Oil refinery workers do some of the hardest and most important work for the State of Texas and the rest of the country. But this work does not come without risk. If something goes wrong on a refinery site, the consequences can be disastrous for anyone in the vicinity. But for victims, dealing with the aftermath of such an accident is never easy without the right help. If you were injured in a Texas oil refinery explosion, you should know the extent of your legal rights.
Oil refinery explosions rarely occur without some failure of the safety precautions in place. Typically, the issue can be attributed to human error or a conscious decision to shortcut safety requirements. When safety is sacrificed, those in charge are legally liable for the human consequence of their decisions. In this article, we will explain how a lawsuit for personal injuries after a refinery explosion works and provide some examples from the state’s history.
If you hope to recover for your injuries from a Texas oil refinery explosion or accident, you will be best served by hiring a lawyer. At The Queenan Law Firm, P.C., our Texas oil refinery explosion attorneys will represent you throughout your process of recovery so that you are made whole for your troubles. To set up an initial consultation about your case or our services, call us at (817) 476-1797.
Determining Liability for an Oil Refinery Explosion in Texas
Oil refineries are massive operations with plenty of moving parts and dangerous conditions. As such, refineries must abide by fairly extensive safety protocols that dictate everything from employee shift times to production capacity. However, those in charge may encounter situations where abiding by these protocols gets in the way of other motivations.
For instance, maintaining safety protocols often means stemming production or making additional expenditures. Oil refineries are operated by businesses that care about their bottom line, so there are temptations for those in power to skirt safety in the name of profit. Other times, meeting the burdensome regulations may seem arduous or complicated, and operators may choose to seek the more convenient path of turning a blind eye towards safety.
When oil refinery management decides to overlook pointed safety measures, they assume liability for any foreseeable consequences of that decision. Therefore, if an explosion occurs when keeping to reasonable safety measures would have stopped it, the oil refinery is on the hook for the damages suffered by those who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Even if you may have been partially responsible for the oil refinery accident, you may still have the ability to recover for your damages. A refinery operation is extremely complicated, and while you may have made a mistake that led to your injuries, a court of law will still consider whether the refinery should have taken steps to limit the danger in the event of such an accident if it were foreseeable. For instance, an oil refinery worker’s error could be attributed to a lack of proper training for employees or a failure to enforce work hour maximums that prevent sleep deprivation.
Workers’ Compensation vs. Personal Injury Lawsuit for Oil Refinery Explosion in Texas
Many oil refinery employees who are injured in an explosion are told that their only means of recourse is filing for workers’ compensation. However, this is rarely the case. Workers’ compensation is made available for employees who are injured on the job. Texas law requires that employers at least offer workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Employees may opt out of their workers’ compensation coverage, but this must be explicitly declared as part of the hiring process. Consult an attorney if you are concerned about your workers’ compensation insurance coverage status.
If the negligence of the employer or a subcontractor caused the accident, you may be able to choose to sue the negligent party for damages instead. “Damages” is the legal term for compensation that is awarded by a court in a civil lawsuit. Damages for personal injuries are meant to address the medical, financial, and psychological toll that the injuries you have sustained can take.
In a personal injury suit, you can recover damages for medical expenses associated with your injuries such as hospital bills, emergency procedures, specialist appointments, and rehabilitative physical therapy. You could also recover lost wages for the time that you miss at work. Further, if your injuries indefinitely or permanently render you unable to perform the functions of your job, the court may compensate you for your loss in earning potential. Finally, courts acknowledge the pain and suffering that you may experience as a result of the trauma of experiencing an explosion and the chronic pain of the injuries that you are forced to endure.
Ultimately, the compensation you would likely receive as a result of a personal injury lawsuit is much greater than what you may stand to recover through traditional workers’ compensation. For this reason, it is in your best interest to speak with one of our Texas oil refinery explosion attorneys to determine whether your personal injury claim has merit. Our lawyers can help you gather information on your case and prepare your lawsuit, but we can also negotiate the terms of a settlement that will get you the help that you need.
Additionally, you should never worry about being able to afford the help of an attorney for your oil refinery explosion lawsuit. We offer flexible contingency-based fee structures so that the only time that you need to worry about paying for legal help is after you get paid yourself.
We Can Represent You in Your Oil Refinery Explosion Lawsuit in Texas
If you are in need of an ally in your fight to get justice for your injuries after an oil refinery explosion in Texas, look no further. Our attorneys have the experience and dedication to ensure that all of our clients get the resolution they deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our offices in Texas at (817) 476-1797.