Every New Mexico oilfield worker knows that their work is dangerous. It’s part of the job. But that’s no excuse for negligent workplace safety standards.
If you’re injured in an oilfield accident, and someone else’s negligent actions were the cause of your accident, you have a right to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. So what kind of compensation can you recover?
From experienced oilfield accident attorneys Stewart + Harmonson, here’s a rundown on the damages you can recover in a New Mexico oilfield accident case.
Establishing liability in New Mexico oilfield accident cases
The first thing you’ll have to do is provide evidence that your accident was the fault of someone else’s negligent actions.
Here are some examples of oilfield accidents that could trigger a personal injury lawsuit:
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Lack or failure of personal protective equipment
- Oil truck accidents and collisions
- Heavy equipment collapses or dropped objects
- Fires or explosions
If you can prove that someone else breached their duty of care, and that breach led to your injuries, you can sue for compensation.
Economic damages in an oilfield accident case
Compensatory damages are financial compensation awarded to you to make up for the losses you’ve suffered as a result of your injuries. There are two types of compensatory damages: economic damages and special damages.
Economic damages refer to the specific financial losses and burdens that you’ve acquired because of your injuries.
These can include the following:
- Medical bills
- Recovery costs
- Past, current, and future lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Costs of living with a disability
Economic damages are easy to document, prove, and add up to a financial sum. If you can prove liability, it should be pretty easy to demonstrate the economic damages that you’ve suffered as a result of your accident.
New Mexico oilfield accident general damages
General damages, on the other hand, include the emotional or psychological losses that are harder to quantify with a dollar amount.
These can include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of reputation
For example, if you suffer from PTSD or other trauma as a result of your accident, you can sue for emotional distress. It’s your attorney’s job to put a number on your experience and ask the court for compensation.
General damages are often the larger sum, and the more difficult to prove in court. Even if your employer’s insurance company agrees to compensate you for economic damages, they will likely put up more of a fight when it comes to general damages.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential to have an attorney with experience working oilfield accidents and catastrophic personal injury cases.
Wrongful death damages
In some unfortunate cases, the victim of an oilfield workplace accident might not be around anymore to sue for damages. In these cases, a personal representative can sue for damages to be awarded to the victim’s family.
These kinds of cases are called wrongful death lawsuits. The damages that you can sue for under a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to the damages in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the distinction is that these damages are going to the victim’s family, instead of the victim themselves.
Here are some examples of damages you can recover in a wrongful death suit:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of household support
- Pain and suffering (on the part of the deceased victim)
- Loss of companionship
Contact a New Mexico oilfield accident lawyer today
At Stewart + Harmonson, we understand the difficulties of working in an oilfield that our clients face everyday. That’s why we use our over 40 years of combined experience to make sure you receive all the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation and talk about your case.