Colorado’s Oil Industry
Colorado accounts for about 4% of crude oil production in the United States. Due to the increased use of fracking and horizontal drilling, our state’s oil production has more than quadrupled since 2010. Most of this activity occurs in Weld County, which is home to Wattenberg field, the fourth-largest oil field and ninth-largest gas field in the United States.
Oil fields are notoriously dangerous places to work. In fact, from 2012-2019, the fatality rate for oil and gas workers was seven times higher than the rate for all other United States workers combined. Since 2016, the Trump administration has repealed many laws and regulations that were designed to keep oil and gas workers safe. Since these regulations were repealed, there has been an increase in catastrophic explosions nationwide.
Oil Field Safety
Most recently, the pandemic and price war between Saudia Arabia and Russia have taken a toll on the oil industry. In Colorado, regulations passed in 2019 will soon take effect. Most of Colorado’s oil companies are struggling financially, which can translate into greater hazards for workers as companies cut costs. Even before the pandemic and price war, oil companies were notorious for their treatment of injured workers.
To avoid paying workers and their families, oil companies have been known to:
- Hire private investigators to monitor injured workers
- Attempt to discredit the injured worker via conflicting co-worker or “expert” testimony
- Blame the worker for creating unsafe conditions
- Minimize or dismiss the worker’s injuries through evaluations performed by company doctors
If you have been injured in an oil field accident, you can expect the company, its insurer, and its lawyers to do everything possible to avoid paying you for your injuries. They are likely to deny responsibility for the accident, or even blame you for it. They will attempt to limit your access to evidence that would help you. They may offer you minimal compensation, string you along for two years, then terminate your employment. That is because the statute of limitations for personal injuries in Colorado is two years. In most cases, after two years have passed, you have lost the right to sue.
Injured in an Oil Field Accident?
CALL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
If you have been injured in an oil field accident, you will need an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer by your side. At Shafner Law, we care about oil and gas workers in our state. We know how to navigate the complicated litigation surrounding oil field accident and explosion injuries. We consult with outside specialists on these cases, including specialized legal counsel, experts, and accident reconstructionists. If negotiations fail, we go to trial. We work on a contingent fee basis, and we do not get paid until you do.
For a free consultation, call Shafner Law at (303) 796-0555 or fill out the Case Form below.
Additional Oil & Gas Injury Resources