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How to Sue a Liable Third-Party for an Oilfield Accident

Oilfield Accident

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Oilfields are prone to accidents for which anyone can be responsible. The owner, contractors, sub-contractors, etc., could be liable for an oilfield accident. In addition, third parties, such as machine manufacturers, can also be liable for the accident. Determining the liability in an oilfield accident is a tricky process which can be easier if you get help from a lawyer. Many factors need to be examined when prosecuting a drilling company, which only a lawyer is capable of.

How to Sue a Liable Third-party for an Oilfield Accident

1. Identify the Defendant's Responsibility

You must first identify the defendant's responsibilities in your oilfield accident. The defendant has a duty of care when performing well operations. The responsibility is split into two: contractual and operational.

2. Determine Contractual Obligations

The drilling company must perform healthy operations based on the contract they have with its client. It states what they need to do and how they need to do it. It also details what constitutes negligence or failure to act according to the contract.

3. Determine Operational Duties

The defendant must then perform the drilling operations according to the standards of care outlined in the industry and local industry guidelines. The defendant is not performing well operations based on a contract, but rather to avoid negligence as defined by the law. What defines negligence? Three things need to be established: standard of care, violation of duty, and causation.

4. Assess Standard of Care

The defendant is liable for any injury that falls below their standard of care. In other words, you must prove that the defendant was negligent as outlined in court. You must also prove that the defendant knew or should have known how to avoid negligence and if they acted when performing drilling operations.

5. Prove Violation of Duty

When a drilling company is guilty of negligence for not upholding its contractual duties, you can sue its insurance company for damages in an oilfield accident lawsuit. The insurance company would be liable for damages to your operation if the drilling operation is performed negligently. It means that the insurance company could have said no to this contract, prevented this drilling job from being completed, or hired more experienced people who could perform wells safely.

6. Assess the Cause

You must then prove that negligence was the actual cause of your oilfield accident. It will help you to demonstrate how your injury should be attributed to the negligent drilling company and not an incident at a different time.

If you suffer a severe injury in an oilfield accident, and the third-party company is not responsible, you can sue their insurance company. If the insurance company is also not responsible, then it is up to you to prove negligence in court. In a case where both the third-party drilling company and their insurance company are guilty of failure in your oilfield accident, it becomes much more difficult to win your case.

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