North Dakota Oil Refinery Explosion Attorneys

Oil production forms a significant portion of North Dakota’s economy. In fact, since the Bakken oil boom in the western part of the state in 2008, North Dakota has been second only to Texas in terms of oil production. However, the large number of oil refinery employees in our state has corresponded with significant increases in oil refinery injuries and deaths in recent years. Oil refinery explosions are among the most devastating types of accidents that occur within the industry.

If you have suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an oil refinery explosion in North Dakota, you may be eligible for significant compensation for losses such as medical expenses, lost income, and more. The experienced oil refinery accident attorneys at Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. can give you the support and advocacy you need as you seek the total and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you. 

Common Causes of Oil Refinery Explosions

Oil refinery explosions can occur due to various factors, including equipment malfunctions, human error, and improper maintenance. Some common causes include:

  • Equipment failures — Faulty or poorly maintained equipment, such as pumps, valves, and pipelines, can lead to leaks and explosions.
  • Corrosion – Over time, corrosion can weaken equipment and pipelines, increasing the risk of leaks and explosions.
  • Improper training — Inadequately trained employees may make errors that result in explosions.
  • Insufficient safety protocols — A lack of proper safety measures and emergency response plans can exacerbate the consequences of an explosion.
  • Chemical reactions — Uncontrolled chemical reactions during the refining process can cause explosions.

Consequences of Oil Refinery Explosion Injuries

Oil refinery explosions can result in severe injuries, emotional trauma, and a decreased quality of life for those affected. Some of the consequences include:

  • Physical injuries — Burns, fractures, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries are common in oil refinery explosions. These injuries often require extensive and intensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Emotional trauma — Survivors may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues.
  • Loss of quality of life — Injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, chronic pain, and the inability to engage in activities once enjoyed.
  • Financial stress and strain — Medical expenses, lost wages, and the potential need for lifelong care can create significant economic burdens for victims and their families.

Compensation Available in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

In North Dakota, oil refinery employees who suffer injuries due to a work-related explosion may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides benefits to employees injured on the job, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Injured employees should file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after the explosion occurs.

If you have suffered injuries in an oil refinery explosion, workers’ comp benefits may include medical expenses, lost wages, disability payments, and vocational rehabilitation.

If an employee loses their life in an oil refinery explosion, their surviving family members may be entitled to death benefits, including funeral expenses and a percentage of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage.

Compensation Available in a Third-Party Lawsuit

In some cases, oil refinery explosion victims may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against individuals or companies other than their employer who may have contributed to the accident. Examples include manufacturers of faulty equipment or contractors who performed substandard work.

In a third-party lawsuit, injured victims may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life. North Dakota requires injured individuals to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party within six years of the accident date.

If a person loses their life due to another party’s negligence, their surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Damages may include compensation for funeral expenses, loss of income for dependents, loss of companionship, and the decedent’s pain and suffering before death. North Dakota requires eligible family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of their loved one’s death.

How a Lawyer Can Help 

Filing a successful compensation claim following an oil refinery explosion can be challenging, especially when you are focused on your recovery. An experienced oil refinery accident attorney can provide invaluable assistance in several ways:

  • Investigating the accident  — An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the explosion and identify all potentially liable parties.
  • Evaluating your claim  — A lawyer can assess the strength of your case and advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s filing a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party lawsuit, or both.
  • Gathering evidence — An attorney can collect and preserve crucial evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, and expert opinions, to support your claim.
  • Negotiating with insurance companies — Our lawyers are skilled negotiators who can communicate with insurance companies to maximize your chances of receiving a fair settlement.
  • Representing you in court  — If the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair compensation package, an attorney can represent you in court and fight for your rights before a judge and jury.

Contact Our Oil Refinery Explosion Accident Attorneys in North Dakota

Suffering injuries in an oil refinery explosion is one of the most traumatic and life-altering events a person can experience. The aftermath of an explosion can often feel overwhelming, confusing, and frustrating. However, it is crucial to remember that you do not need to face this journey alone. The compassionate legal team at Pringle & Herigstad is here to help you seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve.

Our law firm has fought for the rights of injured individuals and their families since 1909. Our track record demonstrates our commitment to our client’s well-being, and we are passionate about giving you the individual attention you and your case deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. is committed to supporting individuals in North Dakota, including Grand Forks and Minot, as well as the surrounding areas. Our dedicated team is here to provide legal assistance and guidance to those facing the complex challenges that arise from these incidents.