In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 people and filling the Gulf of Mexico with crude oil.
Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of oil rig accident every year. These facilities pump highly flammable oil up out of the seabed. They do so far from human civilization, and help arrives when it’s already too late.
Of course, an oil rig doesn’t need to erupt into flames before you should consider hiring a lawyer for personal injury. An oil rig is a dangerous place with heavy machinery. Injuries happen all the time, and you need to be sure you’ll get compensation.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the seven instances when you need an oil rig accident lawyer.
1. Explosion or Fire on Your Oil Rig
Oil rigs work with high-pressure equipment that pumps flammable oil through a network of tubes for processing. As such, there are a lot of vapors that present a fire hazard. All it takes is some static electricity to set everything ablaze.
Explosions on oil rigs are more common than you might think. Oftentimes, they are small, resulting in no loss of life and only minor equipment failure. However, even if not fatal, they can lead to severe burns and other injuries.
Even if you get away with your life, burns can prove to be debilitating. They disfigure you and reduce sensation across your body. In some cases, it’s nearly impossible to fully recover from them.
Luckily, you can find a law firm that handles burn accidents.
2. Failure of Heavy Equipment
Oil rig workers are surrounded by heavy machinery at all times. This heavy machinery requires strict safety regulations and specialized training to operate them. However, your employer may not keep up with these regulations and training.
Despite the best intentions, oil rig workers risk their lives on a daily basis. These machines, if not lethal, can do devastating damage.
In some cases, injury can last for a lifetime. Victims may need physical therapy to re-learn basic functions.
If you suffered an injury from heavy equipment, you might be able to obtain compensation.
3. Falls, Trips, or Slips
An oil rig often requires employees to traverse tight walkways high above the ground. There may be oil or seawater that makes these areas slippery. Even if the ground has good traction, there’s always the risk of falling.
Oil rig workers often have long, exhausting shifts. They’re on their feet the entire time and often occupied with the current task at hand. That’s not a good combination for avoiding accidents.
While regulations like OSHA require companies to practice high safety standards, there’s always the risk of negligence. If a lapse in safety protocol led to your injury in a slip or fall, you may need an oil rig accident attorney.
4. Well Blowouts
High-pressure oil extraction means that there’s always a risk of that pressure bursting. While an oil rig is full of safety mechanisms, these mechanisms can and do fail. Even if the oil doesn’t catch fire, it can cause serious injury.
Unfortunately, accidents like well blowouts make take years of investigation. Your oil rig company may delay in providing compensation. Hiring an attorney may help to speed up that process, and ensure you get the money you need for damages.
5. Vehicle Accidents
At fracking sites, there is regular traffic of trucks and cars. The hustle and bustle of a work site presents a lot of opportunities for accidents.
As mentioned earlier, working on an oil rig is tiring. You may have long shifts, as do your peers. With so much going on, it makes it that much easier for an accident to happen.
It can be difficult to pin the cause of an accident on one person. Plus, there may be some intoxication to blame. Obtaining worker’s comp could take time.
Hiring a lawyer in these tricky cases may be in your best interest.
6. Fracking-Related Accidents
Fracking is becoming more and more common in recent years. Rather than siphoning oil out of reserves deep in the ocean floor, it uses high-pressure chemicals to force natural petroleum out of the rock.
As with anything high-pressure, there’s a huge risk of accidents. Fracking accidents are very common. Fracking companies are sometimes financially unstable, making it difficult to obtain compensation if your company goes under.
Until the situation in this industry improves, consider an oil rig accident lawyer.
7. Exposure to Vapors and Chemicals
Hazardous chemicals can prove to be deadly if inhaled. But even if not inhaled, they can cause serious damage to your lungs or brain. With the tight, confined spaces common on a rig, it’s difficult for these chemicals to dissipate.
Even with proper OSHA regulations and masks, these chemicals present serious issues for human beings. They could lead to chemical burns, eye damage, or much worse. All it takes is one careless employee to cause a chemical leak that makes you and your peers sick.
These chemical spills and leaks are no joke. Contact an oil rig accident attorney if you believe you’ve been subject to harmful chemicals.
Find the Right Lawyer for Your Case
An oil rig is a dangerous place. The presence of high-pressure heavy machinery and flammable chemicals is the perfect storm for disaster. Worker’s compensation may take too long, or may never arrive at all.
That’s why you need an oil rig accident lawyer. They’ll fight to give you as much compensation as possible.
Not sure where to start? Contact Heard Merman. They’ve secured over a billion in personal settlements, so they’re guaranteed to get you the money you deserve.