On the morning of October 9, 2013, several salt-water tanks and diesel fuel containers exploded and a man from Gonzales, Texas sustained severe burns after falling from a high ladder. Local, state and federal officials are investigating the cause of the explosion. The injured man was said to have burns over 20 to 30 percent of his body.
The explosion at Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale field represents a recent trend as this year has been notable for high-profile explosions of wells and pipelines. In August, three people were injured at an oil field in Gregg County, also in East Texas. Earlier this year, pipelines in Arkansas burst, causing high tar petroleum to seep into water supplies and cause significant property and environmental damage.
For the people who are directly affected by such explosions, the consequences can be life-changing. Although some of those injured may merely miss a few days of work and require minimal medical treatment, others many never be able to work again and must undergo long recovery periods. Adequate compensation for the victims with these injuries can be difficult to obtain and take many years to secure. However, once the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other agencies conclude their investigations, it may be clearer as to who was responsible for these incidents. If such a report identifies exactly who the accountable party is, the injured may have a path to compensatory relief.
Part of the problem with such cases is that more than one company may bear responsibility for a particular event. As in the case of the BP oil spill a few years ago when at least three companies were somewhat responsible for the oil spill, it is often the case that the party that owns the well or the facility where an explosion occurred is not the only company that should be held liable.
To bring a claim for personal injury resulting from oil or gas explosions, the injured party must obtain legal counsel to identify who bears responsibility and then to implement a strategy as to how best to recover from all such parties.
The attorneys at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. represent individuals injured in such fires and explosions in New Mexico. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Call the office at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at giddenslaw.com.