Concerns about gas and oil explosions and worker safety have been at the forefront of Oklahoma state officials’ minds as they continue to investigate a recent Pittsburg County explosion that left five workers dead and 17 with minor injuries. The explosion has shaken a state that is heavily invested in the fuel industry and has been said to be the worst incident of its kind since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.
Oklahoma has one of the highest fatality rates associated with the gas and oil industry. As recently as 2014, as much as 14 percent of all gas and oil industry fatalities occurred in Oklahoma, according to the CDC. Numerous other injuries ranging from minor to catastrophic take place there every year. The highly flammable nature of gas and oil is partly to blame for the dangers associated with these industries. Because a single spark can ignite a fatal explosion, OSHA has instituted stringent guidelines designed to minimize the inherent risks in the field. The state of Oklahoma has also introduced a variety of initiatives to limit the risk of injury or fatality in the field.
If you are a gas or oil industry worker, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Unfortunately, in spite of the legal protections, workers can still be hurt or killed. In many cases, this is because proper safety precautions were not taken. Employer negligence can lead to all kinds of accidents, from fires to explosions. If you’ve been hurt or suffered a loss as a result of employer negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced legal team can help.
The Heavener Oil & Gas Lawyers at Wandres Law can help you determine the best case to meet your needs. If you were injured in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which will cover not just your immediate medical bills but also the costs of medications, therapy, medical devices and a portion of your lost wages. If you are permanently disabled as a result of a workplace accident, our team can seek lump-sum settlements or long-term disability payments.
You may also be entitled to recover damages for negligence, particularly if your employer failed to follow OSHA or Oklahoma state laws pertaining to gas and oil fields. If a machine, tool or other equipment was defective, we can seek to hold the manufacturers liable for your injuries under product liability laws. With the assistance of experts in the field, we will prove the products were poorly made, improperly designed or otherwise dangerous to the public and users of the equipment.
In the event of a fatal tragedy, we will fight for families who have lost a loved one in the explosion. We can seek damages for the loss of support, loss of income, funeral costs, medical bills and any other losses that you have suffered as a result of the explosion.
Physical pain, scars, disfiguring injuries and emotional scars from oil and gas explosions can last a lifetime. Survivors often struggle to work or become completely disabled. Oilfield injury victims can suffer a wide range of injuries, including:
Survivors often suffer severe disfigurements and burns which can require multiple surgeries. For many victims, the emotional scars can be just as devastating as the physical pain. The long-term effects can be catastrophic for survivors and their families, and many of them require:
Some are never able to fully recover the ability to perform routine tasks, such as bathing, walking and eating while others can perform self-care but are unable to return to part- or full-time work due to their injuries and limitations. The pain and suffering associated with oil and gas field explosions can be extreme in the days and weeks following the accident, but they can also last a lifetime.
If you’ve been injured or suffered a loss as a result of Oklahoma Rig Explosions, Wandres Law can help. We will fight to help you recover any compensation to which you may be entitled, including workers’ compensation, punitive damages for negligence, product liability, and wrongful death. Contact Wandres Law in Heavener, Oklahoma today to learn more or to schedule a no-obligation consultation with our experienced Heavener Oil & Gas Lawyers.