracking accident, there are different types of personal injury lawsuits you can file.
Truck accident claim
If your fracking accident was caused by an oil truck, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver responsible. Or, you have the option of holding the truck company liable for your injuries if defective truck parts led to your accident.
Wrongful death claim
If your loved one was a fracking worker who lost their life due to a fracking accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation. A wrongful death claim is a claim that the survivors of a personal injury victim can file on his or her behalf. These types of personal injury claims are unique because survivors of the deceased act on behalf of their loved one to hold the negligent parties accountable. Wrongful death lawsuits allow survivors to seek compensation for funeral costs, lost income, any of their loved one’s remaining medical expenses, and loss of consortium.
At Larson Law Firm P.C., our legal team is ready to assist you with your injury case. We take your health and wellbeing as seriously as you do. We are proud to represent hydraulic fracking injury clients in Minot, Bismarck, and Fargo. Do not worry about transportation if your injuries prevent you from traveling. Our team is ready to come to your home or hospital to speak with you and your family. Call our office today at 701-484-HURT, or complete our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.
Mark Larson is a Certified Civil Trial Specialist and Certified Civil Pre-Trial Specialist focusing on personal injury, motor vehicle, wrongful death, and oil field claims. Since 1979, Larson Law Firm has served the injured throughout North Dakota. Read more about Mark V. Larson