Houston Oil Rig Explosion Lawyers
Texas oil rigs play an integral role in the U.S. economy, producing over 1 billion barrels annually. This makes Texas the largest oil-producing state. That said, the workers on these rigs are often exposed to hazardous conditions, such as immense amounts of flammable material that can lead to oil rig explosions and fires.
It’s frightening to think just how powerless many oil rig workers are when explosions and fires occur. They are often crushed by flying debris from the blast, trapped amid the fire, smoke, and deteriorating platform integrity. Those who survive are often left with catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities.
The tragedy of explosions on an oil rig can be compounded by the fact that, in most cases, the explosions and fires result from preventable negligence. Those responsible should be held accountable to pay for damages incurred by victims.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Houston oil rig explosion, there is help available from the Houston oil rig explosion lawyers at Johnson Garcia. We have been fighting for oil rig accident victims and their families for over 35 years, even against some of the largest corporations. What’s more, you pay us nothing unless and until we win!
What Are the Common Causes of Oil Rig Explosions?
There are countless dangers that oil rig workers face on a day-to-day basis. These dangers can cause a wide range of accidents, from spills and falls to being struck by heavy equipment like lifters and cranes. These accidents cause debilitating injuries, but oil rig explosions are particularly damaging.
Oil rig explosions can occur because of a variety of causes, but examples of the most common causes of oil rig explosions are:
Oil Rig Fires
Fires are one of the most imminent threats to oil rig workers. Not only can the smallest spark on a platform ignite an oil rig, but they are also far from help. Besides, fires on an oil rig have an inexhaustible supply of fuel, and once the fire comes into contact with liquid fuel or gas, there could be an explosion that could destroy the entire oil rig.
Some common causes of fires on oil rigs include:
- Incorrectly using grinding, welding, and cutting tools
- Incorrectly handling gas or oil
- Electrical issues
- Natural occurrences, such as lightning
Oil rig workers rely heavily on various equipment, tools, and machinery. When there’s defective equipment, the consequences can be devastating. All machinery and tools on an oil rig must be properly maintained and used correctly.
Examples of equipment failure issues include:
- Malfunctions due to defects
- Corroded or leaking pipes
- Defective parts in pipelines
- Damaged wiring or cables
- Lack of effective maintenance and safety features
Blowouts occur when there is an uncontrollable release of natural gas or oil from a rig. A devastating explosion can occur if gas or oil comes into contact with a spark or fire. Thanks to modern technology, blowouts can be detected and prevented. However, factors such as equipment failure and negligence can lead to blowouts and contribute to oil rig explosions.
Oil rig explosion hazards can be significantly reduced if the company, subcontractors, equipment manufacturers, and oil rig workers prioritize safety. Negligence on oil rigs can mean several things, including:
- Inadequate rig maintenance
- Insufficient training and unsafe procedures
- Violation of safety regulations and lack of safety and emergency protocols
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlines strict laws and regulations on how to keep workers safe on oil rigs. Employers are responsible for upholding these regulations and ensuring oil rig workers follow safety protocols. The Houston oil rig fire lawyers at Johnson Garcia are dedicated to determining the cause of oil rig explosions. They are ready to help secure justice for you and your family.
What Are My Legal Options if I Was Injured in a Houston Oil Rig Explosion?
When you sustain injuries or lose a loved one in a Houston oil rig accident or explosion, you may wonder what your legal options are for pursuing justice. Several options are available to injured oil rig workers seeking financial compensation for their injuries, including:
This is the most common route for seeking monetary compensation for damages after an oil rig explosion. Texas workers’ compensation provides benefits to injured workers, covering medical bills and a portion of lost income. However, workers’ compensation benefits can fall short of helping you get back on track after suffering life-long injuries. Additionally, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Texas.
So, what are your options when workers’ compensation isn’t enough? Or what if the oil rig company doesn’t carry workers’ compensation coverage? What can you do? Below are other avenues for pursuing compensation after an oil explosion in Houston, TX.
Federal laws provide protection for oil rig workers and their families who have been hurt due to negligence. These laws include:
Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit
You have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit against employers — if they don’t have workers’ compensation insurance — and other third parties whose negligence may have contributed to your injuries. In a successful personal injury lawsuit, our oil rig explosion lawyers in Houston can help you recover compensation for the following damages:
- Economic damages for verifiable financial expenses and losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages for non-quantifiable losses that negatively impact your life, such as mental distress, pain and suffering, and loss of protection and consortium.
- Punitive damages in cases where oil companies and other liable third parties violate laws and place oil rig workers at risk.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Houston Oil Rig Explosion?
Regardless of whether your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, you can sue your employer or pursue compensation under the law. You also have a right to sue other parties responsible for your injuries in an oil rig explosion. However, if you received workers’ compensation benefits, you may be required to repay your employer’s insurance company if you recover enough compensation from a liable third party.
Depending on the circumstances, potentially liable parties in an oil rig explosion case may include the following:
- The manufacturer of the oil rig or oil rig parts, if these were defective
- Contactors, subcontractors, and their employers
- Oil rig owner
- The land owner for injuries resulting from hazardous premises
At Johnson Garcia, we are skilled negotiators and aggressive trial attorneys and will help you seek the largest settlement or verdict possible. Our personal injury attorneys will take on all responsible parties to ensure you receive the justice you deserve. If the other side attempts to dodge liability or is negotiating unfairly, we can provide exceptional representation in court to ensure you receive fair compensation.
When an Explosion Changes Your Life in Houston, Talk To a Skilled Oil Rig Explosion Lawyer
Johnson Garcia has been protecting the rights of oil rig workers for more than three decades. We understand how oil rigs work and how easily explosions can happen. This means we are better positioned to effectively represent workers injured in oil rig explosions.
Our oil rig explosion lawyers in Houston have the insight, resources, and experience you can count on for relentless advocacy and exceptional representation in any oil rig accident case. Our record of success means we know the best ways to protect your rights.
There is no cost to speak to us. Johnson Garcia operates under a contingency fee. You never pay until we win.
Contact us at 832-844-6700 for a free consultation if you have more questions or want to see how our Houston oil rig explosion lawyers can help you.