Houston Oil Refinery Explosion Lawyer
1 Riverway, Suite 2500
Houston, Texas 77056
Oil refineries make a significant contribution to the Greater Houston economy. Even though oil refineries in general have good safety records and are closely monitored by federal agencies, there are those tragic incidents where oil refinery workers are injured or even killed by oil refinery explosions. At The Doan Law Firm, we represent the workers injured in these explosions as well as the families of those who lost their lives in these preventable accidents.
Causes of Oil Refinery Explosions
Oil refinery explosions are like aircraft accidents: they are relatively rare, but when an oil refinery explosion occurs it can cause massive property damage and even cause the deaths of refinery workers! The similarity doesn’t end there since both types of accidents usually involve a combination of human error and mechanical failure.
Although much of the oil refining process is computer-controlled, refinery workers are responsible for monitoring the computers and performing tasks that computers simply can’t do such as insuring that the proper chemicals are stored in the right place at the right temperature. If a refinery worker makes a mistake and an explosion occurs, the refinery’s owner is liable for any damages and injuries that occur.
The oil refining process involves subjecting crude to oil high temperatures and high pressures. It is therefore important that every piece of equipment used in a refinery be properly designed, correctly installed, and carefully maintained. Should any piece of equipment fail and an explosion occur, the refinery owner can be found responsible by a court and ordered to pay compensation to victims of that explosion.
Types of Oil Refinery Explosion Injuries
Injuries caused by oil refinery explosions can range from minor cuts and bruises that are treated on-scene by first responders to life-threatening and even fatal. Most oil refinery explosion injuries fall into one of three general types: blast injuries, burns, and mixed trauma injuries.
Explosions release tremendous amounts of chemical energy. This cause the air around the explosion to become compressed and then rapidly expand with such force that can easily toss an adult several feet into the air! Blast injuries can include bone fractures, internal organ injuries, and internal bleeding. A particularly dangerous blast injury is lung damage, which often requires days (if not weeks) of treatment in an Intensive Care Unit. Explosions also frequently hurl objects such as glass and machine parts trough the air with enough force to penetrate even the toughest protective equipment and then travel several more inches into the body where they will require surgery to be removed. In addition to blast injuries, oil refinery explosions are usually accompanied by fires.
Since practically all oil refinery are accompanied or caused by fires, burns make up the majority of oil refinery explosion injuries. These burn injuries often require weeks of treatment at a major medical center. Burn injuries are often complicated by injury to the victim’s lungs caused by the inhalation of smoke and potentially toxic fumes released by chemicals used in the oil refining processes.
Mixed trauma injuries involve either both a combination of blast and burn injuries or injuries that involve two or more body organs. Mixed trauma injuries are difficult to treat and require transportation to a major medical center for an injured worker to receive the level of medical care necessary if the worker is to survive their injuries.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for My Oil Refinery Explosion Injury?
Although each oil refinery explosion injury case is different, as an injured worker you are entitled to receive:
- Your salary or expected hourly wages while you are unable to work.
- Payment of all medical expenses related to your injuries, for your lifetime, as wells as the costs of anticipated future medical expenses.
- Payment or reimbursement for all expenses that allow you to live at home such as rental or purchase of medical equipment, modifications such as wheelchair ramps, and automobile hand controls if you have lost control of your legs.
In addition to the above, which are called economic damages because they can be assigned a “dollars and cents” value, you are also allowed to receive non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for things that cannot be measured in monetary terms, such as:
- The “pain and suffering” caused by your injury and during your recovery.
- Compensation for your lack of ability to fully participate in family social events such as attending worship services, weddings, or graduation ceremonies.
- Loss of your wisdom and guidance in making important family family decisions.
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, Texas law allows a court to award punitive damages. These damages are awarded to punish the refinery’s owner for their negligence in allowing conditions that led to an oil refinery explosion to develop. Although the amount of these damages is “capped” under Texas law, they can be quite substantial!
Regardless of the types of oil refinery explosion injuries, such injuries can be very expensive to treat. In fact, the costs of treatment in a major medical center’s Burn and Trauma Unit can easily exceed $10,000 per day! Although refinery workers are covered by Worker’s Compensation benefits, those benefits don’t cover all your expenses and lost income. To make sure that you receive the full compensation for your injuries, you should contact the oil refinery explosion injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free review of your oil refinery explosion and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to make sure that you receive all the compensation that you deserve.
Contacting Houston’s Oil Refinery Explosion Lawyer
Most oil refinery explosions are caused by carelessness on the part of the refinery’s owner or one of its many subcontractors. In law, such carelessness is known as negligence. If it can be shown that such negligence led to your injury, you have the right to file a lawsuit asking a court to order the refinery’s owner to pay you damages.
Oil refinery explosion injury cases are complex matters. In addition, investigating such explosions are very expensive since they will require the services of accident reconstruction specialists and expert witnesses who will evaluate the evidence and testify in court regarding their findings. Since properly investigating oil refinery accidents and locating expert witnesses are beyond the capabilities of accident victims, you will need the services of a law firm with experience in properly handling such cases. In Houston, you can find such an experienced oil refinery explosion accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm.
When you contact our firm, there is never a charge of any kind for us to review the known facts in your oil refinery explosion injury case or for you to speak with our oil refinery explosion lawyer to discuss the legal options that may be available to you and your family. After discussing your injuries with our oil refinery explosion layer, if you decide to file a lawsuit and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to take on the costs of preparing your oil refinery explosion injury case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement we are prepared to win for you.
At The Doan Law Firm, we don’t plan to just win your oil refinery explosion injury case: we plan to winbig and have a proven record of making sure our clients are awarded every penny of compensation they are due!
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