Houston Oil Rig Explosion Attorney
Have you been injured in an oil rig fire or explosion? You and your family may be entitled to additional compensation. Let our offshore injury lawyers find out without any cost to you unless we win. That's our No Fee Unless We Win Guarantee.
The extent of devastation and destruction oil rig explosions cause is painfully clear from recent history. When BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010 off the Louisiana coast, 11 workers lost their lives and 17 others were injured. This same explosion leaked millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and to this day is considered the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
And yet, oil rig accidents and explosions continue to be a constant threat despite efforts made in recent years to avoid repeating the past. It's easy to see why oil rigs are so dangerous considering the average shift is 12 hours per day with workers isolated on an offshore rig for up to 14 days at a time. Working with toxic materials and heavy machinery on little sleep is a recipe for disaster.
The federal government recognizes the dangers inherent in the oil and gas industry, which is why they levy steep fines for companies caught with unsatisfactory and unsafe working conditions. However, these fines do nothing to compensate the hundreds of workers injured or killed in oil rig accidents, fires and explosions each year.
If you've been injured in an oil rig fire or explosion, or if you have lost a loved one in a fatal oil rig accident, our Houston offshore accident attorneys are fully prepared to help secure the best possible outcome for you and your family. We will take on oil companies and insurers to determine what caused the disaster and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Our Houston oil rig accident attorneys defend workers' rights.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Oil Rig Explosions: Common Causes
Working on an oil rig is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. The safety and health of crew members rests heavily on their employer's ability to minimize dangers by providing a safe working environment. Regrettably, in an effort to cut costs and boost profits, oil tycoons lose track of the big picture - putting oil workers' lives at stake.
Common causes of oil rig explosion accidents include:
- Oil rig fires - Considering the quantity of oil and other flammable materials on the rig, fire is the number one threat to oil rig workers and most common cause of an explosion.
- Defective equipment - Equipment failure or malfunctioning machinery is another common cause of oil rig accidents and explosions.
- Disobeying standard industry practices - Oil companies must obey industry guidelines specified by organizations like OSHA and the IOGP. Failing to meet these safety standards can result in an accident.
- Blowouts - Though less common in modern operations, blowouts can cause an oil rig explosion when oil or gas is uncontrollably released from the well after pressure control systems have failed. A blowout is what is caused the Deepwater Horizon incident.
- Unsafe drilling techniques - Dangerous oil drilling practices such as leaving hydrocarbon in the well during drilling or failing to properly control gas build-up when encountering a shallow gas formation can result in a fire or explosion on the rig.
The underlying factor in all of the common causes of oil rig explosions listed above is negligence. If you believe negligence played part in an oil rig accident, fire or explosion that injured yourself or caused the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a personal injury claim.
After an explosion, a swarm of people will descend upon the site to investigate the accident - from oil executives and federal officials, to industry representative and the Coast Guard. Victims of an oil rig explosion should make sure they have someone on their side too, looking out for their best interests and ensuring they are appropriately compensated for their injuries.
Oil Rig Explosion Injuries
Working on an oil rig has been rated as one of the top ten worst jobs in the U.S., primarily due to the hazardous working environment and high degree of stress associated with rigging jobs. Whether you work on a jack-up rig, barge, drill ship, crew boat or other maritime vessel, there are no shortage of dangers to watch out for. These hazards are part of the job and can result in serious injuries, including:
How OCSLA Protects Oil Rig Workers
The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) is an extension of the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act to include oil rig workers. This federal law helps ensure that victims of oil rig accidents, fires and explosions obtain compensation for physical, emotional and financial damages resulting from their job. The Outer Continental Shelf is defined by the federal government as all "submerged lands, subsoil, and seabed, lying between the seaward extent of the States' jurisdiction and the seaward extent of Federal jurisdiction."
Each state's seaward jurisdiction varies. For Texas and the Gulf Coast of Florida, jurisdiction extends from the coast to 3 marine leagues (9 nautical miles) seaward from the baseline from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.
Your Legal Rights in an Oil Rig Explosion
Under OCSLA, the Jones Act and other general maritime laws, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries that put you and your family under financial strain. These benefits can help cover the cost of hospitalization, medical treatment and rehabilitation, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, future physical or emotional conditions, counseling and other damages.
To learn about your legal rights in event of an oil rig explosion and to find out if you are owed financial compensation, talk to Houston injury attorney Neal Davis. During your free consultation, we'll explore your case in-depth and discuss your options so that you can make the best decision for you and your family. If you choose to proceed with your case, we provide our expert legal services at no charge unless we win - that's our No Fee Unless We Win Guarantee. Contact us today.