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Oilfield Exposure to Toxins Attorneys

Employees who work in the Texas oil fields are especially at risk of exposure to numerous toxic chemicals, such as lead, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide. If you or a loved one has suffered injury, sickness, or death related to toxic chemical exposure while working on an oilfield in Texas, the Texas oilfield injury attorneys of Williams Hart will be ready to help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve.

While the effects of exposure to toxic chemicals can be immediate, symptoms and illness more often present after months or even years of exposure. Oil plant workers, who may be exposed to these dangerous chemicals for a prolonged period, often suffer severe, debilitating illnesses or even death.

Oil and gas companies are legally responsible to keep their workers safe from toxic chemical exposure. With the help of an experienced toxic chemical exposure attorney, you may be able to uncover significant compensation that will help you deal with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

At Williams Hart, we are a team of highly experienced toxic chemical exposure attorneys who are ready to fight for you. Give us a call today at (713) 352-7071 to ask any questions you have or to schedule a 100% free consultation.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Illness from toxic chemical exposure can take months or years to develop. Because of this, it takes special evidence and documentation to prove that it was indeed chemical exposure at your oil field workplace that caused your injury. An experienced toxic chemical exposure attorney has specialized knowledge regarding how to make this type of claim, which can be more complicated than other personal injury claims.

Toxic chemical exposure can cause debilitating illness, and even death. It can seriously affect an individual’s quality of life. If you or a loved one is ill as a result of chemical exposure, you need to focus on resting, recovering, and spending time with loved ones. A Williams Hart lawyer will be here to handle your legal claim while you take valuable time to heal.

Why Should I Choose Williams Hart?

At Williams Hart, we have decades of combined experience in getting our clients the highest compensation packages possible. We are proud members of our Texas community and are passionate about fighting for those who have been injured. We consistently win million and multi-million dollar settlements for our clients, including a recent $4,000,000 settlement for the family of an individual who was tragically killed after being exposed to a toxic chemical at a worksite.

After exposure to toxic chemicals, you may have accumulated significant medical bills and may be feeling financial pressure if your injury/illness has made you unable to work. You may be concerned about how you could pay for an attorney.

At Williams Hart, we operate on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning you pay us a percentage of your overall winnings, and we charge you no fees before that. If you lose your case, then you don’t owe us anything. This way, you can get the best legal representation available without worrying about how you will pay for it.

We also offer a 100% free consultation, so we can give you an idea of what you can expect based on your case, and you can ask any questions you may have. Call us today at (713) 352-7071 to schedule your free consultation.

Oil Field Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Oil field workers can become exposed to toxic chemicals at different stages of the oil drilling/fracking and refining process. Some chemicals present at oil fields are inherently toxic, and others become hazardous when they come into contact with oil, gas, or other chemicals.

Some of the most common toxins are:

Benzene

Benzene is one of the primary solvents used in the oil refining process. It is a cancer-causing toxic chemical that has been linked to leukemia, breast cancer, and urinary cancer. Benzene exposure reduces immune system functionality by decreasing white blood cell production. It can also cause genetic abnormalities.

Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxides

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) are pollutants that are released into the air when fossil fuel combustion occurs. Those who work at or live near oil refineries are at risk of exposure to these toxic gases. They are known to cause cancer, cardiovascular issues, and lung disease, especially when exposure is prolonged.

Petroleum Coke

Petroleum coke, also called petcoke, is a byproduct created during the oil refining process. It contains many chemicals and harmful toxins which can cause respiratory illness, as well as a variety of other health and environmental problems. It is especially dangerous when burned, as it has been found to release up to 10 times more carbon dioxide than regular coal burning.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) compose a category of toxic chemicals. They are found in a variety of household and office products, from toys to barbecues. They are also, however, present during the oil refining process, and are carcinogenic. They are known to be highly dangerous for pregnant women and fetuses.

Hydrofluoric (HF) Acid

Hydrofluoric acid is one of the most dangerous acids, and can be fatal. It is used in the process that refines oil into gasoline. If inhaled, acid fumes can seriously harm the respiratory system. If the acid comes into contact with skin (it penetrates easily through clothing), it can cause severe chemical burns and skin damage. It can burn through skin, muscle, and even down to and through bone. It is extremely toxic and can be fatal, whether you’re exposed through fumes or direct contact.

Other toxins present in oil fields are:

  • Lead
  • Silica
  • Xylene
  • Toluene
  • Asbestos

What Type of Compensation Am I Owed?

The ultimate compensation you are able to recover will depend on your unique situation and the type of claim you choose to pursue. We will work with you to determine which path best suits your needs and situation, but many of our clients either pursue workers’ compensation or personal injury claims.

Workers’ compensation: This is compensation that all employees, in any industry, are entitled to if they suffer a work-related injury/illness. To bring a worker’s compensation claim, you do not need to prove that anyone was at fault for your illness, you only have to prove that the illness is work-related. You have a limited amount of time to bring a workers’ compensation claim. This time limit can be complicated, as symptoms do not always appear right after exposure and diagnoses can take years.

Workers’ compensation can be limited and does not always compensate for future medical bills or all lost wages. It’s important to work with an attorney before accepting any settlements or compensation from your company to ensure you are getting the most compensation possible.

Third-Party Injury: If you are not able to recover sufficient compensation from a workers’ compensation claim, you will want to consider a personal injury lawsuit. This type of legal claim is against the company, contractor, or individual whose action or inaction caused your injury. For example, if your company failed to conduct proper maintenance and that resulted in your chemical exposure, you would likely be able to make a successful personal injury claim against your employer.

With a personal injury claim, you may be eligible for compensation for two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages as those for which money is a direct replacement. These are things like past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages if your illness has made you unable to work, and property damage.  

Non-economic damages are those for which money is not a direct replacement, but rather an approximate one. You may have heard of compensation for “pain and suffering” — this is a type of non-economic damage. Non-economic damages are things like mental trauma, emotional distress, and physical pain. It’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount on these things, but non-economic damages often end up equaling about 1.5 to 5 times the amount of your economic damages.

In order to make a case that you have incurred non-economic damages, we may hire a mental health professional to interview you about your mental state. This mental health professional may then testify in court. We also recommend that you keep a journal in which you document every time your illness/injury affects your well-being or prevents you from living life to the fullest.

Wrongful death: If your loved one has died as a result of another party’s negligence, you may consider pursuing a wrongful death claim. You can receive compensation for funeral and related costs, as well as compensation for your pain and suffering.

Contact Us Today

Exposure to toxic chemicals on an oil field can lead to debilitating, painful injuries and illnesses, and even death. At Williams Hart, our Texas oilfield injury attorneys recognize how devastating this can be and want to do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. We are proud to advocate for victims by standing up to oil and gas companies when they do not take workers’ safety seriously enough.

If you have any questions or would like to set up a free consultation, give us a call today at (713) 352-7071. We look forward to working with you.

 

 

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