Houston Oil Refinery Accident Lawyer

Houston Oil Refinery Accident Lawyer

Oil Refinery Explosion Attorney in Houston, TX

Injured After an Oil Refinery Explosion? Our Houston Oil Refinery Accident Law Firm Can Help

Houston Oil Refinery Accident Lawyer

Although refinery explosions and fires should be relatively rare events, they occur more often than you would think. The injuries from refinery accidents can be catastrophic to victims. If you were severely injured in a refinery explosion, then it is vitally important to obtain experienced legal counsel.

An attorney can provide you protection against your employers. The oil company will do everything it can to limit your opportunity to seek a full financial settlement. They may also attempt to hide any evidence that portrays them in a negative light. When negligent safety practices cause an injury, we must investigate the accident scene and uncover any necessary proof. Our attorneys have experience representing oil refinery accident victims and will work hard to obtain the required evidence. We have a deep understanding of the petrochemical industry and can help you navigate the Texas legal system.

Stevenson & Murray: Your Houston Personal Injury Attorneys

At Stevenson & Murray, we have represented personal injury victims for over three decades. Our Houston personal injury attorneys pride themselves on treating every client with an exceptional level of consideration and care. For refinery accident victims, we know that no settlement or verdict will undo the past trauma you have experienced. However, we do know that it is important to hold the oil company responsible for its actions. If their action or inaction is deemed negligent, then we must ensure that they are adhering to the required regulations. Also, it is important that you receive financial compensation for your injuries. Your medical expenses will be substantial and may put your family in an uncomfortable financial position. Our Houston refinery accident attorneys understand the Texas legal system and know how to recover from an oil company. We will protect you from any intimidation tactics and make sure that you can afford your medical expenses.

How Does an Oil Refinery Operate?

A refinery separates raw crude oil into several components, known as fractions. They do this by taking advantage of the boiling point for each fraction. The process begins with a system called fractional distillation. This is where the crude oil is heated to around 720 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot liquid and vapors will enter a distillation column where the vapors cool as they rise. They will condense on collection trays at different heights. These liquids, such as kerosene, will be sent to other units for further processing. To make different types of fuel, you must manipulate the liquid molecules. By using a cracking unit, you can form a smaller chain that creates a heavier fuel. This is a basic overview showing us how an oil refinery makes different types of fuel.

You may assume that the most dangerous time for an oil refinery is when workers are producing fuel. However, during a refinery turnaround, more than 30,000 separate procedures are performed. Many people are tasked with moving explosive products in and out of position when the unit is being overhauled or updated. One mistake could result in an accident that causes you permanent physical damage. When a refinery is in transition, workers must be on high alert and follow safety procedures. During the spring months, refineries are typically knee-deep in maintenance work, often hiring outside contractors to prepare for the summer’s heavy fuel demand. Our refinery accident attorneys will use this information when investigating the accident scene. We will make sure that the oil company is following proper safety protocol during the maintenance off-season.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney for an Oil Refinery Accident?

An oil refinery accident can cause immensely serious injuries and even death. If you are recovering from your injuries, it’s unlikely you can also gather evidence and file claims in line with legal deadlines. Working with an attorney allows you peace of mind that your claim is in good hands and is more likely to be successful.

Often, multiple parties may be at fault for an oil refinery fire or explosion. An employer may fail to properly ensure safety upkeep, or the machinery itself may have a design or manufacturing defect which caused the accident. An attorney is able to assess your circumstances and determine the full scope of damages you’re able to claim. Often, attorneys will be able to secure greater compensation than you would have gained otherwise.

What Are the Common Causes of Oil Refinery Accidents?

While refinery turnarounds are particularly dangerous for oil workers, there are several common causes of oil refinery accidents. They include:

  • Mechanical Wear and Tear. After being used for a certain period of time, the metal in equipment and machinery will begin to wear down. If regular inspections and maintenance are not performed, then the metal could weaken and corrode. In certain cases, the surrounding environment will begin oxidation after metal starts to corrode.
  • Dangerous chemicals. Federal regulations govern the quality and usage of chemicals in oil refineries. When an impure or dirty chemical is used, a dangerous chemical reaction can occur. This will typically result in a fire or explosion that causes mass casualties and severe injuries.
  • Electrical problems. When the electrical system in an oil refinery is not properly installed or maintained, workers can be exposed to abnormal levels of electricity. This can cause electrical burns and other life-threatening injuries.
  • Improper maintenance. If equipment, such as boilers, pressure vessels and storage tanks are not properly maintained, then deadly accidents can occur. You will likely experience a severe injury if an important piece of equipment is not adequately maintained.
  • Inadequate ventilation. Your employer must provide adequate ventilation and follow federal regulations when you are working. A lot of hazardous chemicals, flammable gases and vapors are contained within confined spaces at an oil refinery. Too much or too little oxygen could cause a dangerous fire or explosion to emerge.
  • Vehicle collisions. When operating heavy machinery, workers can crash into one another. Oil workers are often operating forklifts and other equipment in confined spaces. If the proper protocol is not followed, then a serious injury or fatality could occur.

What Are Common Oil Refinery Injuries?

Oil refinery explosions can affect every part of the human body. Common oil refinery injuries include:

  • Burns. Refineries work with volatile chemicals on a daily basis. If a flammable substance comes into contact with a flame or spark, it can severely burn nearby workers.
  • Lung damage. Workers may suffer lung damage after inhaling smoke, hazardous gases or chemicals. Severe lung injuries may be fatal or permanently disabling.
  • Brain damage. Lack of oxygen or exposure to dangerous substances may lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Blunt-force trauma from a nearby blast can also cause a TBI. Traumatic brain damage may not always show immediate symptoms.
  • Amputations or loss of limbs. Blast injuries may require the amputation of one or more limbs. Severe burn injuries may also necessitate an amputation. Being in close proximity to a severe blast can also lead to an immediate loss of limbs.
  • Vision and hearing loss. Exposure to smoke and burning chemicals can very easily lead to permanent vision loss. Additionally, blast forces during an explosion may damage hearing.
  • Exposure to toxins. During an explosion and resulting fire, workers may be exposed to toxic chemicals or substances that increase the risk of developing severe health problems.
  • PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a workplace explosion or serious injury.

What we have above are only a few examples of the debilitating injuries workers can suffer during an oil refinery explosion. Some injuries may keep workers from being able to return to their occupations. It may be possible to recover compensation that can pay for damages associated with oil refinery explosion injuries.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for an Oil Refinery Explosion?

Refinery explosions can cause multiple fatalities. If you lost a loved one to an oil refinery explosion, then you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Surviving family members may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for funeral expenses, lost income as well as pain and suffering.

There are eligibility requirements for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas. Our Houston personal injury law firm can help determine whether a wrongful death lawsuit is an option for resolving your case.

FAQs About Texas Oil Refinery Explosion Laws

How Much Do Lawyers Take from Settlements in Texas?

For personal injury claims, an attorney will receive 20 to 40% of your final settlement. For workers’ compensation claims, an attorney’s percentage can’t exceed 25%, with the average attorney receiving 15% for workers’ comp cases. This percentage is generally agreed on at the beginning of the working relationship but may increase if the case goes to litigation. What percentage your attorney takes will depend on their experience, how complex your case is, and how long it will likely take.

Do Lawyers Give Advances on Settlements?

In some states, it is prohibited for attorneys to give advances. Under Texas law, attorneys can advance clients for certain expenses like court fees and reasonable medical costs. The American Bar Association prohibits attorneys from loaning their clients’ money, but these specific circumstances are allowed under Texas’s Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. These advances are generally provided when a case is likely to be successful and the client will pay back from their settlement. For some situations, it may be appropriate to get funding from a third-party pre-settlement loan.

How Can an Accident Lawyer Help Your Case?

An attorney can help you file your claim accurately and within the necessary timeframes and use their resources to find evidence to support you. When you suffer a personal injury like a refinery accident, you’re likely in a lot of pain and need to take time to recover. Hiring an attorney for your injury or workers’ compensation claim allows them to handle much of the work with significant experience. This will also give you a better chance at success and could maximize your settlement amount.

How Long After Settlement Do I Get the Money?

Once a settlement is agreed on and signed, the insurance provider will send the settlement check to your attorney within five business days. You should receive your check between 3 to 6 weeks after agreeing on a settlement. This is because your attorney will hold the check to ensure it clears and deduct funds. These funds will include their percentage of the settlement, as well as your medical bills and insurance fees.

Contact Our Houston Oil Refinery Accident Law Firm Today

Although there are strict federal regulations overseeing oil refineries, severe accidents can and do still occur. While workers must follow safety protocols, there are times when the oil company is responsible for their injuries. Our Houston oil refinery accident law firm will review your case and determine the percentage of negligence for the oil company.

If you were injured due to an oil refinery accident, then you should call Stevenson & Murray today at (713) 622-3223 and schedule a consultation. You can also contact us online and tell us about your case. We promise to answer all of your legal questions and look forward to meeting with you soon.


Get Help Today

Request a Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.