Oil and gas drilling is one of the biggest industries in Texas, regularly producing more than 90 million barrels of oil and 600 million cubic feet of natural gas each month, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas.
All of this oil and gas drilling increases the risk of accidents that can injure workers and local residents. If you were injured in this type of accident, working with a Dallas oil and gas accident lawyer is in your best interest when pursuing fair compensation. An attorney can manage a claim on your behalf, negotiating for fair compensation, investigating the accident, and working to build a strong case for why another party is at fault and you are entitled to compensation.
The reputable personal injury attorneys at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings can pursue your case on contingency. This means your consultation is free and we will not charge for our services unless you receive compensation.
Types of Oil and Gas Cases We Handle
The experienced Dallas oil and gas accident lawyers at our firm are prepared to take on cases involving a variety of accidents that cause personal injuries to workers and residents, such as:
- Slip and fall accidents – These are some of the most common oil field and gas well accidents. Removing oil and gas from the ground can cause oil, water or chemicals to land on walkways, resulting in slip and fall accidents. Some employees have to work on platforms high above the ground, increasing the risk for falling from a tall height and suffering a severe or potentially fatal injury.
- Equipment malfunctions or failures – Oil and gas drilling involves a variety of heavy machinery that creates a high risk of injury when it fails or malfunctions. There are also situations where pieces of machinery break apart and hit or fall on workers who are nearby. These pieces of machinery could include cables, drill strings, pipe tongs or parts of a derrick. In some cases, clothing, hands or legs can be caught in defective machinery.
- Oil and gas leaks and explosions – Oil and natural gas are highly flammable so it only takes a small spark to start a fire. That is why welding or cutting that creates sparks is so dangerous at an oil or gas drilling site, particularly if this work is done near combustible materials. Underground gas lines could also explode because gas is under extreme pressure. Blowouts are another common cause of fires at oil and gas excavation sites.
- Spills and exposure to toxic chemicals – Exposure to oil, natural gas and other chemicals from oil and gas drilling can cause injuries to workers and people in the surrounding community. For example, natural gas drilling can cause the release of crystalline silica in the air, which can cause life-threatening health problems. Other chemicals and gases can be released into the air and cause health problems for people who live near drilling sites. There are also situations where natural gas leaks into the water supply. Residents who use this contaminated water could suffer all kinds of health problems. Long-term exposure to natural gas or other chemicals that leak out could cause birth defects and physical deformities.
- Motor vehicle accidents – Trucks and other vehicles that are transporting oil and natural gas could be involved in accidents, creating a risk of large fires that are difficult to control. These Dallas truck accidents can occur on roads with passenger vehicles or at work sites. There are some cases where workers are hit by vehicles at the work site.
Injuries from Oil and Gas Accidents
Oil and gas excavation is a dangerous industry that can cause severe injuries and health issues for workers and local residents, such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Lost limbs
- Impaired vision
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Severe burns
- Crush injuries
- Head injuries
- Permanent disfigurement
- Lung cancer
- Kidney disease
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Birth defects
- Skin diseases
- Congenital heart defects
- Autoimmune diseases
Contact a trusted lawyer today by calling (877) 920-9009.
Compensation for an Oil or Gas Accident
The Dallas oil and gas attorneys at our firm are experienced in helping victims of oil and gas accidents. We understand how devastating your injuries can be, which is why we are committed to fighting for the fair compensation you deserve. This could include compensation for:
- Medical bills – If your injury occurred at work, or was caused by the negligence of an oil or gas company near where you live, you may be entitled to compensation for all past, current and future medical bills. This includes bills for surgeries, prescription drugs, visits with doctors, medical testing and physical therapy.
- Property damage – If oil is released onto your property, it could cause significant damage that will be very expensive to repair. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain compensation to fix the damage.
- Lost wages or earning capacity – If your injuries prevent you from working, you could be entitled to compensation for wages you lose while out of work. If you suffer a long-term illness, like cancer or a brain injury, you could be entitled to compensation for the effect this has on your future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – The physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by injuries from oil and gas accidents can be significant. This includes physical pain and emotional issues, like depression and anxiety. Our attorneys can help you determine if you are entitled to this type of compensation.
- Lost enjoyment of life – Your injuries could prevent you from taking part in the same leisure activities you used to before your injury. Our attorneys can work with you to determine if you are entitled to this type of compensation and to gather evidence to show how your life has changed since your injury.
Contact one of our oil and gas accident lawyers in Dallas for a free, no obligation legal consultation. We know how to evaluate your situation to determine what forms of compensation you may be entitled.
Proving Liability for an Oil and Gas Accident
When you contact our oil and gas accident attorneys in Dallas, we will review your situation to determine if you have a case. One of the main issues we will be looking at is whether the oil or gas company or its employees can be held liable for your injuries.
This means we will try to prove the oil or gas company was negligent in some way. There are many examples of negligence that could cause an oil or gas well accident that injures local residents, such as:
- Poor training of workers
- Failure to properly maintain equipment
- Failure to monitor equipment to avoid blowouts or other accidents
- Improper use of safety equipment
- Using malfunctioning or faulty safety equipment
- Speeding or reckless driving of vehicles transporting oil or natural gas
- Failing to clean up spills
Contact an oil and gas accident lawyer in Dallas today.
Texas Laws on Oil and Gas Drilling
One of the ways our attorneys may be able to prove negligence is by establishing that there were violations of state or federal regulations on oil and gas drilling, such as regulations on the disposal of materials and substances from drilling.
Title 16 of the Texas Administrative Code has numerous regulations prohibiting pollution. For example, Rule 3.8(b) prohibits causing or allowing pollution of surface or subsurface water in the state.
Rule 3.8(d)(1) says that no one may dispose of oil or gas wastes without obtaining a permit to do so. This includes the discharge of the following into any drainage ditch, dry creek, flowing creek, river or surface body of water:
- Oil field brines
- Geothermal resources waters
- Mineralized waters
- Drilling fluids
Rule 3.8(d)(2) says that no one can maintain or use a pit for storage of oil field fluids or waste without obtaining a permit. This section also states that several types of pits are required to be permitted, including:
- Saltwater disposal pits
- Emergency saltwater storage pits
- Collecting pits
- Skimming pits
- Brine pits
- Brine mining pits
- Drilling fluid storage pits
- Washout pits
- Gas plant evaporation pits
- Drilling fluid disposal pits
There are also a variety of regulations on the use of equipment for drilling. Rule 3.13(a)(6)(B)(iii) says that ram type blowout prevention equipment needs to have a rated working pressure equal to or exceeding the maximum anticipated surface pressure of the well. Regulations like these are designed to help prevent blowouts.
Rule 3.13(a)(6)(B)(i) says blowout prevention systems or control heads and other connections must be installed to keep the well under control at all times.
Contact an attorney at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings right now.
Mineral Lease Disputes
You can also contact a Dallas oil and gas accident lawyer to assist you with disputes about the discovery of oil, gas, minerals or other natural resources on your property.
These disputes could involve:
- Royalty payments – Mineral leases require the oil or gas company to pay the property owner royalties on all of the oil or gas produced. Unfortunately, oil and gas companies often decide not to pay royalties, or pay less than they are required by the lease. Our Dallas oil and gas accident attorneys can review the terms of your lease and help you pursue the royalties you are owed.
- Damage or contamination of your property – Most mineral leases give companies the right to reasonable use of the owner's land for exploration and excavation of natural resources. If the company does damage to your property that causes you to lose enjoyment of your land, you may be able to pursue compensation for breaching the lease.
- Location of drilling – Leases should state precisely where the company can drill for oil or gas. This means companies cannot deviate outside of that area.
- Water contamination – One of the biggest dangers of oil and gas excavation is that your water supply could become contaminated. If we can prove your water supply was contaminated because of oil and gas drilling, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Restoring land to original condition – Some mineral leases require the oil or gas company to restore the land to its original condition after the lease expires. If you think parts of your property were not restored to their original condition, you may have a case against the oil or gas company.
If you have any issues with your mineral lease, contact a Dallas oil and gas accident lawyer at our firm for a free legal consultation. We may be able to help you resolve the dispute while ensuring your rights are protected.
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Contact an Oil and Gas Accident Lawyer in Dallas Today
Oil and gas accidents are extremely dangerous and can cause severe injuries to workers and local residents.
The Dallas oil and gas attorneys at our firm understand how devastating these accidents can be. In some cases, victims are left with permanent disabilities that limit their ability to work to support themselves or their families.
We have detailed knowledge of relevant laws and how to build a strong case for why you deserve compensation. We can handle the investigation and other aspects of your case so you can focus on your health.
Your consultation with our attorneys is free and you will not owe legal fees unless we are able to help you obtain compensation.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form right now.