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Wrongful death: The cost of oil field explosions in Texas

In Texas, oil mining is a way of life for many families. Many people in our state depend on the industry for their livelihood. However, there are times when this industry poses a danger to employees of an oil mining company, EMS responders and innocent bystanders. Recently, the unthinkable occurred, and a disposal well exploded near Nixon. A man was injured and sent to the hospital with unspecified injuries, but the accident could have been much worse, even resulting in a wrongful death.

These oil field accidents aren't only dangerous -- they are also costly. One county has seen their EMS budget double in order to ensure that first responders are properly trained for such emergencies. Poorer counties are feeling the impact of these increases, as their revenue from the production of oil and gas is not enough to cover the expenses. Due to the potential safety issues, the counties cannot do without the special training. Their budgets may be overwhelmed, but the potential cost of lost lives is too great to risk.

Texas officials are exploring ways to increase safety at oil fields, as well as reducing environmental impacts. Technology exists to reuse and recycle fluids that would limit the growth of disposal wells, like the one that exploded in Nixon. Unfortunately, convincing oil companies to make such an investment is often difficult.

A tragic oil field accident can have a far-reaching impact on a community. When these incidents result in serious injury or death, legal options exist for victims that survived or the familes of those that died.The families of innocent bystanders who lost their life to an oil field accident may elect to pursue a wrongful death civil claim in the Texas civil court system. A successful result won't undo what has alread ybeen done, but it may help the family overcome the financial devastation that typically results from these types of tragedies.

Source: www.kens5.com, I-Team: Eagle Ford oil and gas brings challenges to rural VFD's and EMT's, Joe Conger, November 18, 2013

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