Explosions at oil refineries can be some of the most tragic accidents in an industry all to often plagued by tragedy. Alongside explosions on oil rigs, oil refinery accidents are some of the most catastrophic disasters in the oil industry, and they can cause substantial injuries and harm for hundreds of workers and their families.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident or explosion while working at an oil refinery in the Arlington area, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington oil refinery explosion attorneys represent injury victims and their families in lawsuits against the oil companies that allowed them to be injured. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call our attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing Oil Companies for Refinery Explosions and Fires in Arlington, TX
If you or a loved one worked at an oil refinery in Arlington and suffered injuries in an accident there, you may be entitled to sue the oil company that operates the refinery. However, the rights of a worker to sue their employer under Texas law might depend on certain factors.
First of all, you can only sue your employer for an accident they caused. Many oil refinery explosions and fires result from problems with equipment or machinery in the refinery. Weaknesses in pipes or pumps could cause a leak that results in a fire, but the initial problem that led to the fire might have been caused by the part’s manufacturer. In that kind of case, you might be able to sue the manufacturer instead of your employer for injuries caused by part failure. Lawsuits filed against an employer for oil refinery explosions are instead based on other instances of negligence, such as improper training, improper safety gear, mistakes in upkeeping the facility, and other examples of negligent operations.
Second, you can only sue an employer in Texas under some circumstances. Most employers can be sued for intentional harm, but it is unlikely that an employer intentionally caused an explosion at their own factory. Instead, claims are filed for negligent or reckless mistakes, but only if the employee opted out of workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp. typically covers medical care and lost wages for oil workers in Texas and allows them to claim compensation without needing to prove their employer was at fault. However, the payments from workers’ comp. might be limited. If you opt out of workers’ comp. when you start a new job, you will be able to preserve your right to sue your employer for serious accidents, potentially increasing the damages you can claim in your case.
Proving Fault in a Refinery Explosion Lawsuit in Arlington
If you are permitted to sue your employer for your injuries or the injuries your loved one suffered, you must prove that they caused the accident by negligent actions or inaction before you can get compensation for your injuries. This means that if the accident was indeed caused by a third party, such as the manufacturer of a piece of pipe or pumping machinery, the lawsuit is better targeted at those parties.
To prove your employer was responsible for an oil refinery accident, you must show the court that the cause of the explosion was something that your employer was responsible for. Federal and state agencies typically investigate the cause of explosions and fires at oil refineries, and you may be able to use the evidence they unearthed to help prove what caused the accident. If the explosion was caused by a problem that the employer negligently overlooked or failed to expose by reasonable upkeep and maintenance, then the accident squarely falls within their area of responsibility.
Your lawyer will typically approach the claim by arguing that your employer owed you a duty, such as the duty to make reasonable safety checks and follow federal regulations for oil refineries. The argument will additionally claim that the employer breached that duty by failing to make checks or follow regulations. If your attorney can prove that that breach of duty caused your injuries, you can claim any damages you can prove were related to that breach of duty.
Damages for Oil Refinery Explosion Lawsuits in Arlington, TX
Damages for serious, catastrophic injuries like burns or amputation from an oil refinery explosion can be quite severe. In many oil refinery explosion cases, victims face substantial medical bills for emergency surgery, skin grafts, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other treatments. While they recover from the injuries, they might be unable to work to support their family, and permanent injuries might prevent them from going back to work altogether. Lastly, these injuries often result in substantial physical pain and mental suffering. These damages are the most common damages claimed in an injury case, but the values will vary depending on what specific damages you suffered.
If you lost a loved one in an oil refinery explosion in Arlington, there may be additional damages you can claim. You can typically sue for any damages the deceased would have been able to claim, such as medical bills, but you can also claim damages your family suffers. This can include the cost of grief counseling, your loved one’s lost wages, the lost household services the family suffers, lost companionship, and other damages.
Talk to a lawyer about what your case is worth before accepting any money from an insurance company or any settlements from the at-fault parties.
Call Our Arlington Attorneys for Oil Refinery Explosion Injuries and Death
If a member of your family was killed while working at an oil refinery or if you suffered serious injuries and burns during an oil refinery fire or explosion, contact The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington oil refinery explosion injury and wrongful death lawyers represent injury victims and their families and work to get compensation from at-fault employers and other responsible parties. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.