Fracking Injuries and Death Attorneys
While hydraulic fracturing or fracking of shale rock formations has unlocked vast reserves of oil and gas in shale formations under our soil, somewhere else a price may be paid. Many people are affected by fracking and chemical exposure. Others are affected by property damage. It may be paid on our roads when an innocent person is struck and killed by a rig truck. It may be paid by a property owner whose tap water is poisoned by fracking chemicals and natural gas.
Representing Injured Workers
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., our attorneys represent workers in the oil and gas industry, their families and members of the community who have been injured as a result of fracking and chemical exposure. In fact, when West Virginian legislators want expert testimony on the dangers of fracking, they seek out the lawyers of Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C.
We have been standing up for the citizens of West Virginia for many decades, and we have been involved in some of the most complex and groundbreaking litigation involving major industries such as oil and natural gas. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial pain that those impacted by the ill effects of fracking have to endure, and we work closely with our clients, putting our extensive experience to work to pursue maximum compensation on their behalf.
The following are examples of the types of claims that may result from fracking and Marcellus Shale drilling:
- Injuries caused by accidents involving truck traffic going to and from oil and gas drilling sites
- Injuries caused by natural gas explosions
- Contaminated water from fracking activities
- Subsidence claims from drilling on adjacent property
- Heavy equipment accidents
- Chemical exposure injuries
- Property damage as a result of fracking
If you have been injured or your property damaged by companies engaged in fracking, you are entitled to compensation for everything you have lost. Unfortunately, insurance companies covering fracking operations do not pay large damage claims willingly. In fact, they will typically do whatever they can get away with to minimize their losses. It usually takes the assistance of an experienced attorney to get the full and fair compensation you deserve, and this is where we can help.
We routinely go up against large entities such as oil and gas companies and their insurers, and we are not intimidated by their vast resources. We are skilled litigators and strong negotiators. From the outset, we prepare to fully litigate your case with the understanding that it is often in our client’s best interest to secure a settlement without the need for a trial. Our successful track record at trial often provides a strong enough incentive for the other side to make a reasonable offer. If they are not willing to negotiate in good faith, however, we are ready and able to pursue full damages through whatever legal means necessary.
Legal Options for Injured Fracking Workers
Working in the oil and gas industry is among the most dangerous occupations in the US, with a workplace fatality rate of nearly 8 times the all-industry average. Those in this industry work long hours with lots of overtime, and by the end of the day, they are often beyond the point of exhaustion. Throughout the day, they frequently work in a fast-paced environment using all types of hazardous equipment and often working on highly elevated platforms.
Some workers also spend a lot of time transporting supplies to and from well sites, many of which are located in mountainous and rural areas where the roads lack basic safety features, such as firm shoulders and roadside barriers.
Because of the risks on the job, fracking workers are susceptible to a wide range of accidents and injuries, including:
- Slips, trips, and fall accidents;
- Collapsed rigs;
- Well blowouts;
- Industrial chain accidents;
- Defective machinery and equipment failures;
- Fires and explosions;
- Contaminated water;
- Exposure to toxic fumes and other dangerous substances;
- Transportation accidents.
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you are entitled to benefits from workers’ compensation. However, workers’ comp benefits do not provide compensation for noneconomic losses such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. This is why it is important to have your case reviewed by an attorney who understands all of your legal options.
For those who are injured or for the families of those who are killed in work-related fracking accidents, it may be possible to recover damages (over and above what you are receiving from workers’ comp) through a legal claim against a third party that may have been responsible for the injury. And in some cases, you may even be able to file a lawsuit against your employer.
A large number of oil and gas worker injuries happen as a result of transportation accidents, and in cases like these, there is a good chance that you might be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of another vehicle that caused the accident, or against a government entity if they failed to maintain safe roads.
Another common instance of third-party negligence is when a subcontractor is brought in by the fracking company to perform a certain task and that subcontractor causes injury to a worker. In this case, you can sue the subcontractor directly or damages.
Product makers are also common contributors to workplace accidents. When they produce faulty or dangerous equipment that malfunctions and causes a worker to become injured, that worker can bring a product liability claim against the manufacturer, distributor, or other parties in the product’s supply chain.
Finally, if it can be shown that the fracking company intentionally placed you in harm’s way and this caused the workplace injury, you may qualify to file a personal injury claim directly against your employer under the legal theory known as “deliberate intent”. Examples of deliberate intent may include failure to provide an employee with adequate training or failure to provide the employee with adequate protection for the job they are asked to perform.
Deliberate intent claims are very complicated, and there is a high burden of proof on the plaintiff to show that the workplace injury resulted from the employer’s intentional actions. That said, winning these types of cases is not impossible, and we can thoroughly examine your specific circumstances to determine if this might be a viable option in your case.
Free Initial Consultation with A West Virginia Fracking Injury Attorney
Fracking is a very dangerous procedure that frequently causes injuries and damage not only to industry workers, but to those in the community as well. If you or someone close to you has suffered injury or loss because of this activity, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating aggressively for your rights and interests.
Contact our firm to schedule a free consultation with our fracking accident attorneys in Charleston, Logan or Summersville. We will fully assess your case and explore every potential legal avenue toward recovering maximum compensation.
We handle all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.