Lighter oil might lead to more refinery accidents in Texas
New oil being refined in Texas contains dangerous gases that may lead to workplace accidents.
The Permian Basin in Texas is a major source of crude oil in the United States. The Energy Information Agency estimates that nearly 3 million barrels of oil are being produced each day in the region, more than any other state in the country. Much of the oil that is extracted is sent to refineries to be processed into fuel.
Some of this oil has been determined to contain high levels of combustible gas that make transporting and refining the product extremely dangerous. Several train and barge accidents have been caused by these gases, and it has led to some concern about the safe handling of this oil.
Many refineries lack the necessary equipment to process the lighter oil when it arrives. They either need to drastically slow their process down, or, purchase new machines that have been developed specifically to handle the new type of oil. Failing to make these changes could result in a deadly explosion or other type of workplace accident that results in serious injuries for those at the plant.
Depending upon the causes of the accident, the workers may be able to bring claims to recover compensation to help them deal with the expenses related to their medical treatment, as well as additional damages for missed time from work. It will be necessary to carefully examine the claim to determine if it falls outside of the workers' compensation system, which applies to most workplace accidents.
Often, insurance companies will vigorously contend these claims, resulting in extensive negotiations to try to find an appropriate amount to settle before trial. Injured workers need to be sure that they have the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney at this time, so that they understand all of the potential ramifications that accompany these settlement offers.
If you have been injured in a refinery accident, you need to seek immediate medical attention. Even if you feel like your injuries are not serious, you need to be sure that you have a clear picture of the impact the accident will have on your long-term health. Exposure to certain chemicals may create serious problems later in life, and you need to be able to connect these injuries to the accident.
After seeking medical treatment, your attorney can begin investigating the incident, and discover the causes behind the accident. This will allow you to determine all of the options that you will have, and begin the process of recovering compensation for your injuries. You should not go through this on your own, as you could make decisions that significantly diminish the amount you may be able to receive.