Oil and gas production contributes to job creation and economic growth in many areas. What is also true, however, is that residents and property owners are often affected by oil contamination, and other forms of negligence, on the part of oil and gas companies
If you have been a victim of oil contamination, you may be entitled to compensation.
What are some of the effects of oil contamination?
Oil contamination is caused by more than major oil spills. It can also result from improper drilling practices; pipeline and storage tank leaks; abandoned or poorly maintained oil wells and fields; and negligence in how oil and gas surface facilities are operated.
Air, groundwater, surface water and land may all become polluted and, in turn, negatively affect persons’ health. Reported issues include respiratory illness; rashes and other skin conditions; miscarriages and still births; as well as depression, anxiety and stress. Crops and animals on the fouled property may also suffer ill effects.
Persons who are exposed may be faced with hefty medical bills and loss of income. Furthermore, contamination of property by oil can significantly decrease its value and dramatically reduce its salability.
What should you do if you are a victim of oil contamination?
Once you realize you have become an oil contamination victim, try to retain any documentation, bills and receipts pertaining to the effects of the contamination. These can serve as evidence of the oil company’s negligence, the injury to you or your property, and the resulting expenses and losses you incur.
Also, seek legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your state. Most attorneys specializing in oil contamination cases offer a free initial consultation. They can assess your case and advise you on its viability if you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, property litigation, or both.
Bandas Law Firm P.C. in oil-rich Texas is one such company. A check within your own state should reveal similar law firms you can consider. Apart from free consultation, some attorneys will represent oil contamination victims on a contingency basis – only collecting payment after a favorable outcome is achieved.
What compensation can you get after oil contamination?
There are standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding safe operation by oil and gas companies. These standards are upheld by laws so that negligent companies can be held accountable for damages they cause, and so that oil contamination victims can receive fair compensation.
Among the things money awarded to you could cover are:
- medical expenses, now and in the future
- psychological damage
- loss of income
- reduction in earning ability
- legal fees
- decrease in the value of your property
- clean up costs you incur
Apart from these, the oil company may be held responsible for restoration of your property to its condition before the contamination.
There are laws addressing the rights of and compensation for those impacted by oil contamination. If you have been adversely affected by oil contamination your best course of action may be contacting a lawyer who specializes in such cases to help you get the compensation you are entitled to.