New Jersey Law Firm Protects The Rights Of Oil And Natural Gas Refinery Workers
You Don’t Necessarily Have To Prove Fault To Win Your Personal Injury Claim
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSHA) reports more than 450,000 people are employed by the oil and gas industry. Every year about 10,000 of these workers are injured, some of them catastrophically. If you have suffered such an injury, significant financial compensation is likely to be available to you, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. At Lomurro Law, we have the knowledge and experience you need to secure just compensation.
Oil And Gas Refinery Workers Face A Wide Range Of Occupational Hazards
Following are some of the most common environmental hazards that oil and gas refinery workers are routinely exposed to:
- Burns: Many refineries rely on Coker units to heat oil to more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Second- and third-degree burns are the inevitable result if skin comes into contact with the oil, or if you accidentally touch the Coker unit.
- Chemical exposure: In some ways, an oil/natural gas refinery operates like a giant chemistry set where a multitude of toxic chemicals react. Some of these chemicals can corrode through their containers, resulting in injury and chronic diseases.
- Gas exposure: Crude oil can decompose into various toxic gases such as sulfur dioxide and benzene, that can escape containers into the surrounding atmosphere and be inhaled. Other environmental toxins present in refineries include mercury vapor and hydrogen sulfide. Furthermore, inhalation of diesel exhaust fumes can result in a variety of maladies including lung cancer.
- Explosions: The refining process involves extracting hydrogen from oil. Hydrogen is extremely combustible, and a sufficient concentration in the atmosphere combined with the slightest spark can create a devastating explosion.
Workers’ Compensation Is Not The Only Source Of Compensation You Might Be Eligible For
Following are the four most common sources of compensation in an oil/natural gas refinery injury claim:
- Workers compensation: If you are an employee injured on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. You don’t have to prove your employer was at fault to win, but your compensation may be limited compared to what you could receive in a Jones Act claim or an ordinary personal injury tort claim.
- Jones Act compensation: Workers’ compensation does not apply when you are classified as a “seaman”; that is, you if spend a significant amount of your time working on a vessel. Instead, the Jones Act, which is a federal law, applies. The Jones act compensates you for medical expenses and lost earnings; unlike workers’ compensation, however, it will also compensate you for “pain and suffering”, which can be quite substantial.
- Product liability: New Jersey product liability law applies when you are injured by a defective product, such as a Coker unit. Anyone in the chain of distribution of the product can be held liable without regard to fault.
- Ordinary personal injury tort liability: If you can prove that a third party (not your employer) was at fault for the accident that injured you, you could be eligible for personal injury damages.
Under certain circumstances you might be eligible to receive compensation from more than one of the foregoing sources of compensation – workers’ compensation from your employer, for example, plus personal injury tort compensation from a negligent third party.
Our New Jersey Personal Injury Attorneys Are On Your Side After An Accident Resulting In Injury
A personal injury claim arising from an accident in the oil and gas industry can get complicated very quickly. Many injured victims become intimidated, rendering them easy prey for opposing parties whose sole purpose might be to minimize the value of your legitimate claim through smooth talk and subtle intimidation. Neither of those tactics work on us.
At Lomurro Law, clients enjoy the benefit of decades of experience our New Jersey personal injury attorneys offer. Contact us immediately by calling 732-482-9285 or by filling out our online contact form. Our initial consultation is free. Our main office is in Freehold, and we represent clients throughout New Jersey.