Although toxic chemical exposure does not always make the headlines like
oil well fires do, workers injured by toxic substances often have valid
Worker's Compensation claims because of the significant
oil field injuries they endure.
In the Bakken region, workers face the potential for unsafe exposure to
numerous toxic substances, including:
- Hydrogen sulfide
For example, Bakken oil contains a relatively high level of
hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. It is a dangerous nerve toxin that can cause paralysis or even
death when inhaled in high concentrations of 100 ppm or more. Although,
H2S in lower concentrations smells like rotten eggs, it is often odorless
in higher concentrations. This is due to the fact that higher H2S concentrations
actually paralyze the olfactory nerves. Inhalation of this toxic gas often
leads to respiratory problems, convulsions or shock.
Determining Who is at Fault
At many Bakken drilling sites, tank farms and rail yards, there are a number
of companies potentially responsible for failing to protect workers from
toxic substances like hydrogen sulfide gas.
Workers should keep in mind that employers are only responsible for injuries
and fatalities under the state’s Worker's Compensation laws.
However, third parties that engage in negligent conduct may be named as
defendants in personal injury lawsuits.
Personal Injury Claims
When a company other than the worker’s employer is negligent, it
may be required to pay monetary damages under the state’s personal
injury statutes. In such cases, workers may receive compensation for certain
medical expenses, pain, suffering and possible lost wages. In most instances,
the parties agree to a settlement without going to trial.
If you or a family member is a victim of toxic chemical exposure, it is
possible to consult with a workers comp attorney at no cost to you. At
Odegaard Braukmann Law, we fight hard to get our clients the compensation
they deserve under the law. To learn more about our legal services, please