Houston Oilfield Transportation Accident Lawyer
With the explosive growth in the oil and gas industries in Texas in recent years, the number of oilfield vehicles on Texas roads also has grown to meet industry demands.
When you’re involved in a collision with an oilfield truck, the resulting claim can be complex. A lawsuit may involve the driver, the owner of the truck, the company that hired or leased out the truck, or other parties that may bear responsibility for your injuries.
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our Houston truck accident lawyers have significant experience handling Texas truck accident cases and fighting to hold the responsible parties accountable for the damage they caused. We have helped numerous injured people to obtain multi-million dollar recoveries. In each case, we work to obtain the maximum available compensation on behalf of accident victims.
The Texas oil and gas industry utilizes a wide variety of oilfield vehicles including:
- Heavy duty service trucks
- Vacuum trucks
- Heavy tanker trucks
These vehicles help transport material and equipment to and from Houston drill sites and remove waste products from drilling sites. Because of this growth, Texas oilfield truck accidents have become a serious issue for the companies operating in the state’s oil and gas shale plays as well as for the people who live or en route to those regions.
Recent statistics demonstrate that up to 40 percent of all oilfield fatalities are related to transportation. Concerns about accidents involving oilfield trucks have led the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to launch initiatives to increase oversight of energy operations.
Consequences of Rapid Growth in the Oil and Gas Industry
The Texas oil and gas industries are extraordinarily complex compared to other industries. There are two major safety concerns resulting from the rapid growth of these industries, which could ultimately result in an increasing number of Houston oilfield truck accidents.
- Exploration and Drilling Around Houston Oilfields – The industry’s primary investment comes on the front end with exploration and drilling, while production later is cheap by comparison. This means that when the oil is flowing, oil companies want to bring their product to market as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if it means cutting corners to do so.
- Safety Concerns Regarding Houston Oilfields – When safety becomes a secondary concern during periods of rapid petroleum and oil production, this attitude can trickle down to the commercial trucking operators that transport oilfield fluids and equipment.
Regulations for Oilfield Trucking Operators
Commercial oilfield trucking operators also sometimes fail to properly screen, train or supervise drivers in order to keep labor costs down. To make matters worse, these commercial operators often push their truck drivers too far because the regulations for oilfield drivers are more relaxed, which can contribute to driver fatigue and other safety issues.
It would be different if oilfield truck drivers were subject to the same hours-of-service rules that apply to drivers of 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers and other service vehicles, but they are not. The exemptions the government offers to lucrative oil and gas producers that help prop up the American economy often mean that oilfield truck drivers regularly work shifts that can stretch up to 20 hours at a time.
The typical commercial truck driver is mandated to take off 34 hours after working 60 hours in a week-long stretch, but an oilfield truck driver is only mandated to take off 24 hours. Instead of stopping work once their workday has reached 14 hours, oilfield truck drivers will often wait at the well while other crews finish their jobs in order to make another trip.
This time spent waiting doesn’t count toward their daily hours-of-service limitation, but the rule doesn’t make sense when wait times can be 10 hours or more at a work site with no place to sleep or rest. This means that oilfield drivers can often be more tired than the average long-haul trucker, which can lead to a catastrophic accident.
How Our Houston Oilfield Truck Accident Lawyers Can Help
When you hire us, we perform a thorough investigation into your accident to collect and preserve vital evidence supporting your case. Additionally, we have an established network of experts in various fields, such as engineering, life care planning, accident reconstruction, and former trucking industry officials, who can help tell your story and demonstrate to a jury why you deserve to be compensated.
Our Houston truck accident lawyers are dedicated to achieving justice for people injured through no fault of their own. Call us today at 281-283-8500 or contact us using the form below to discuss your oilfield trucking accident. We offer a free consultation and charge no fees unless we recover compensation for you.