Pipeline Transportation Accidents

Pipelines are the primary way in which oil, natural gas, and other petroleum products are transported. America has 2.5 million miles of pipeline both onshore and offshore transporting hazardous materials, natural gas, and petroleum products. Pipelines are roughly 70 times safer than trucks when it comes to the transportation of oil. However, when pipeline transportation accidents do occur, they often lead to catastrophic consequences for both people and the environment.

Workers in the oil and gas extraction industry face a higher risk of injury and death. According to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the fatality rate for workers in the oil and gas extraction industry between 2003-2010 was seven times higher than that of all other U.S. workers. Over the past several years, several offshore disasters caused by pipeline ruptures have focused attention on the structural integrity of the more than 25,000 miles of underwater pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico.

We understand the devastating injuries you may be facing if you experienced a pipeline transportation accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pipeline transportation accident, contact us today at .

Dangers of Offshore Pipeline Transportation

Since 1986, pipeline accidents have killed more than 500 people, injured more than 4,000, and caused almost 7 billion dollars in property damage. Since the increase in oil production in 2009, the number of significant oil and natural gas pipeline accidents both onshore and offshore has been on the rise. Based on data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, pipeline accidents from 2010-2015 alone have led to 81 deaths, 378 injuries, and more than 2.8 billion dollars in property damage.

Offshore workers who deal with oil and gas pipelines are particularly susceptible to accidents because of risks associated with aging offshore infrastructure, which includes fixed wells, permanent platforms, and an extensive network of underwater pipelines. In fact, much of the Gulf’s pipelines are decades old and are more prone to accidents due to corrosion. Corrosion has been found to be the cause of between 15-20 percent of significant incidents in the U.S., which means failures that resulted in death, injury, or significant property damage.

An investigation by federal regulators of 81 accidents at oil-and-gas structures in the Gulf of Mexico revealed that equipment failure was the most common cause of accidents and more than a quarter of those incidents were age-related. Other common causes of pipeline transportation accidents include welding defects, damage to pipelines caused by excavation equipment, and natural disasters.

Understanding Federal and State Maritime Laws that May Affect You

There are a number of state and federal maritime laws that may apply to equipment-related injuries sustained offshore. If you have been seriously injured in a pipeline transportation accident at sea, it may be possible to recover compensation under one of the following maritime laws or doctrines:

  • Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (more commonly known as the Jones Act)
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
  • Maintenance and Cure
  • Unseaworthiness
  • Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act
  • The Death on the High Seas Act

The compensation you may recover will depend on the circumstances of your injury and the maritime laws that apply to your case. It is essential that you consult with a Houston maritime injury attorney who has the experience, knowledge, and resources necessary to handle an offshore injury claim.

How Our Houston Maritime Attorneys Can Help

The Krist Law Firm, P.C. has over 27 years of experience representing individuals injured in a broad variety of offshore injury cases. We understand the complexities of maritime laws and we will fight to obtain the maximum possible compensation in your case. Our successful track record includes winning one of the largest maritime accident recoveries in Texas history with a recovery of $15,120,000 for a lineman struck by a steel cable.

Call us today at for a free consultation with one of our skilled Houston offshore accident lawyer.