How the best houston oilfield lawyer How the best houston oilfield lawyer

Working in the oil and gas industry can be extremely dangerous. Oilfield workers face many hazards daily, including the risk of suffering severe burn injuries. Burns are one of the most common injuries in the oil and gas sector, often leaving victims with excruciating pain, permanent scars, and even disability. If you’ve suffered a burn injury while working on an oil rig, production facility, or other oilfield site, you need an experienced Houston oilfield injury lawyer on your side. The right lawyer can help you understand your legal options and fight to get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

This guide will provide an overview of the most common types of oilfield burn injuries, as well as explain how a skilled attorney can help.

Common Causes of Oilfield Burn Injuries

Oilfield workers face burn risks from many different sources, including:

  • Fires and explosions: Oil and gas sites contain many flammable materials and gases under high pressure, creating fire and explosion hazards. Even a small spark can trigger a devastating blast.
  • Steam and hot fluids: Workers may be burned by hot oils, steam, and other fluids involved in drilling and production. Temperatures can exceed 500°F.
  • Electricity: Shock and arc flash burns are common electrical accidents around power lines, transformers, and other energized equipment.
  • Chemical burns: Corrosive chemicals used in drilling and fracking, such as acids, can cause chemical burns upon contact with skin.
  • Friction: Moving, rotating equipment can generate extreme heat through friction, leading to thermal contact burns.
  • Hot surfaces: Rig components like pipes exposed to the sun or steam can reach dangerously high temperatures.

Proper training and safety protocols are supposed to prevent burn injuries. However, mistakes happen.

9 Common Types of Oilfield Burn Injuries

Burns are classified by their depth and how much surface area they cover. The deeper and more widespread the burn, the more devastating the impact. Here are some of the most common burn types suffered by oilfield employees:

1. First-Degree Burns

First-degree or superficial burns only affect the outer layer of the skin. They cause redness, pain, and swelling. Sunburn is an example. While first-degree burns are painful, they usually heal within a week and rarely result in permanent scars or other issues.

2. Second-Degree Burns

Oilfield second-degree burns or partial-thickness burns penetrate deeper into the skin, damaging sweat glands and hair follicles. Blisters are common with second-degree burns. The damaged areas may appear glossy or wet. Healing can take 3-4 weeks, often with scarring. Skin grafts may be required for large areas.

3. Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree or full-thickness burns destroy the entire depth of the skin, including all nerves. The skin turns white or charred black. Because the nerve endings are destroyed, third-degree burns may not initially be painful but they quickly become excruciating as swelling presses on adjacent unburnt nerves. Skin grafts are always required for recovery.

4. Fourth-Degree Burns

The most severe type, fourth-degree burns extend beyond the skin into muscle and bone. Areas may be charred until almost unrecognizable. Burn victims require extensive reconstructive surgery over many months and may never fully recover normal limb function or appearance.

5. Flash Burns

Flash burns affect the eyes when an individual looks directly at an explosion. Temperatures from the initial fireball can literally burn the surface of the eye. Flash burns cause severe pain, light sensitivity, blurry vision, and temporary or permanent vision loss.

6. Inhalation Burns

Inhalation burns affect the airway and lungs when someone breathes in smoke, steam, or other heated gases. They can quickly lead to swelling, respiratory distress, and other life-threatening complications. Medical care must be immediate to prevent death or permanent lung damage.

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7. Electrical Burns

Electrical burns result when the body contacts an electrical current. In addition to blistered skin at the contact points, they can damage nerves and muscle tissue beneath the skin surface. Very high voltage can even cause cardiac arrest or internal organ failure.

8. Chemical Burns

Exposure to corrosive chemicals—such as sulfuric acid used in oilfield drilling—can immediately burn skin upon contact. Severe chemical burns require extensive cleaning and skin grafts. Damage can continue spreading beneath the skin for hours after initial exposure.

9. Thermal Contact Burns

Also called heat conduction burns, these are caused by contact with hot surfaces like uninsulated pipes or steam lines. Burns often reflect the shape and texture of the hot object. Contact with temperatures above 160°F for even a few seconds can cause third-degree burns.

How an Experienced Oilfield Injury Lawyer Helps Maximize Compensation

After suffering catastrophic burn injuries on the job, your focus is undoubtedly on physical and emotional recovery. But it’s also vital to immediately consult with a qualified Houston oilfield injury attorney. An aggressive lawyer thoroughly investigates your accident circumstances to build the strongest possible claim. They know how to deal with insurance companies and maximize your burn injury compensation.

An oilfield burn injury lawyer helps in key ways:

Gather Evidence from the Accident Site

Your attorney will work quickly to gather physical evidence from the accident site before it gets cleaned up or altered. Photographing burn patterns, equipment damage, and other evidence can reveal important details about what went wrong. This establishes who or what is at fault.

Get Testimony From Eyewitnesses

If coworkers saw your accident occur, their eyewitness accounts are crucial. Their impressions immediately after the incident are often far more detailed than accident reports filed later. Your lawyer will want to interview them ASAP before memories fade.

Review Company Policies & Government Regulations

What safety policies or procedures were in place to prevent burns, and were they adequately followed? Did negligence contribute to the incident? Were any equipment standards or government safety regulations violated? Detailed investigation provides answers.

Calculate Realistic Compensation Needs

Severe burns often require months or years of medical treatment, therapy, and recovery time. Your attorney will work with doctors to estimate both immediate and lifelong costs related to your injuries. This provides a realistic estimate of the compensation required.

Handle Communication With Insurance Companies

Insurance adjusters typically downplay burn cases and make lowball offers. Experienced oilfield injury lawyers have negotiator skills to advocate effectively for victims. They pressure insurers and help fully cover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs.

Take Legal Action If Needed

If insurance settlement offers seem insufficient, Zehl & Associates Lawyers won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit against negligent parties. They will aggressively represent your interests before a judge and jury if your case goes to trial. This is because their goal is maximizing your financial recovery.

Know Your Legal Options After an Oilfield Burn Injury

Don’t assume a burn injury is just an inherent risk of working in oil and gas. Many burn accidents can actually be attributed to negligence or safety violations from a third party, whether it’s the well owner, equipment manufacturer, or another contractor. You shouldn’t have to pay the price for someone else’s reckless behavior or negligence.

Therefore, to ensure your rights are protected, you should contact an accomplished Houston oilfield injury lawyer right away after an injury so as to discuss your legal options. With an experienced attorney’s help, you can focus on healing while holding the responsible parties fully accountable.

Although no amount of money can undo a devastating burn injury, maximum financial compensation can ease the ongoing burden so you can move forward with your life.

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