What Are Some Examples of Fracking Injuries - morgan and morgan
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What Are Some Examples of Fracking Injuries?

What Are Some Examples of Fracking Injuries?

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What Are Some Examples of Fracking Injuries?

When petroleum companies have difficulty reaching oil or natural gas deposits located deep in the ground, they implement an extraction technique referred to as hydraulic fracking or hydro-fracking. The extraction process mixes water and chemicals that are injected into a drilled hole at an extraordinary high pressure that produces breaks in the rock. With crumbled rock opening larger holes, petroleum companies gain access to the difficult to extract oil and natural gas.

Much of the controversy surrounding the extraction process concerns the negative impact fracking has on the environment. However, hydraulic fracking also is a highly dangerous process that puts workers at risk of illness and injury. Fracking injury examples include electrocution, brain trauma, and spinal cord damage. If you or a loved one sustained an injury while fracking, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit.

Since 1988, Morgan & Morgan has represented clients from all over the United States for personal injury cases. As a relatively new type of personal injury case, fracking can produce a wide variety of illnesses and injuries that can put a worker out of a job for weeks, if not months at a time. When you contact one of our experienced attorneys, the first step is to determine whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. 

The difference between the two forms of legal action is filing a civil lawsuit requires proof the other party committed one or more acts of negligence. Filing a workers’ compensation claim does not involve proving negligence. Instead, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance program employers must buy to protect employees when they get hurt in the workplace.

Schedule a free case evaluation to determine whether you should file a workers’ compensation claim or receive monetary damages by filing a civil lawsuit.

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FAQ

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  • What Is Hydro-Fracking?

    Hydro-fracking involves drilling into underground rock at high pressure and then injecting a fluid that contains water and toxic chemicals. Petroleum companies have up to 600 options for chemicals that effectively break down rock to extract crude oil and natural gas. Many of the chemicals, such as benzene, mercury, and radium, are considered toxic. Some of the chemicals used for hydraulic fracking that include radium can cause cancer. 

    The use of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals not only poses a threat to workers but to property owners living close to the site of a fracking operation. This means the highly rated litigators at Morgan & Morgan represent property owners in addition to workers that get injured during a fracking operation.

  • What Are the Health Risks Associated With Hydraulic Fracking?

    Each fracking operation requires as much as 40,000 gallons of chemicals, including dangerous chemicals like methanol, formaldehyde, and sodium hydroxide. Prolonged exposure to a fracking chemical mixture can cause a wide variety of diseases to develop. 

    One of the most common types of health issues resulting from exposure to fracking chemicals is respiratory diseases such as lung cancer. Despite wearing protective clothing, extended exposure to hydraulic fracking chemicals can trigger skin disorders. Chronic fatigue and frequent migraine headaches might indicate the presence of an illness caused by fracking chemicals. Studies have shown fracking chemicals increase the risk of preterm births and low birth rates.

    Since 2007, workers’ compensation claims in the hydraulic fracking industry have quadrupled.   Fracking injury examples include head trauma caused by large rocks and boulders that become displaced because of the high-pressure drilling. Brain trauma occurs despite safety precautions taken and workers wearing the most shock-absorbent protective helmets on the market. Falling rock also increases the risk of severe fractures, some of which require the amputation of a limb. Eye injuries are prevalent, especially when fracking causes rocks to explode with sharp fragments. Fracking industry workers also must contend with the possibility of falling from a platform and seriously damaging the spinal cord.

  • What Are the Most Common Types of Fracking Personal Injury Claims?

    Fracking represents a high-risk oil and natural gas extraction process that puts both workers and nearby residents in danger. Four types of fracking personal injury claims get filed more often than other types of fracking personal injury claims.

    Toxic Spills

    In addition to mixing with water for injection into drilled holes in shale, fracking companies also use toxic chemicals to transport the chemicals used in fracking operations. If an accident happens, the stored chemicals can leak from a truck and cause serious burns and other types of injuries to the occupants of the truck, as well as anyone close by.

    Oil Truck Accidents

    An oil truck accident can do much more damage than spill dangerous chemicals. Like other types of motor vehicle accidents, a truck accident can cause serious injuries such as fractures, brain trauma, spinal cord damage, and a separated shoulder. Although oil truck drivers undergo comprehensive training, issues like distractions or poor weather conditions can cause an accident.

    Explosions

    The combination of highly flammable chemicals can lead to deadly explosions that impact residents of nearby communities. If you sustained injuries that result from a fracking-related explosion, the team of personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether negligence played a role in causing the devastating explosion.

    Chemicals Leaching Into Groundwater

    Toxic chemicals that escape from a fracking operation can cause considerable damage to the surrounding ecosystem. Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals can produce a wide variety of health problems. The most potentially dangerous impact of exposure to the toxic chemicals released at the site of a fracking operation is when the chemicals leach into the groundwater nearby residents drink and use for cooking.

  • How Should I Handle a Fracking Accident?

    Whether you plan to file a workers’ compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit, you should follow several similar steps to seek compensation for your injuries.

    Receive Immediate Medical Care

    Getting medical care to diagnose and treat your injuries is the most important element of a workers’ comp and personal injury claim. You should seek medical attention even if your injuries appear to be minor. Some injuries, such as a concussion and internal organ damage, do not develop symptoms right away. Make sure to collect and organize all the documents that prove you received medical care.

    Notify Your Employer

    Your employer should be aware of a fracking accident, but cover your legal bases by informing your employer about the accident and the extent of your injuries. Filing a workers’ compensation claim requires you to inform your employer about a fracking accident because your employer is legally obligated to explain the claim filing process and give you the documents you need to file a claim with the state workers’ compensation board. Although you do not have to notify your employer to file a civil lawsuit, check with your legal counsel to decide whether you should notify your manager.

    Contact a Highly Rated Law Firm

    Meeting with a lawyer is an essential part of the workers’ compensation and personal injury claim process. When you sit down with an attorney from Morgan & Morgan, the lawyer reviews your case to determine whether negligence played a role in causing the fracking incident. If one of our litigators determines negligence played a role in causing you harm, then you have the option to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Otherwise, your legal counsel will recommend filing a workers’ compensation claim to recover financial losses.

    Gather and Organize Evidence

    For a workers’ compensation claim, the only evidence you need is to submit medical documents like the results of diagnostic tests, as well as receipts that demonstrate the cost of diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating your injuries. If you plan to file a civil lawsuit, your personal injury attorney obtains evidence in the form of photographs, medical documents, and the statements made by witnesses. A catastrophic incident might require the investigative skills of the nearest law enforcement agency. The law enforcement agency that responds to a fracking incident submits a formal report that includes evidence gathered at the scene of the incident.

  • What Are the Types of Monetary Damages

    Filing a civil lawsuit requires your personal injury attorney to prove the four elements of negligence. First, you have to show your employer has a duty of care to protect you in the workplace. Second, your employer has to violate the duty of care doctrine. Third, the fracking accident must cause you some form of harm. Finally, you have to prove you suffered financial losses because of the fracking incident that caused your injuries.

    If your personal injury lawyer proves negligence, you have the right to seek monetary damages.

    Economic Damages

    By far the most substantial type of economic damages are the expenses associated with medical care. You have the right to recover the costs of diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. A favorable ruling for monetary damages also covers the costs of prescription medications and the assistive devices you need to use for completing daily errands. Property damage, such as paying for the damage done to your vehicle, is another type of economic damages. Lost wages because you cannot work also should be a part of the personal injury lawsuit award.

    Non-Economic Damages

    A fracking incident that causes you physical harm also can trigger mental and emotional issues. This means you have the right to ask for non-economic damages that include loss of consortium, as well as pain and suffering. The personal injury attorney you work with from Morgan & Morgan calculates non-economic damages by referring to a formula that is based on the value of economic damages.

    Punitive Damages

    Punitive damages do not compensate you for financial losses. Instead, the judge hearing your case awards punitive damages to penalize the defendant for causing you harm. To receive punitive damages, your personal injury lawyer must prove the four elements of negligence. Depending on the level of negligence, you might win a significant financial award that deters the fracking company from committing the same act of negligence again.

  • Get the Legal Support You Deserve

    Whether you want to file a workers’ compensation claim or file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, working with an experienced attorney can get you the compensation you deserve.

    Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of our litigators to decide whether to file a personal injury lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim.

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