A few months ago, my wife and I watched Bernie, which (as much as anything) is a movie about the people of Texas, particularly East Texas, and more particularly the folks city of Carthage, Texas. At one point, a character in the movie, with the assistance of a cartoon-like map that appears on the screen, describes the various characteristics of each part of our state. The character favorably glosses East Texas as the best part of the state, and paints a less favorable picture of the other parts.
The Gulf Coast (Corpus to Beaumont) is pictured as being full of refineries.
I chuckled—because its true.
Refineries are part of who we are here on the Gulf Coast. Both of my grandfathers worked in oil refineries in nearby Baytown as this part of the state was growing. We Houstonians are now quick to report to those outsiders who knock our city that Forbes has now dubbed Houston as the coolest city in the US to live. This newfound “coolness” of our city rests on other factors than our many oil refineries. If you can fine a map of refineries in the US, it will not look much different from the one shown in the movie. We are loaded with the things.
These refineries look like small cities within our skyline.
We are accustomed to the sight of skyscraping smokestacks, storage tanks the size of basketball arenas, and the smell of all the burning and processing that goes on there. Those of us without any real knowledge of what’s going on at these places, to the extent we can, try to keep our distance. Those of us who do work on these sites are aware of the safety hazards and the awesome potential for catastrophe.
When there is a catastrophe at one of these refineries, the effect is astronomical. Entire cities are asked to "shelter in place" until the smoke or the chemicals have dispersed enough for it to be safe to be outside. Often, the number of injured workers is in the double digits. These injured workers need extensive medical care, and usually are unable to do the same job they were before, or can't return to work at all.
It should be no surprise that our Houston-based personal injury firm regularly represents individuals who have been injured working at these places. In fact, after a big plant explosion, we will often get calls from individuals who were near enough to an explosion to react to the emergency and suffered injuries as a result of trying to escape that danger, but not directly injured by the fire or debris of the explosion. This is not unusual at all.
Because we have developed this expertise in industrial explosions, we also have represented people hurt in such explosions elsewhere. Fun fact: we have represented individuals in Panola County, which incidentally, is the East Texas county where Carthage is located.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an industrial accident at one of the many oil refineries in our state, you owe it to yourself to learn your legal rights. Click here to learn more about your rights after an industrial accident. Call us today, toll-free, at 877-724-7800 to discuss your legal options with our experienced personal injury attorneys.