More Victims in Oilfield Related Crashes Lawyer Up 2/27/13
CBS 7 News
February 27, 2013
Midland, TX - Almost everyday you see crashes with injuries or even death, but this increase is also causing millions of dollars worth of lawsuits and settlements in the area according to the district clerk.
Several lawyers tell CBS 7 the majority of these crashes are because of driver error and that’s where they come in.
“The recent phenomenon in the past 12 months is roadway commercial vehicle crashes," said Rahul Maholtra with The Maholtra Law Firm. He is one of several lawyers across the Permian Basin who says they are taking on more cases where drivers in the oilfield industry are to blame.
He says their investigations are thorough.
“We want to see to logbooks, we want to see if the driver was on his cell phone, how many hours he was working and put the pieces of the puzzle together,” he said.
Attorneys say these are not dealing minor fender benders. The majority of the time their clients are suffering from major injuries or they are representing a family member of a loved one who died in a crash.
“Typically when you're involved with an 18-wheeler someone's going to get hurt pretty badly,” he said.
New attorneys have even come to town to meet the demand.
“You have so much volume out there that accidents are going to happen,” he said.
Maholtra says no dollar amount will compare to losing a family member.
“If you can do something as a lawyer to give these people even a semblance of a normal life or some hope of the future there's nothing more rewarding for me,” he said.
Several local lawyers tell CBS 7 that in many cases the insurance company will settle with a dollar amount before having to take to court.
“They (oilfield companies) are cognizant of the risk factors, frankly they built it into the price of doing business. Look to see who really is chasing that dollar,” Maholtra said, “One of you wouldn’t want to be in an accident where you had a life-changing injury or worse, losing a loved one.”