If you are going to make an omelet, you have to break some eggs. But what if the omelet is record oil and gas industry profits, and the eggs are the South Texas oilfield workers who practically work their fingers to the bone making it happen?
Number of Commercial Truck Accidents Grows Exponentially
Thousands of feet below the scrub grass and the sand, the sun-bleached flats of South Texas harbor untold riches. The Eagle Ford Shale is home to one of the most lucrative deposits of oil and natural gas in Texas history, and energy companies are desperate to extract as much as possible while prices are high.
The first modern-day well in the Eagle Ford Shale was drilled by Petrohawk Energy in 2008. Today, the Eagle Ford Shale is the most active shale play in the world, home to some 250 running rigs.
The oil boom has brought economic prosperity to the region; estimates put the oilfield impact on the South Texas economy at $25 billion in 2011. Yet, the rapid drilling expansion has taken a heavy human toll on communities unequipped to handle the explosion of traffic.
Since the beginning of the Eagle Ford Shale boom, the number of commercial motor vehicle accidents in South Texas has skyrocketed. For example, according to figures from the Texas Department of Transportation, there were only four large truck crashes in McMullen County during 2008 at the beginning of the boom. By 2011, that number had increased more than tenfold to 46. Neighboring LaSalle County displaying a 307 percent increase in the number of commercial motor vehicle crashes over the same timeframe.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that the two most common causes of the McMullen County accidents were defective headlights and truck drivers failing to heed signs in construction zones. To area residents, there is little doubt about the sense of urgency oil and gas companies feel to extract as many resources from the Eagle Ford Shale as possible, as quickly as possible; for some companies, this appears to mean neglecting vehicle maintenance and pressuring truck drivers to sacrifice safety in the name of expediency.
Legal Help for Oil Workers, Members of the Public Injured In Texas Trucking Accidents
Many of those injured in big rig truck accidents in and around the South Texas oilfields are oil industry workers. Sometimes, victims of commercial motor vehicle crashes are members of the public simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either way, those injured in accidents involving trucks going to and from the oilfields may be entitled to compensation from companies that failed to ensure the safety of their fleets and the competency of their drivers. You can learn more about your right to monetary damages by getting in touch with a South Texas personal injury attorney.