Willie Powells Logo
Call Us

free consultation

Let’s Win Your Case

Oil Rig Accidents

Have you or a loved been hurt or died as a result of an oil rig fire, explosion, or other accident? Oil rig workers perform one of the most skilled and dangerous offshore jobs. Unfortunately, oil companies do not always take necessary precautions and catastrophic accidents occur.

Fires and explosions are one of most common and devastating oil rig accidents that can occur. Oil rig fires and explosions can be devastating and result in serious physical injuries, financial damages, and/or death.

Do not settle any settlement from the insurance company without first speaking with a maritime lawyer about your injuries. A maritime personal injury lawyer is a legal professional who is dedicated to fighting for offshore workers. Compensation may be due for medical bill, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and more.

Contact Willie D. Powell III immediately if you or a loved one has been hurt in an offshore oil rig accident. Willie D. Powell will fight to build a case, hold the oil company responsible, and get you and your family the compensation that you deserve.

Oil Rig Explosions, Spills, and Accidents

Oil Rig Explosions, Spills, and Accidents

Oil rig drilling requires the use of immense amounts of pressure. The smallest human or mechanical error has the potential to lead to catastrophic oil rig explosions, spills, and/or other accidents at sea.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig Disaster

One of the worst oil rig fires in history occurred on April 20th, 2010, off the coast of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also known as the BP oil spill, occurred when the oil rig caught fire.

The fire on Deepwater Horizon claimed 11 lives and resulted in 17 critically injuries. The remaining 98 passengers were then tricked into signing a waiver stating that they were not injured to relieve the oil company of liability.

Pemex Explosion

In April of 2015, a horrific explosion occurred on a Pemex oil rig off the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion was a result of a fire in the dewatering and pumping area of a platform. The cause of the fire is not known. Four oil rig workers were killed in the accident.

Oil Rig Accidents are on the Rise

In 2018, Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order that resulted in weakened regulations for offshore oil operations. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has significantly decreased the number of critical oil rig inspections by 13% since the order went into effect. BSEE inspectors have also issued 38% fewer enforcement actions during these inspections.

The decision to loosen the enforcement of oil rig safety compliance has resulted in a significant increase in oil rig-related disasters. The number of workers injured per hour has risen by 21% as a result of these dangerous conditions.

Oil Rig Explosions, Spills, and Accidents

Causes of Oil Rig Fires and Accidents

Oil company negligence is the most common cause of oil rig fires, explosions, and other accidents. Oil rig companies are responsible for creating the safest possible work environment for their maritime workers. The majority of oil rig fires and other accidents are attributed to operator and/or mechanic errors.

Oil rig jobs are dangerous and there is no place for negligence in the already high-risk job environment. Oil companies are liable for ensuring that all workers receive thorough training, and that all equipment is properly maintained. Sadly, many oil companies cut corners and make regrettable decisions to cut costs, leading to numerous preventable accident occurrences.

A U.S District Judge attributed 67% of the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the oil company, 30% to the rig manufacturer, and 3% to the cement contractor. Oil rig disasters can occur as a result of several forms of oil company negligence.

Failure to maintain equipment is a common form of negligence that has led to injuries and death of many offshore oil rig workers. Workers in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill later reported that they had been concerned about the quality of the equipment used for several years but were afraid to raise concerns.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster had been caused by a damaged blowout preventer. Methane gas bubbles were able to travel up the drilling platform without an operational blowout preventer. The blowout preventer had not been inspected for 5 years and stopped working a month before the fire occurred.

Dangerous weather, including high winds, rain, and storms increase the likelihood of a catastrophic incident occurring. Poor weather conditions at sea are inevitable but oil companies are responsible for making sound decisions regarding worker safety.

Employers are liable for any injuries that occur when they oil rig workers are forced to perform their jobs in foreseeably poor weather conditions.

Poor and/or inadequate training is major cause of many oil rig disasters. Oil rig operators require extensive training and skill to perform their jobs safely. Results can be devastating when an employer neglects to provide proper training and/or supervision in an attempt to cut costs.

There is specific personal protective equipment that is required for each job on an oil rig. For example, all workers should be required to wear a gas mask when handling dangerous chemicals. Employers who fail to provide PPE or enforce a PPE policy are subject to liability for resulting injuries.

Common Injuries of Oil Rig Fires and Explosions

Common Injuries of Oil Rig Fires and Explosions

Oil rig fires and explosions can result in catastrophic worksite injuries. There are numerous potential hazards that exist when an oil rig fire or explosion occurs.

Common Oil Rig Injuries Include:

  • Falls
  • Fractures
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Crushing Injuries
  • Amputation
  • Dismemberment
  • Fatalities

The majority of injuries that occur on a oil rig are serious and cause lifelong damages for victims and their families. These include physical, financial, and emotional damages that can be detrimental to the victim’s quality of life.

Traumatic brain injuries are serious and present life-altering complications. There are several brain damage-causing incidents that could occur as a result of an oil rig fire or explosion.

Debris from damaged structures can fall and strike workers. This could lead to head, neck, or back injuries, including brain damage.

Smoke inhalation from an oil rig fire could also lead to brain damage. Oil rig workers who have suffered from smoke inhalation are oftentimes not immediately aware of the severity of their injuries.

Workers that are thrown during an explosion could suffer from serious back and/or spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries affect the spinal column, surrounding muscles, and nervous system. Any injury to the back or spinal cord could result in lifelong complications, including pain, loss of motion, and/or paralysis.

Burns are the most common type of injury that results from oil rig fires and explosions. Burn injuries are assessed on a scale of 1st to 4th degree in severity.

1st and 2nd degree burns are generally treatable, while 3rd and 4th degree burns affect the body deep beneath the skin. 3rd and 4th degree burns are extremely painful and can lead to loss of limb use and/or amputations.

Burns of any severity increase the risk of additional health issues, including skin cancer, infections, or other deadly complication.

There is a high potential for injuries due to the high number of chemicals that the body is exposed on an oil rig. Workers can be seriously harmed when oil, fluids, solvents, or other chemicals are ingested or come into contact with the skin. Exposure to these chemicals could result in allergic reactions, burns, respiratory issues, rashes, or other health hazard.

What Should I Do if I was in an Oil Rig Accidents?

Workers that are injured on oil rigs are protected under several maritime laws, including the Jones Act. The protections listed in the act give you the legal right to sue your employer when you are injured offshore. Maritime workers are entitled to receive compensation for physical, emotional, and punitive damages.

There are several things that you must do in the event that you have been injured in an oil rig accident. Following these steps will ensure that you protect both your physical health and legal rights.

The first thing that you need to do is to seek the medical care required by your employer and an outside medical opinion when you return to shore. It is imperative that you seek medical care regardless of how severe you believe your injuries to be. Some medical conditions are not immediately evident after an accident.

Reach out to your fellow rig workers and obtain their contact information for future correspondence. It is wise to get contact information of several workers, even in the case that they are unharmed. Other workers may be able to testify important information about the company, worksite conditions, unsafe practices, or other information on your behalf.

Contact an oil rig accident lawyer immediately to discuss your case. A lawyer with knowledge and experience in maritime law is critical for taking on the oil companies.

Do Not Sign Any Documents

Your employer may ask you to sign documentation about the event. These documents are intended to shift liability off of your employer. The forms may place blame on you for the accident or waive your rights to a lawsuit. Do not sign any document that your employer attempts to get you to sign after an oil rig accident.

Do not sign any documents for the insurance company before speaking with your maritime personal injury lawyer. The insurance company will try to pay out as little as they possibly can. Allow your oil rig accident lawyer to handle your claim.

Oil Rig Accident Lawyer

Only an oil rig accident lawyer understands the laws involved in maritime personal injury cases. Offshore injuries, including oil rig disasters, are governed by a different legal system than land-based cases. You need a personal injury attorney who understands these complexities and can fight to get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.

Maritime law provides injured workers with enhanced protection that workers on the shore are not entitled to receive. Failure to choose an attorney who is experienced in these cases could result in not receiving all of the compensation that you are entitled to receive.

Offshore Workers May Be Entitled to Receive Compensation for:

Contact Willie D. Powell and let an experienced maritime personal injury lawyer fight for you. Reach out to Willie D. Powell III today by phone at 281.881.2457 or online to schedule a free consultation,

Schedule a Free and confidential consultation

Contact Willie Powells

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.