Causes of Oil and Gas Accidents

Companies that are responsible for processing and transporting large amounts of oil and gas accept the liability that such a responsibility creates for all those who work around and handle these products. Because of the risk associated with oil and gas, worksites must be carefully monitored and cared for. When tanks, gas lines, drilling rigs, and pipelines are not properly maintained, accidents are inevitable. Failure to respond to reports of leaks or to provide proper safety measures through equipment and training also cause the likelihood of an accident to be increased.

  • Oil and gas companies carry full responsibility for creating and maintaining an accident-free work zone.

  • Maintenance failures related to gas lines, pipelines, tanks, and drilling rigs cause the risk of an accident to increase.

  • Safety measure failures or reported leak negligence are also major factors that lead to gas and oil accidents.

Types of Oil and Gas Accidents

Gas and oil accidents can occur within in large commercial companies, on the highways, or even in homes. Fires and explosions from propane or gas appliances that are defective can threaten the safety of a home while gas leaks, pipeline explosions, drilling rig blowouts, and major oil spills and chemical plant and refinery accidents can affect hundreds or even thousands of workers and citizens. Accidents that occur during shipment and transportation of oil and gas by highway or by water also have devastating results on many people—workers and bystanders—as well.

  • Oil and gas accidents in the home appear in the form of fires and explosions from propane and/or appliances fueled by gas that are defective.

  • Widespread devastation often occurs from gas leaks, pipeline explosions, oil spills, drilling rig blowouts, and accidents related to chemical plants and refineries.

  • Oil and gas spills and accidents harm employees and bystanders when these accidents take place during the transportation of these substances.

Results of Gas Accidents

Environmental damage created by mining processes and other types of oil and gas accidents has continued to negatively affect the communities and lives of many, often in ways that are imperceptible at first. Personal injury, serious health conditions, and even death to employees, work crew members, or even people living in residential areas nearby the scene of the accident are possible. Although oil and gas companies often cover the risks they choose to take by depending on skilled and experienced legal defense, the rights of any individual who has been harmed in any way through an oil or gas accident are still vitally important and worth reporting for the benefit of the injured party and for others who might suffer from continued carelessness or neglect.

  • Widespread environmental damage often occurs after oil and gas accidents.

  • Employees and work crew members within oil and gas companies can suffer serious injuries and health conditions from accidents within their workplace.

  • Serious accidents can cause death to workers and bystanders.

The Dog Owner’s Responsibility

Dog bites are actually fairly common occurrences. Some instances are relatively minor, while others can involve major trauma or even death. The dog owner usually has the highest degree of responsibility or liability in the incident.

In many states, including New Mexico, a dog owner is allowed to assume that his/her dog is not dangerous until it has demonstrated some form of aggression toward humans. While biting is an obvious display of threatening behavior, there are several other ways that the dog’s intentions may be demonstrated.

  • If a dog threatens people by growling or snapping, the owner should anticipate that it has the potential to harm someone.

  • If a large dog has a habit of jumping on people, even in play, the owner should realize that it has the potential to harm someone by knocking them down.

  • If a dog routinely runs along a fence line barking or chasing passersby, the owner should be aware that the dog might hurt someone if given the opportunity.

  • If a dog simply barks at strangers, but shows no other threatening behaviors, the owner is not likely to be liable if it bites a person.

  • If a dog has demonstrated aggression toward other dogs but not toward humans, it is not assumed to be dangerous.

If a dog is determined to be dangerous by these or other criteria, the owner has the responsibility to keep him from hurting people and would be held liable if someone is harmed. If the dog cannot be proven to be dangerous, the owner would not likely be liable for an initial incident.

The Dog Owner’s Defense

Of course, the entire responsibility for a dog bite does not always rest with the owner. Sometimes the person harmed has done something to aggravate the animal.

  • If an injured person provoked the dog in some manner, such as by hitting the dog, the owner may not be held completely liable for the injury.

  • If an injured person is aware of the risk of injury but took it anyway, the owner may not be liable. This category commonly affects veterinarians and dog groomers. It also may include individuals who ignore warning signs.

  • If an injured person is trespassing, it is possible that the owner may not be liable, but often this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

  • If an injured person was careless in some manner, they may be held at least partially liable for the injury.

Many of these guidelines are subject to interpretation and will be decided by the courts based on the circumstances of the case.

Compensation for Dog Bites

If a dog owner is proven to be at fault, there are several categories of compensation they may be required to pay. These may include:

  • Medical bills

  • Income lost due to the injury

  • Pain and suffering

  • Any property damage that may have occurred

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is just one of a number of health risks associated with exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a malignant that affects the lining of the lungs or, less commonly, the pericardium (sac around the heart), the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the sac that surrounds the testicles. Mesothelioma may not appear until many years after exposure to asbestos. Some have suggested that family members who lived with someone who worked with asbestos may also be at increased risk.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may include

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Chest pain.

  • Unexplained loss of weight.

  • Fever.

  • Cough.

  • A general feeling of being unwell.

Other, less common, symptoms include abdominal swelling, bowel obstruction, and/or anemia.

If you exhibit any of the symptoms listed above, you should consult your doctor right away. Even if you do not have these symptoms but believe you were exposed to asbestos for any significant period of time, you should seek medical attention. Mesothelioma may be present even when symptoms do not yet exist.

What Does Mesothelioma Have to Do with Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used for a variety of purposes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its structure is made up of long, thin crystals that cause lung irritation when inhaled. Prolonged exposure can result in . All types of asbestos are known to cause .

So why was it so widely used for so long? Asbestos’ resistance to heat and burning made it a desirable commodity in environments prone to high temperatures. It was used in many ways, including fireproofing buildings, insulating pipes, and car manufacturing, including the manufacturing of brake pads.

The health risks posed by exposure to asbestos—not limited to mesothelioma—were known since the 1930s, but regulation of its use in the United States did not begin until the 1970s. Even today asbestos use is not completely banned in the US. Sadly, throughout much of the history of its use, companies sought to keep its life-threatening side effects a secret from the public. There have been numerous documented incidents of intentional cover-ups and misrepresentation of the facts to the public, dating as far back as the early 1900s.

You may have been exposed to asbestos if you have ever worked in any of the following situations:

  • Factory work.

  • Building demolition.

  • Ship building.

  • Installation or removal of insulation.

  • Carpentry work.

  • Manufacturing, installation, or repair of brake linings.

I Have Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma . . . Now What?

If your doctor has diagnosed you with mesothelioma, what should you do?

  • Follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment regimen.

  • You may be eligible to file a claim for financial remuneration. Killian Davis Richter & Mayle can help expedite that process. Or,

  • You may want to file a lawsuit (not the same as filing a claim) against an employer who was negligent in his responsibilities regarding your exposure to asbestos. Again, contact us for counsel regarding your rights.