Oil drilling in Denver’s backyard

Oct 21 2014

The controversies raging over the method of oil drilling known as “fracking” are perhaps better known in Denver and surrounding communities than in most of the nation. That’s because the practice is going on in some areas very close to home.

It’s not our job to weigh in on the pros or cons of the practice, but rather to focus here in our blog on the injuries that inevitably result when oil drilling is carried out, regardless of the drilling methods. Oil drilling is simply put, dangerous work, posing risks of injuries to workers, but also to those who live nearby.

Oil drilling involves, by definition, combustible materials; flammable materials such as crude and natural gas being extracted from underground and rising to the surface with enormous force and pressure.

There are also large pieces of heavy equipment and machinery involved; unforgiving machinery what can cause incredible harm to a person in a collision. We should also mention the wide array of vehicles involved in the operations; again, capable of causing great injury to relatively frail human beings.

When accidents happen in the oil business, they are often serious. Injuries can require surgery, long periods of physical therapy and rehab, and sometimes force life-altering changes in work capabilities or they result in long-term disabilities.

In these cases, it’s natural for an injured worker and his or her family to expect Colorado workers’ compensation benefits. After all, most employees in our state are covered by workers’ comp (it’s a benefit they help pay for) and most employers are willing to help their workers get the financial assistance and medical care they need.

There are always exceptions, however: employers and their insurers who hope to skirt the law and save money by denying a valid workers’ compensation claim.

That’s when a workers’ compensation attorney can help. They understand the system, the paperwork, the documentation needed, the arguments insurers are likely to use, and most important, they have been through the appeals process and helped protect the rights and interests of their clients.