Oil Rig Accident Case: Can Animation Be Used ?

An oil rig is innately wild, and potential risks combined with questionable safety standards have led to various court cases over the years regarding severe injuries and deaths of oil rig workers.
Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Working on an oil rig can be an exciting and dangerous adventure. The excitement lies in the fun that comes with traveling worldwide, living on the ocean, having job flexibility, and various forms of insurance. 

It’s even more fun when you discover that coupled with their near excellent salaries for a physically and mentally challenging work, oil rig workers don’t pay for accommodation, good food, groceries, internet, gym, and every other “adult bills” while on the rig. It’s all covered by the rig operator.

Oil rig
Photograph by Paul Einerhand (unsplash.com)

Dangers of being an oil rig worker

The dangers of being an oil rig worker can be scary, and things can get terrible and go from bad to worse quickly. However, it’s often said that working in the oil sector has more advantages than disadvantages. This applies only if you are physically healthy, intellectually alert, and willing to learn. 

Events like fire, fall, electrocution, explosion, machinery malfunction can lead to death or life-damaging injuries to an oil rig worker or a group of oil rig workers. The Alexander L. Kielland Disaster in March 1980 was one such event that showcased the downside of working on an oil rig. 123 of the 212 people aboard were killed during the incident. 

The Deepwater Horizon Disaster in April 2010 was also another event where an oil rig accident led to the death of 11 workers, and 17 of the other 126 people aboard were transported to trauma centers. In an article published by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it was reported that from 2013 to 2017, 489 oil and gas extraction workers were killed on the job. 

Personal damage – Outer Continental Shelf Act

Some of these incidents typically led to victims or families of the accidents suing for personal damage under the Outer Continental Shelf Act.

In the case of Chiazor v. Transworld Drilling Co, Joel Chiazor died due to injuries he received while working on an oil rig. His representatives sued the owner of the rig under the Jones Act, the Death on the High Seas Act, and the general maritime law of the United States. 

One of the many other cases is the case of Guidry v. Continental Oil Co. Guidry, an oil rig worker, sued Offshore, Marlin, and Continental Oil Co. under the Jones Act and general maritime law. The case was for an injury sustained to his foot while working on the company’s oil facility. 

Accidents cases and animation

Oil rig accidents cases may be challenging to investigate, and multiple state and federal regulations may apply. A wrongful death claim filed in the aftermath of the Patterson 219 oil rig fire in Quinton, Oklahoma, was awarded $20 million by an Oklahoma jury in January 2020. Hence, It is beneficial to have representation by an experienced attorney in these cases to get a favorable judgment from the case.

Using computer-generated animation in court is a growing trend across courtrooms globally. Therefore this type of evidence is a firm persuasion tool. An experienced attorney could opt to use computer-generated animation to help their clients secure lost wages, recover medical expenses, and get families of deceased workers back on their feet in an oil rig accident case.

The attorney can use animation to prove that the oil rig operator’s negligence caused injuries to their clients. It can be used to illustrate that the injury took place while their clients were completing a work task. It can be used to demonstrate the severity of the injury. The animation can also be used to explain how a failed machinery caused the injury.

Many angles, ideas, events, and possibilities regarding an oil rig accident can be appropriately illustrated to the jury with the help of animation. An attorney’s best bet is to contact an expert trial graphics animator to create the proper animation to drive home the point and win cases.

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