The refining industry poses significant risk for industrial workers. By the very nature of the work itself employees are exposed to volatile chemicals that could cause serious illness and health conditions as a result of chronic exposure. The risk of fire or explosion is also an ever-present danger. Chemicals aside, refinery work also involves the use of heavy equipment and machinery that can increase the risk of accidents, falls, and other injuries. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a refinery accident it is important to know your legal rights. One of the first steps is in understanding the types of legal damages that you may be able to sue for.
MEDICAL DAMAGES AND TREATMENT COSTS
Victims of refinery accidents will almost certainly face prolonged medical care, numerous visits to doctors and specialists, surgeries and medical procedures, lengthy hospital stays, and rehabilitation and physical therapy. Depending on your health insurance these costs can quickly spiral out of control. Medical and treatment costs may also manifest in ways not directly covered by health insurance. For example they may require victims and their families to relocate long-term or temporarily, could require travel expenses, or the purchase of items not generally considered technically ‘medical supplies’ but still crucial for the comfort and well being of the patient. Medical and treatment costs are thus a common type of legal damage sought in lawsuits.
Depending on the severity of the refinery victim’s injuries they may require long-term or even permanent assistive care. Special modifications to the home may need to be made and it might be necessary to have a healthcare worker or home nurse care for the patient around the clock, or the victim’s spouse or family members may have to give up a job to care for their injured loved one. Financial compensation for expensive long-term care is only fair.
LOST WAGES AND LOSS OF EARNING POTENTIAL
Injured refinery workers are of course not able to continue working while they are recuperating from an accident. This in turn leads to a loss of income and could endanger the financial stability of the family. Also problematic is the potential loss of future earnings that victims may face. For example an injured refinery worker may no longer be able to perform the physical requirements of the job and may need to change careers altogether or reduce the amount of hours worked. In extreme cases a severely injured person may never be able to return to work in any capacity. Thus lost wages and loss of earning potential are also key considerations when filing a lawsuit.
PHYSICAL PAIN AND SUFFERING
Industrial accident victims may also wish to seek legal damages for the physical pain and suffering that they have endured. Often a major refinery accident will leave a victim in chronic pain or with recurring bouts of pain. The treatments and surgeries for the injuries may also be very painful in some cases.
EMOTIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM
In some instances industrial accidents may also leave victims traumatized or severely distressed. Major injuries and recoveries also often place a great deal of strain on personal relationships. This emotional and psychological harm is thus also something victims may consider including in a lawsuit.
In extreme cases the victims of refinery accidents may succumb to their injuries. In these tragic circumstances there is of course nothing that can be done to bring the deceased back, but a surviving spouse or their children may want to consider filing a wrongful death claim to help compensate them for the financial burden associated with their loss.
Every case is different and what might be relevant to one refinery or oilfield worker may be completely different from another. This makes it very important to seek legal guidance from an experienced personal injury and industrial attorney who can carefully evaluate the specifics of your case and determine what types of damages are most appropriate for a lawsuit. Please contact Dugas Law Firm for a consultation.