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Petroleum Industry And Refinery Accidents In Texas

Workers in Texas’ lucrative petroleum industry know the money can be good because of the extreme risks of injuries. Falls from scaffolding and ladders and electrocutions are just the tip of the mountain of injuries workers experience at refineries. Fires and explosions at refineries cause toxic exposure and fatalities as well as an extensive list of other injuries, including:

  • Burns, soft tissue damage
  • Internal organ impairment
  • Severe lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of eyesight, hearing
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Cancers
  • Neurological disorders

Petroleum industry refineries are a complex weave of procedures and structures. Some structures are up to code, others are not. Workers frequently struggle between hefty paychecks and compromising their health and well-being.

At Juan L. Guerra, Jr. & Associates, we understand why – despite these dangerous industrial working conditions – you may not want to stop working at a refinery. What happens when catastrophic illness or injury forces you to do so?

Hurt At Work? Your Employer Has To Meet Their Obligations.

The petroleum industry is highly regulated by state and federal safety standards to mitigate the hazards of working. Your employer must meet a wide range of duties, such as:

  • Regular inspection of the premises and equipment
  • Replace defective equipment
  • Allocate time for maintenance to prevent pressure buildup or corrosion
  • Provide the proper safety equipment
  • Deliver active and qualified supervision of workers
  • Engage employees in proper training
  • Supply ongoing education about toxic chemical exposure
  • Enforce safety regulations

When your employer fails to meet their obligations, you may qualify to receive workers’ compensation for your injuries, your loved one’s death or your long-term illness. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may also qualify for partial wage replacement and rehabilitation.

If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against your employer for not carrying workers’ comp insurance as well as for extreme negligence if they failed to meet their other obligations.

There are strict time limits under the workers’ compensation system, beginning with informing your employer of your injury within 30 days of the accident or upon learning of your illness. You will have up to one year to file for Texas workers’ compensation and up to three years if your refinery is under the federal workers’ comp system. Third-party suits can be brought within two years of the accident. Certain exceptions apply.

Wrongful Death, Third-Party Negligence And Other Lawsuits

Speak with our attorney, Juan L. Guerra, Jr., to understand your legal options for getting the compensation you have a right to receive. Drawing from more than 20 years of experience, he will help you discover if the facts of your case point to a wrongful death claim or a third-party lawsuit for negligence. For example, if the parts of the plant made by a certain manufacturer were faulty; truck tires were subject to a design defect; the construction company failed to install filters for flammable dust particles, and more. If you or a loved one was working for an offshore oil rig, Jones Act compensation would likely apply.

Undocumented Worker?

If you or a loved one are working in the petroleum industry without a work visa or green card and get hurt on the job, you have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for negligence. Your employer has to provide at least minimum wage and a safe environment for all workers, regardless of documentation status. Contact our experienced personal injury attorney, Juan L. Guerra, Jr., for legal counsel about how best to proceed.

Contact Juan L. Guerra, Jr. & Associates In Houston

Send an email or call our law office in Houston at 713-396-5900 to make arrangements to speak with an experienced work injury lawyer.