Oil Rig Explosion Cause Your Injuries?
Lafayette Attorneys Use Firsthand Experience to Represent Injured Workers
Explosions are among the most serious and potentially lethal accidents that can happen on an offshore oil rig. The highly-flammable oil, gas and fumes on a rig can easily ignite and cause a catastrophic explosion if safety procedures and regulations are neglected. Even a lone spark from a faulty machine or the ash from a cigarette can cause a deadly fire and/or explosion. The injuries that these accidents cause include serious burns, loss of limbs and wrongful death. Oil rig companies and managers are responsible for enforcing safety standards. This includes regularly maintaining machinery as well as providing workers adequate equipment. When these parties neglect such tasks, then an explosion may occur.
Victims of an oil rig explosion and their families may be able to collect compensation for their injuries and other damages from multiple sources. Still, the devastating damage of an explosion along with the remote location of most rigs makes an investigation to determine liability difficult. However, our Lafayette oil rig injury lawyers have experience with these types of injury and wrongful death claims. Additionally, partner Rusty Galloway has firsthand experience working on an oil rig. Therefore, he understands how the industry works, and he knows how to prove negligence caused an explosion.
What are the Most Common Causes of Oil Rig Explosions?
Nearly any negligence on an inland or offshore oil rig can cause an explosion due to the huge amount of potentially volatile chemicals stored on the structure. However, some of the most common causes include:
- Equipment defects. Flaws in the drilling machinery or any other equipment on a rig can cause an oil spill, fire or explosion. Depending on the circumstances, the oil company, machinery manufacturer, installation company and/or inspection company may be liable for these defects.
- Worn or corroded equipment. Even sound equipment will wear out and fail eventually. Therefore, oil companies must perform regular maintenance and repair to prevent deadly accidents. This is a particular threat on offshore rigs, due to the corrosive effects of salt water.
- Poor ventilation. Flawed ventilation design or operation can result in the buildup of toxic, flammable fumes in parts of an oil rig. If this happens, then any spark can ignite these gases, causing a fire and possibly an explosion.
- Lack of proper tools and gear. Tools such as welders, torch cutters and similar equipment must be carefully handled on an oil rig to prevent contact with flammable gas and other substances. Companies should provide all necessary tools and safety equipment to minimize these risks.
- Neglect of blowout procedures. A blowout can easily lead to a devastating explosion, which is why companies must have strong blowout procedures in place. Lack of such procedures or failure to follow them can cause widespread injury and death.
- Poor employee training. Oil companies must provide adequate training for new employees. An employee who does not know how to properly use certain equipment, does not understand containment procedures or does not know what to do in a potential blowout can cause an explosion.
What Injuries Can Result from an Oil Rig Explosion?
No matter the cause, explosions are almost always devastating, resulting in catastrophic personal injuries and death. These may include:
- Spinal cord injuries. The force of an explosion can throw a worker to the ground or into another surface. This impact can cause serious internal injuries, including damage to the spinal cord. Often, these injuries result in ongoing disability, such as full or partial paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Impacts to the head as a result of an explosion can cause permanent injury to the brain. Additionally, the concussive force of an explosion may be enough to cause this kind of damage, even if a worker’s head does not impact anything. The effects of a brain injury can be lifelong and may include memory loss, personality changes and other impairments.
- Severe burns. The heat of an explosion and/or the resulting fire can cause extensive thermal burns. Disfiguring scars and physical impairment are a common result of widespread burns.
- Loss of limb. The force of an explosion can cause the amputation of a worker’s limb. Also, in some cases, other injuries are so extensive that amputation is medically necessary.
- Wrongful death. Oil rig explosions are frequently fatal, with some causing dozens or even hundreds of deaths.
If you sustained a severe injury or experienced a loved one’s wrongful death due to an oil rig accident like an explosion, then you may be able to collect compensation from the oil company and possibly other parties. If the accident happened on the water, then you may have certain protections under maritime law, as well. However, not all lawyers are equipped to handle complex maritime cases. Our oil rig injury lawyers have experience working on an oil rig and fighting for the rights of injured oil workers on land and sea.
Need Legal Help? Call Our Lafayette Oil Rig Injury Lawyers Today
An explosion on an oil rig can leave victims and their families struggling to find answers. At Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, our attorneys have the experience necessary to help find those answers. We can investigate your accident, determine all liable parties and represent your interests in negotiations or the courtroom.
We represent injured oil workers throughout Louisiana and the Gulf from our office in Lafayette. Call (800) 260-3839 or contact us online today to speak with an oil rig explosion attorney. In a free consultation, we can answer your questions and assist you in exploring your legal options.