Oilfields are incredibly dangerous places to work, and while many employees understand their jobs to involve significant risk, there can still be a substantial level of negligence that contributes to accidents that can claim lives.
Unfortunately, domestic oilfields have recently seen a rise in fatal accidents frequently correlated with increased production combined with corporate and even individual negligence.
If you have had a family member involved in a New Mexico oilfield accident that proved fatal, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim and recover significant compensation for your damages. One of the cornerstones of a successful wrongful death claim is working with an experienced oilfield injury attorney like Stewart + Harmonson.
What Damages Can Be Claimed In An Oilfield Wrongful Death Case?
There are a wide variety of damages that you may be able to claim in a wrongful death suit if you’ve lost a loved one in an oilfield accident.
These damages can be both economic, as well as non-economic, and can include:
- If the victim was injured and later succumbed to their injuries, compensation for medical expenses for the treatment of those eventually fatal injuries can be sought.
- Funeral costs, burial costs, and any other costs relating to fulfilling the victim’s end-of-life directives. While these costs are stipulated to be “reasonable,” the court will have the ultimate decision on what is regarded as reasonable.
- You may be able to seek compensation for a lost inheritance for investments or other assets whose value had not had time to fully mature.
- If the victim was the primary breadwinner for the family, compensation for the income they would have earned in the future, had they survived.
- Your claim may be able to include a component for the suffering the family incurred, the loss of a spouse, and the loss of the love and guidance to surviving children that a lost parent would have provided.
- If the situation warrants it, the judge and/or jury may award punitive damages as well, or damages intended to punish the defendant further. This is common in cases of extraordinary corporate negligence.
Proving Wrongful Death Claims
One of the most challenging components of a successful wrongful death claim is proving fault.
While the loss of a loved one is all the proof you need, the insurer and potentially the courts will need more, which is why working with a dedicated New Mexico wrongful death lawyer is essential.
Proving that the company or another individual was legally responsible or “liable” for their death can become very complex. There are going to be many different parties involved in the oilfield operations that may have had an impact on your claim.
There are contractors and sub-contractors, large oil corporations, companies or firms that manufacture the drilling and pumping equipment, and more.
The primary challenge in determining who was liable for the accident means showing one or more parties were negligent in their “duty of care” to their employees. This duty encompasses the entirety of making sure the oilfield is a safe place to work.
Working With An Experienced New Mexico Attorney Is The Key To Winning Your Case
Wrongful death claims can be incredibly complex, and during a time when you have enough on your mind, letting our experienced team of Stewart + Harmonson wrongful death attorneys handle your claim can allow you to try to rebuild your life after a devastating loss.
We’ll use our combined industry experience of more than 40 years to ensure you collect every bit of the damages you’re entitled to. Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your case confidentially, with a trusted member of our team, and let us fight for you.