Pennsylvania Fracking Injury Lawyers
Hydraulic Fracturing (“Fracking”) operations have sprung up in Pennsylvania at a rapid rate in the past few years, especially around the Marcellus Shale region. Despite this booming growth, the debate continues over how dangerous fracking can be to employees on well sites and residents of nearby areas. In the midst of this debate, individuals have come forth to share their stories of how fracking has impacted their health and the health of their family in frightening and costly ways. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered illness or injury as a result of your proximity to a fracking operation, it is important to act quickly. Call the personal injury attorneys at Kraemer, Manes & Associates to find out whether or not you may be entitled to compensation.
“Fracking” is a horizontal drilling process through which oil and gas drillers obtain natural gas resources that are embedded within layers of rock formation. The process involves the creation of wells at various locations on the land above these formations through which oil and gas drillers can bore holes into the subsurface rock. A highly pressurized chemical water mixture is then shot into the holes, releasing the natural gas from wherein it is situated. Particularly around the Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale regions, fracking operations have blossomed.
Dangers of fracking
Fracking operations can create hazards for residents of the areas surrounding the drilling site. In addition to any damage that may result from explosions or improper equipment use on well sites, many chemicals used in “frack water” are carcinogenic and toxic. While the engineers involved in fracking operations do their best to remove the chemicals from the water after the project is completed, oftentimes trace amounts remain. In addition, when the frack water is brought back to the surface once the job is done, it oftentimes contains radioactive materials that were previously trapped within the rock formation.
It is not uncommon for the chemical water mixtures used in the fracking process to leak out of their designated reservoirs and pollute the land and water supplies in surrounding residential areas. It is also possible for these chemicals to become airborne, contaminating the air and polluting surrounding property.
People who live near well sites have reported a wide variety of illnesses allegedly attributable to the chemicals involved in fracking, including but not limited to respiratory problems, nausea, stomach pain, rashes, light-headedness, nosebleeds, infertility, and various cancers.
Personal injury and fracking law
The laws surrounding fracking and personal injury are still developing, but there are some instances in which the courts will allow those who have been injured as a result of fracking to obtain compensation from the companies that caused their injuries. Plaintiffs in these cases can sue for a number of different expenses they have incurred or might incur as a result of a defendant’s negligent behavior.
Medical monitoring expenses may be available if plaintiffs can prove that they were exposed to greater than normal background levels of a substance that has been proven to be hazardous. To obtain compensation for medical monitoring, the injured parties must prove that their exposure to these substances were caused by defendant’s negligence, and that as a result of the exposure, the plaintiffs have a significantly increased risk of contracting a serious latent disease for which a monitoring procedure exists making early detection possible. The injured parties must also prove that the monitoring regime is different from those normally recommended in the absence of exposure to a hazardous substance, and that the monitoring regime is reasonably necessary to protect the injured parties’ wellbeing.
Damages for fear of future illness and emotional distress may also be available if the plaintiffs can show their fear is accompanied by a physical manifestation of an injury or illness at the time the claim begins. Additionally, depending on how negligent the defendants were, punitive damages may also be awarded
When to call a lawyer
The damage that fracking can cause can lead to serious illness and emotional distress. If you work on or live near a well site, you are at risk for a variety of illnesses caused by frack water or airborne pollutants. In addition to being frightening, these illnesses can often be costly to manage. If you believe that fracking activities near your home or place of work have caused you such injuries, sitting down with an experienced personal injury attorney will help you get a better sense of whether or not you are entitled to compensation and help you figure out what to do next.
Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC “KM&A” is a law firm serving all of Pennsylvania with our principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Call KM&A in western Pennsylvania at 412-626-5626 or in eastern Pennsylvania at 215-618-9185. KM&A can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.