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Legal Blog

Oil Companies That Know of Dangerous Conditions Are Responsible for Employee Injuries

The oil and gas storage industry poses particular dangers for Texas workers and contractors. Because facility operators must handle heavy equipment and hazardous materials, they are at risk of getting injured in accidents involving toxic chemicals, electrocutions, explosions, fires, and blowouts. If you have been injured in an accident in the oil and gas industry due to dangerous conditions, call an experienced Houston workplace accident attorney with The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 to find out how you can be compensated for your injuries.

Employers Have a Duty to Adhere to Safety Standards

Texas employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their facilities and protocols follow industry safety standards. Texas oil storage workers may be most vulnerable to oil and gas tank fires and explosions due to the volatile substances and dangerous conditions inherent to the industry. In fact, from 1983-2011, 27 percent of oil and gas tank explosions happened in Texas. Only one other state – Oklahoma – matched Texas with the number of oil and gas tank incidents in those years.

Although employers are required to adhere to industry safety standards, they may not be liable for injuries if they didn’t actually know about the danger that caused the injury. In 2012, Oiltanking Houston experienced a deadly explosion when hydrocarbon fumes ignited from an unclean pipe. The accident at the Channelview oil storage facility killed one welder, and critically injured other workers.

Although the Harris County Court awarded the victim’s family a $21 million judgment for wrongful death and personal injury damages, the verdict has been reversed in a recent appeal to the Texas appeals court. Oiltanking Houston, L.P. v. Delgado, No. 14-14-00158-CV, 2016 WL 354439 (Tex. App. Dist. 14 Jan. 28, 2016). The appeals judge ruled that it was not adequately proven that Oiltanking Houston had actual knowledge of potentially dangerous working conditions at the time of the accident.

Determining Fault in Houston Crude Oil Accidents

Determining fault in crude oil storage accidents can be very complex when multiple parties are involved. It can become even more complicated when independent contractors are hired to perform crude oil work.

In the Delgado case, because the victim worked directly for a contracting company, the question of liability was a major issue. When you pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against an employer, you must prove that the company was aware, or should have known, of potential hazards and failed to meet safety requirements. You may need expert testimony to show that your injuries were a result of the facility owner’s negligence. A knowledgeable worksite accident lawyer can help you sort through tricky liability issues, and prepare a personal injury claim to get you compensation.

How a Houston Workplace Accident Attorney Can Help You

If you have been injured in a Houston crude oil facility or worksite accident, The Krist Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help. Our knowledgeable worksite accident lawyers have extensive legal experience representing victims who work in the oil industry. We have successfully helped our clients recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical limitations
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish

We understand the liability challenges involved in crude oil worksite accident cases. That’s why we take on a multifaceted approach in conducting a thorough investigation. A skilled Houston workplace accident attorney will be able to assess your situation, collect evidence and medical records, establish negligence, and use our resources to substantiate your Texas personal injury claim.

At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to doing everything we can to help you and your family during a difficult time. We will work our hardest to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Schedule your free consultation today by calling us at (281) 283-8500.