Working in oil refineries is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. People in the Houston, TX region probably remember the 2005 explosion at the BP Texas City site, which led to 15 deaths and more than 180 injuries. Production in that situation seems more important than security, and poor security protocols led to a devastating explosion that could have been prevented. Refinery accidents often involve fires and explosions. These can be dangerous and deadly for refinery workers. Some of the possible injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries from gas blast blasts
- Severe burns, which can lead to nerve damage, infection, and amputations
- Bone fractures are very painful and can cause other problems
- Inhalation of toxic fumes from smoke and other refining chemicals
This is not an exhaustive list. Refineries are very dangerous if they don’t have proper safety procedures in place. If you or a loved one has been injured while working in a refinery, you may be wondering if you have options for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have several options available to you. Your refinery explosion lawyer will help you determine the best course of legal action to take.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
The first step in obtaining compensation for a refinery injury is determining how it happened. In some situations, workers ‘compensation benefits will be available to cover medical expenses and lost wages from time away from work. Workers’ compensation rarely covers all expenses caused by a refinery injury.
Suppose your injury was caused by a defective product or a piece of equipment manufactured incorrectly or did not contain the necessary usage and warnings. In that case, you may need to pursue a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. Product manufacturers must use consistent production practices and materials and provide accurate instructions for the intended uses of their products. Missing any of these requirements can make them liable for injuries caused by their products.
You have to prove:
If another employee creates an action hazard through reckless action, you may need to pursue a personal injury claim against them and prove that they were negligent in performing their duties. Proving negligence depends on three things, which the plaintiff must prove:
- The defendant must act with reasonable diligence. In a refinery, this means adhering to all safety protocols at all times.
- The duty of care was violated. This could be through action, such as horseplay, reckless behavior, or inaction, such as a supervisor failing to fix a known security issue in a reasonable amount of time.
- This violation directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. You need to prove your injuries would not have been sustained had the defendant acted with reasonable care.
If you can properly prove negligence on the part of the defendant, ensuring a positive test result is likely. A trustworthy attorney will increase your chances and help you gather all the documentation necessary to obtain just compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
Refinery accidents can leave permanently disabling effects and diminish the victims’ quality of life. Worker compensation may cover initial medical expenses and lost wages. Still, those injured by refinery explosions and other accidents can face years of physical rehabilitation and other treatments, permanent burn scars, or diminished cognitive abilities from traumatic brain injuries or exposure to chemical substances.