Are You Prepared to Fight for Workers Comp in the Bakken Oil Field?

The recent train derailment highlights the need to be prepared to fight for workers comp when you work in the Bakken oil field. Luckily, nobody was injured in the July derailment, but the StarTribune reports, "The spill marked the latest in a series of wrecks across the U.S. and Canada that have highlighted the safety risks of moving crude by rail."

Not only is transporting oil via rail lines potentially dangerous and consistently hazardous to the environment, but working in any part of the oil industry increases your chances for an on-the-job injury, including exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Contrary to popular belief, accessing workers comp after an injury isn't guaranteed. People working in dangerous occupations, including working in the Bakken oil field, are compensated with higher wages compared to similar work in less hazardous conditions. Levels of workers comp required by these companies are also higher. But what most people don't realize is that workers comp is a form of insurance and the insurers are very careful (i.e. stingy) regarding the claims they are willing to payout without contest.

All workers should have a general understanding of workers' compensation laws. They should know their rights and they should know how to go about fighting for those rights. After all, the laws are written in such a way that people can access the state's workers' compensation system without the advantage of hiring a lawyer. For simple matters, workers should beable to handle their workers comp claims on their own.

Unfortunately, very little of what goes on in the Bakken oil field region is simple. Workers comp claims are no exception. To increase their profits, workers comp insurers are more likely to fight claims with higher payouts. State law does less to protect workers from these situations, in part because the higher pay oil workers receive means (in theory) that these workers can afford legal counsel.

If you are concerned about the possibility of being injured in the Bakken oil field or if you have already been injured and want to make your claim as solid as possible, contact us at Odegaard Miller Law to find out how we can help you protect your interests and expedite your workers comp claim.