Oilfield & mining accidents have become a major source of injury to Wyoming workers. Most of these injuries are covered by Wyoming Workers’ Compensation laws, but if the injury was caused by someone who worked for a different company than the injured person, they can seek damages outside the Workers’ Compensation system. When this is the situation, the worker has an opportunity to obtain significantly more compensation than under the Workers’ Compensation system, although Workers’ Compensation is entitled to be repaid for the benefits extended to the employee out of any settlement. A co-employee can only be sued when he acts intentionally to hurt someone. The company you work for is immune from suit if you get hurt as the result of the negligence of a co-employee.
These cases are often complicated cases and require a thorough knowledge of the OSHA rules and the Rules and Regulations of the Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission. Expert safety witnesses are generally required in these cases, depending upon how the injury occurred. One of the most important things that must be done in these cases is to preserve the evidence and take extensive photographs and video of the injury location. Frequently the method of injury is in question. By the time an injured worker is healthy enough to hire a lawyer, the site has been completely changed.
In cases where some type of equipment malfunctioned, the equipment will generally have been repaired or replaced before the injured employee has the opportunity to preserve the evidence. Not having this evidence makes it much harder for the injured worker to prove a case. If you have been injured at a mining or oil production site, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Evidence in these cases may be destroyed or lost within days of a serious injury.