Working at a Texas oil refinery is a complex and dangerous job. While refineries are essential to life as we know it—providing resources to oil, gas, and agriculture industries—workers know that they take on a significant risk of injuries by going to work each day.
If you or a loved one works at a refinery, it is important to know what sort of burn injuries can happen, as well as what to do if you are burned at work. If your employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, it is especially important to know how to handle a workplace burn.
Types of Refinery Burn Injuries
Because of the nature of the work done in refineries, there are many potential burn hazards. Some of the most common refinery burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns. Both dry thermal and wet thermal burns can occur at a refinery. Dry thermal burns are caused by flames and radiant heat, and wet thermal burns come from steam and hot liquid.
- Electrical burns. Coming into contact with a live electrical source is not uncommon, and it can cause damage to the subdermal layers of the skin. It can even go as deep as muscle damage.
- Chemical burns. Refinery explosions sometimes involve toxic chemicals like hydrofluoric acid. Some chemicals can irritate the skin and cause outward injuries like blisters, but they can also cause long-term or permanent damage to the skin, eyes, lungs, and other body parts.
While other types of injuries also occur at refineries, burn injuries tend to be some of the most severe. They can cause permanent physical damage, including disfigurement and disability. If you are burned in an accident at a refinery, you will likely experience extreme pain, may require extensive skin grafts, and are at risk of developing a dangerous infection. You may also suffer permanent scarring from the accident. You deserve to be compensated for your losses.
How an Attorney Can Help
Being burned in an accident at work is traumatic. However, it is important to seek legal representation immediately, especially if your employer does not provide workers' comp. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to build a case to help you receive the compensation you rightly deserve. An attorney who specializes in refinery accidents can make your journey toward recovery easier.
A refinery accident attorney will help you from the very start, beginning with gathering witness statements from the scene of the accident and requesting copies of hospital records related to the burn incident. This will allow you to focus solely on your recovery while the attorney works on your behalf to build your case. An experienced accident attorney will also advise you on the various damages you can seek out, as well as represent you in court if things are not settled fairly.
Compensation You May Be Able to Receive
If you are burned in a refinery accident and your employer does not subscribe to workers' comp insurance, our attorneys can help you seek compensation for different types of damages. These include:
- Reimbursement for medical bills and treatment, including surgeries, hospital stays, and rehabilitation
- Compensation for lost wages if you are unable to work because of the burn injury
- Damages for emotional distress, including counseling and psychiatric medications
Other forms of compensation might be available and will be explained by your attorney.
Seek Help Right Away
Refinery fires and explosions happen suddenly and can change your life in an instant. Don't delay in reaching out for professional help and representation as soon as possible. At SJ Injury Attorneys, we specialize in representing those who have been severely injured at refineries. Texas has one of the highest rates of refinery injuries in the nation, and our Houston lawyers are well-versed in the law and how to get you the help you need when you need it.
Contact us today to ensure you receive what you deserve if you have had your life impacted by a devastating refinery burn accident.