Chemical plants and oil refineries are among the most dangerous job sites in the nation. Slack safety policies, outdated equipment, and meager training programs result in thousands of worker injuries and deaths every year.
Explosions, chemical fume leaks and fires are tragically common. Even more disturbing, they are often preventable.
Victims of catastrophic plant fires and oil refinery accidents can suffer both physical and mental trauma. We have seen many workers dealing with severe burns, permanent disfigurement and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Our experienced Corpus Christi and North Dakota-based lawyers know how difficult recovery can be and are committed to collecting the maximum financial compensation for our clients - including lost wages, current and future medical expenses, and more.
What Compensation Can Injured Oil Refinery and Chemical Plant Workers Collect?
Plant explosion injuries, chemical fires and oil refinery accidents can incapacitate a worker for weeks to years. Without the ability to earn income, injured workers face current and future medical bills (often over $100,000), and extensive rehabilitation.
Chemical fire accidents, plant explosions and oil refinery injuries often cost families far more than they could ever afford.
Workers compensation usually only covers medical expenses and lost wages. On the other hand, plant explosion injury claims and refinery accident lawsuits can achieve full financial recovery, including financial compensation for:
- Past, current and future medical expenses
- Lost past and future wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Disfigurement / impairment
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Wrongful death
- Loss of consortium
You may also be able to collect punitive damages through a personal injury lawsuit, a significant amount over your actual losses that functions to punish negligent oil and gas companies for their dangerous misconduct.
For these reasons, many injured oil and gas operators, chemical plant workers, oil refinery workers and other crew members choose to file a personal injury lawsuit. Successful oil field injury lawsuits can secure the maximum possible compensation for your injuries.
To collect the maximum available compensation for a chemical fire accident or oil refinery injury, you must obtain the guidance of an experienced, aggressive legal team with a solid track record of success against the nation’s most powerful oil and gas companies.
What Types of Chemical Plant Injuries and Refinery Accidents Qualify for Compensation?
Chemical fires, plant explosions and oil refinery accidents rarely come without serious injury or loss of life. Defective equipment, poor facility maintenance and improper use of chemicals are often the cause of these tragic events.
Chemical plants are inherently dangerous job sites, dealing with toxic, highly flammable materials on a daily basis. Proper worker training, strict equipment maintenance and aggressive safety policies are critical to keeping workers safe from toxic chemical burns, gas inhalation, gas fires and propane explosions.
Plant explosions may be caused by:
- Electrical equipment malfunction
- Failure to inspect equipment for combustible gas leaks
- Faulty boiler maintenance
- Improper worker safety training
- Use of improper chemical quantities
- Use of impure chemicals
- Use of substandard raw materials / coal dust
Common injuries caused by plant explosions include:
- Bone fractures
- Chemical burns and scarring
- Loss of limbs
- Lung damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe burns
- Shrapnel laceration
- Spinal injuries
- Traumatic head injury / brain damage
- Vision loss / hearing loss
In many cases, petrochemical plant and chemical facility workers may come away from an explosion with little to no obvious injuries, only to develop health problems years later. Explosions can release dangerous carcinogenic gases that, when inhaled, can lead to cancers like leukemia and other complications.
Carelessness during chemical plant equipment maintenance or facility upgrades can lead to leaks of toxic gases that result in fires or chemical burns. Additionally, when oil and gas companies skimp on employee training, workers can mishandle equipment and combustible materials, leading to disaster.
Many chemical fires are caused by:
- Failure to implement safety protocols
- Failure to inspect equipment regularly
- Faulty electrical equipment
- Improper employee training
- Outdated machinery
- Overheated equipment
- Unsafe chemical storage systems
Common injuries caused by chemical fires include:
- Respiratory damage / COPD
- Eye irritation / chronic dry eyes
- Blurred vision
- Chronic migraines
- Nausea and vomiting
- Internal organ damage
- First, second and third-degree burns
As with plant explosion injuries, workers injured by chemical fires may not notice any health problems right away. In many cases, symptoms of chemical fire injuries like watery eyes, breathing problems, dizziness or nausea may seem unrelated to the jobs site fire.
Visiting your doctor for a complete physical after involvement in a chemical fire or plant explosion – whether you feel ill or not – can be important in obtaining financial compensation should you develop further problems in the years to come.
Oil refinery accidents involving coking units, pumps, desalters, treatment and storage tanks, boilers, alkylation units, heaters, and pipelines also cause severe injuries to refinery workers. Many refinery owners try to save money by continuing to use defective, outdated equipment – a leading cause of all refinery accidents.
Common causes of oil refinery accidents include:
- Deficient daily facility inspections
- Equipment corrosion / sulfidation
- Equipment cracking and stress corrosion
- Failure to conduct regular emergency drills
- Failure to follow OSHA safety regulations
- High-temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) equipment damage
- Improper chemical storage
- Improper equipment repair or replacement
- Inadequate safety protocols
- Incomplete refinery worker training
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Use of contaminated, impure materials
Oil and gas companies understand the high risks associated with working around crude oil, chemicals and other highly flammable materials. When a company cuts corners on proper safety precautions, that company owes all injured parties financial compensation.
Am I Eligible to File a Plant Explosion Injury Lawsuit or Refinery Worker Accident Claim?
Many refinery worker accidents and chemical plant injuries are the result of company negligence – negligence of the employer, an equipment manufacturer, contractor or other third-party company.
When negligence is involved, injured workers may collect financial compensation above and beyond mere workers’ compensation.
You may be able to collect full financial compensation for your injuries if any of the following are present:
- Company negligence
- Defective equipment
- Faulty storage protocols
- Faulty supervision
- Inadequate worker training
- Irregular job site safety inspections
- OHSA violations
- Poor equipment maintenance
Chemical plant owners and oil refinery management should be aware of high risk situations and be taking all reasonable precautions to minimize risks to personnel and avoid accidents. If you can show that refinery owners did not take every reasonable step to protect its employees, the company may be held liable.
Even if you aren’t sure whether a company’s negligence caused your injuries, it is important to speak with an experienced oil refinery accident attorney or industrial plant injury lawyer who can help you discover all possible options.
At Williams Attorneys PLLC, these consultations cost you nothing. We work on a contingency arrangement meaning: You don’t pay a penny until and unless we win your case.
How can our Corpus Christi-based Chemical Plant and Oil Refinery Accident Lawyers Help?
At Williams Attorneys PLLC, our oil refinery accident lawyers are dedicated to recovering full financial compensation for workers injured at the hands of negligent manufacturers, plant owners and third-party contractors.
Our superior investigative team works closely with medical experts, industrial safety authorities and specialized engineers to establish company liability, diving deep for evidence of defective machinery, faulty equipment maintenance, improper chemical storage, negligent safety practices, OSHA violations and other inexcusable company actions.
Williams Attorneys PLLC plant and refinery explosion attorneys have successfully represented oil crew members injured in oil refinery and chemical plant accidents across the Barnett, Bakken, Haynesville Bossier, Eagle Ford plays and Gulf of Mexico, including injured parties of the 2011 Bakken Oil Field Explosion.