Thousands of people work in the oil industry across Texas. Jobs in the oil industry often pay well, but they can be extremely dangerous. When it comes to work-related injuries in the oil industry, refinery accidents can be just as harmful as a well blowout or explosion.
The Texas oil refinery accident lawyers at Herrman & Herrman want to help if you’ve been hurt while working at a refinery. Our team has more than 100 years of combined legal experience. We’ve helped oil industry accident victims navigate workers’ compensation claims or personal injury lawsuits.
We can investigate an oil refinery accident to determine who is financially liable for your injuries and help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation. We have a strong track record of securing successful results for our clients. Don’t wait to contact a Texas oil refinery accident attorney to discuss how we may help you.
Reach Out to a Trusted Oil Refinery Accident Lawyer in Texas
Here are a few ways a lawyer can help if you’ve been injured in a Texas oil refinery accident:
- Figuring out who is liable for your injuries – Depending on how the accident occurred and what insurance coverage your employer has, you may be eligible to claim workers’ compensation benefits or pursue a personal injury claim. A lawyer can investigate the accident to identify who is responsible for your injuries and what compensation you are eligible to claim.
- Documenting your losses – To seek workers’ compensation benefits or personal injury compensation, you’ll need to document your physical injuries and your loss of income due to your injuries. An attorney can help you find the right doctor to document your injuries and help you gather other records you may need.
- Helping you submit your claim – Regardless of whether you file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury claim, or both, an knowledgeable lawyer can make sure all the necessary paperwork is filled out and submitted properly. If you make a mistake or don’t submit the right supporting documents with your claim, you could have your claim denied, resulting in a lengthy appeal. A lawyer can help you get everything right the first time you file a claim, avoiding unnecessary delays.
- Negotiating with insurance companies – Insurance companies and workers’ compensation providers make money by paying as few claims as possible and minimizing the compensation paid when they do approve a claim. They have lots of tactics they use to delay or deny claims. Our experienced attorneys know how to counter insurance company delay tactics and can handle negotiations with the insurer on your behalf.
- Appealing a denied claim or filing a lawsuit – If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you can file an appeal with supporting evidence to get the benefits you need. If you have a personal injury claim and an insurer refuses to agree to an acceptable settlement, you’ll need to consider a lawsuit to pursue compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can help you understand your options.
At Herrman & Herrman, our oil refinery injury attorneys have the right mix of experience, training, and tenacity. Our lawyers have more than a century of combined experience and have helped our clients recover significant awards for their losses. With our help, you can pursue the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses after an oil refinery accident.
Oil Refinery Accident Statistics
Working in the oil industry can be quite dangerous. Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 49 Texas workers in the oil and mining industry died from work-related injuries in 2019. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Insurance reports that around 300 workers were injured on the job in 2019.
These statistics don’t necessarily tell the whole story, however. Many oil industry workers are classified as contractors and are not always counted in official statistics, causing an undercount of the number of reported oil industry deaths and injuries each year.
Types of Oil Refinery Accidents
A wide range of potentially deadly accidents can occur at oil refineries. Some of the most common types of accidents are:
- Fires and explosions – Refineries are susceptible to sudden fires or explosions. It’s often necessary to use high temperatures or high pressure to turn raw crude oil or natural gas into usable fuels and other products. Oil refineries have a lot of combustible fuel in one place. If oil or gas ignites, the fire or explosion may spread quickly and engulf the refinery.
- Equipment malfunctions – Oil refineries rely on heavy industrial equipment to process raw materials into refined fuels. If this equipment is not regularly inspected and maintained, or if employees are not properly trained, the equipment might malfunction, injuring workers.
- Chemical impurities – Oil companies need to be extremely careful when processing oil or gas. The mixing of incompatible chemicals can cause an explosion or fire.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals – Refinery workers frequently handle toxic or corrosive chemicals as part of their job. If workers inhale these noxious fumes or come into direct contact with these chemicals, they may suffer respiratory issues, burns, or other injuries.
- Unsafe working conditions – The heavy industrial equipment at oil refineries and the large supplies of chemicals at these facilities frequently lead to unsafe working conditions. Spilled chemicals might be left on floors or walkways. Workers are often in close proximity to toxic chemicals. Broken railings or stairs might cause someone to slip and fall.
Common Refinery Accident Injuries
Oil refinery accidents often leave victims with major injuries, including:
- Crushed or amputated limbs – Refinery workers can have their limbs amputated or crushed by heavy objects or malfunctioning industrial equipment.
- Lung damage or other respiratory illnesses – Inhaling noxious fumes can damage the lungs or lead to other respiratory conditions.
- Burn injuries – Fires, explosions, and certain industrial chemicals can cause oil refinery workers to sustain severe burns.
- Hearing loss – Being around loud industrial equipment can severely damage oil refinery workers’ hearing. Hearing loss is permanent, but hearing aids and other devices can help.
- Severe lacerations – Workers are at risk of serious cuts and lacerations when working around heavy industrial equipment at refineries. Workers might cut themselves on jagged metal edges if the equipment is not properly maintained.
- Broken bones – Falls, crush injuries caused by heavy objects, and oil truck accidents can all cause refinery workers to sustain broken bones.
- Traumatic brain injuries – A refinery worker might hit their head due to a hard fall, an explosion, or being struck by a falling object. Traumatic brain injuries can be fatal if they aren’t treated quickly. They frequently result in lifelong changes to a person’s memory, personality, cognition, and ability to move.
- Toxic chemical exposure – Inhaling or coming into contact with toxic chemicals can cause many different kinds of injuries, from lung damage to chemical burns and more.
What Are My Legal Options If I Was Injured in a Refinery Accident?
There are several different ways you can recover compensation if you’re injured in a refinery accident.
Theoretically, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover any work-related injury at a refinery. However, Texas does not require all employers to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
If your employer offers workers’ compensation coverage, the benefits should be available to you after a refinery accident. Workers’ compensation covers all necessary and reasonable medical costs related to your injury, as well as a portion of your lost wages. It provides benefits regardless of who caused the accident. Oil companies may dispute workers’ compensation claims or claim you are not eligible for benefits. You may need to hire a seasoned lawyer to appeal a denied claim.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, or if your injuries were caused by a third party other than your employer, you might have a case for a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims allow you to recover a wider range of compensation. You will need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer to prove that someone else acted negligently and was responsible for causing your injuries.
Damages that Can Be Recovered from a Refinery Accident Claim
If your employer does not carry workers’ compensation coverage or if another party other than your employer was at fault for your injury, you could file a third-party personal injury claim to pursue compensation for expenses and losses, such as:
- Medical bills
- Damaged personal property
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact an Oil Refinery Burn or Explosion Injury Lawyer
Speak to an experienced and compassionate lawyer if you’ve been hurt in an oil refinery accident. Contact Herrman & Herrman today for a free consultation.
Our law firm has extensive experience in personal injury law, having handled more than 20,000 cases. We have office locations in Ft. Worth, Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi South Side, San Antonio, and Houston. Herrman & Herrman has Spanish-speaking and English-speaking staff so you can discuss your legal matter in the language that you feel most comfortable speaking.