Texas has nearly 500,000 miles of pipeline, which accounts for almost 20% of the total pipeline mileage in the U.S. Roughly half of this amount consists of natural gas and LP-gas distribution lines (approximately 160,000 miles) and hazardous liquid and natural gas transmission lines (approximately 80,000 miles). For many Texas residents, living or working near a potentially dangerous pipeline is unavoidable.
Since natural gas and oil pipelines always pose some level of risk, a great level of care must be taken when working around them. If you or a loved one has been injured by a natural gas or oil pipeline explosion, whether as a passerby, resident, pipeline worker, or construction worker, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. It is important to seek advice from a qualified Texas pipeline attorney. The experienced Texas pipeline accident attorneys at Padua Law have many years of experience representing victims of pipeline accidents throughout the state. Contact us today to discuss your rights and options.
Potential Causes of Pipeline Explosions
Identifying the cause of the explosion is necessary to determine whether the responsible party failed to act with reasonable care. Some of these causes are preventable, others are not:
- Inadequate maintenance. When pipelines are not maintained properly, they can fail and explode. For example, a rusted section of a pipeline that isn’t replaced can leak and explode. Costs are often a factor. By some estimates, replacing just a single mile of a pipeline can cost more than $1 million.
- Improper installation. Many things can go wrong when installing a pipeline. For instance, poor welding could result in a gas leak. Or improperly installed emergency shutoff valves may malfunction and fail to prevent a catastrophic explosion. And even when safety equipment is installed properly, a manufacturer’s defect could cause parts to fail.
- Excavations. With pipelines spread throughout Texas, construction and excavation work can pose serious risks. Contractors are required to identify the locations of pipelines before starting work. When they fail to do so, a pipeline explosion may occur.
- Failure to take action. Some pipeline explosions could have been avoided had personnel responded to an emergency in time. This is especially true for natural gas leaks. Since natural gas does not have an odor, personnel must add an odorant to the gas to detect leaks. A recent pipeline explosion in Fort Bend County, Texas, shows how critical it is to take precautionary measures. The area was evacuated before the explosion occurred and no one was injured.
- Failure to train and/or supervise. Companies that install pipelines must comply with applicable safety regulations. If employees are not adequately trained or properly supervised, the risk of an explosion may increase.
Pipeline Accident Injuries
A pipeline explosion can cause serious and potentially fatal injuries. Some examples of severe injuries include burns, traumatic brain injuries, loss of limbs, and permanent disfigurement. Moreover, pipeline explosions can cause devastating emotional harm for victims and their families. Both physical and emotional harm can significantly diminish the victim’s quality of life and their ability to support their families.
Thus, if you are injured in a pipeline explosion, it is critical to seek compensation for your injuries. An experienced Texas pipeline attorney can advise you of your rights and help you seek the compensation that you deserve. While every case is different, damages recoverable in a Texas pipeline accident case can cover:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Medical expenses and cost of care
- Permanent disability
- Loss of income
- Loss of quality of life
Who Can You Sue for Texas Pipeline Accident Injuries
Determining the cause of an explosion and the responsible parties typically requires an extensive investigation. This may involve retaining experts to reconstruct the explosion to gain a full understanding of the circumstances of the explosion. Once your Texas pipeline accident attorney understands what caused the blast, they can sue those responsible. Responsible parties can include:
- Gas or propane company
- Oil rig owner
- Construction company
- Contractor or subcontractor
- Maintenance company
- Installation company
- Property owner
- A city, county, or state government
Contact a Texas Pipeline Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Texas pipeline accident, a qualified Texas pipeline attorney can help you to identify those responsible for your injuries and obtain compensation on your behalf. Padua Law has many years of experience representing injury victims in Texas. Our dedicated legal team will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the blast to determine what caused your injuries.
Some of the types of cases that our Texas pipeline accident attorneys can assist with include:
- Gas leaks and explosions
- The failure to properly identify or mark pipeline locations
- Pipeline corrosion
- Improper maintenance
- Improper installation
- Inadequate training and/or safety practices
- Defective parts
You can count on the experienced Texas pipeline attorneys at Padua Law to pursue every responsible party to hold them accountable for your losses. Contact our dedicated Texas pipeline attorneys today to discuss your rights and options.