Chemical Plant Explosion Lawyers
Helping Workers Harmed by Plant Explosions in Texas, Louisiana & Nationwide
Chemical plant explosions have far-reaching consequences, both for workers and communities. In fact, the effects of the most famous industrial accident in history, the Chernobyl meltdown, are still studied 30 years after the fact. While not every chemical plant explosion has nuclear implications, plant explosions are serious health risks to workers who suffer from such tragic accidents.
If you are the survivor of an explosion, or you have lost a loved one, you likely have many questions. Before reaching out to us, feel free to look through this page to find out if you qualify for a claim. When you call, our chemical plant explosion attorneys will be able to provide clear answers to more specific questions.
Chemical Plant Explosions: Causes & Liability
There is a multitude of factors that contribute to plant explosions; however, generally speaking, human error is responsible for the vast majority of plant explosions. Human error not only accounts for explosions that are immediate but is also the leading factor behind long-term explosion causation. Explosions are often the confluence of multiple events. When poor maintenance mingles with inadequate training and low safety standards, disasters can occur. Plant operators are obligated to ensure safety policies are OSHA-compliant and that each employee is adequately trained in all safety procedures. However, OSHA reports prove that industrial plant operators can fail to follow protocol.
Various factors can cause industrial injuries:
- Incorrect storage or maintenance of flammable objects/materials
- Noncompliance with state and federal laws
- Defective or incorrectly maintained equipment
- Inadequate employee training
It takes a great deal of investment to protect a plant from breaking down. Aging, defective equipment must be replaced quickly and frequently. New employees must receive extensive training to protect themselves and coworkers from injury. Safety policies have to be updated to remain compliant with federal standards, requiring upgraded equipment and new personnel. Although vitally important, OSHA does not have the workforce to ensure every plant is running in compliance, so companies are trusted to enforce standards among themselves. Some employers cut corners on safety, risking workers to lower production costs. When profit outweighs security, explosions and disasters are inevitable. In short: lack of accountability combined with the higher cost of safety lead to plant explosions. That is why attorneys are vital to the industry. When we make disasters expensive for companies who caused a blast, we compel other companies to minimize catastrophes and meet OSHA standards.
For example, our chemical plant explosion law firm represented nearly a dozen workers who were harmed by the Williams Olefins plant explosion in Geismar, LA.
The plant had a known design flaw that upper management knew to be a potentially-fatal risk. The company ignored it for years in the name of maintaining productivity, choosing to cross their fingers rather than make a simple and inexpensive fix. As a result, the flaw eventually caused an explosion that killed 2 workers and injured 167 more. When we presented our investigation before a jury, they saw what had happened for themselves and awarded our clients more than $30 million in two powerful verdicts.
The Effects of a Chemical Plant Explosion
- First, explosions cause permanent physical injury to workers. Loss of hearing is typical in these accidents, as well as severe head trauma. Burn injuries are a significant factor, leading to high risk of infection, lifelong pain, and potential disfigurement. Depending on the chemical factory, exposure can lead to severe respiratory issues, organ damage, loss of limbs, and other long-term injuries.
- The emotional trauma of these events bears mentioning. Post-traumatic stress disorder can make it difficult for workers to live healthy, secure lives, much less return to a career in the same setting as where their catastrophe took place.
- The health and well-being of the local environment are placed in jeopardy. Explosions affect wildlife, local industry, and the respiratory health of residents within the area. After an explosion, residents are often required to seek shelter indoors.
- Local emergency response services will have to deal with the aftermath. Sudden disasters can reduce the quality of care for patients undergoing other issues on the same day. Even worse, local hospitals may be unprepared for the severity of injuries.
Chemical Plant Explosion Injuries
Chemical plant and refinery explosions can cause a myriad of injuries, including:
- Burn injuries
- Lung damage
- Broken bones
- Toxic exposure
- Brain damage
- Back & neck injuries
- Hearing & eyesight loss
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many individuals who survive workplace fires and explosions suffer from long-term repercussions.
Chemical Plant Explosion FAQ
What causes chemical plant explosions?
The sad truth is that human error is responsible for the majority of chemical plant explosions. This may stem from a single person making the wrong decision in the moment, or from years of negligent decision-making by company executives. Poor maintenance, aging equipment, improper implementation of safety policies, and lack of adequate training are all examples of human behavior that can lead to disastrous explosions. Every chemical plant explosion can be traced to a single cause or to a number of contributing factors. Identifying these will be a crucial part of seeking justice for injured workers and their families.
What should I do if I was injured in a plant explosion?
You should seek medical attention immediately, and you should be wary of signing anything or giving a statement about the incident until you’ve talked to an attorney. You may think that the company you work for will treat you fairly, but in our experience as chemical plant explosion attorneys, we’ve seen large corporations do everything in their power to avoid paying workers what they need to recover. Get the medical care you need. Put your health first. And then talk to an attorney about your legal rights and options—before you agree to anything or sign anything that could limit your right to a full and fair recovery.
Do I need a chemical plant explosion attorney?
You are not required to hire an attorney to handle a workers’ compensation claim after a chemical plant explosion, but you may find it in your best interests to do so. Too often, injured workers and their families are treated unfairly by employers and workers’ comp insurance companies. An attorney will serve to level the playing field, with the additional advantage of protecting your interests in the face of unnecessary delays or lowball settlement offers. The right attorney can pursue the level of compensation that will help you rebuild, recover, and move on.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Chemical Blast
First, seek medical attention. Your doctor can establish a plan to assist in your recovery. Unfortunately, explosions are severe accidents, and it is likely that you will not be able to return to work for a long time. After seeking medical treatment, speak with a lawyer to discuss your personal injury claim options. If someone else's carelessness or negligence caused your accident, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
Talk to a plant accident attorney from Arnold & Itkin to learn more about filing a claim after an explosion. To collect compensation for an injury, our firm must establish negligence. In the end, we must demonstrate who was responsible for the explosion and that the explosion directly caused your injuries. It is imperative to establish liability through evidence: expert testimony, exhaustive investigation, and more.
Arnold & Itkin can determine who is responsible for your accident so you can collect the money you deserve.
Determining If a Chemical Plant Explosion Caused Indirect Injuries
There is no way that a person can mentally prepare for a situational calamity such as a chemical plant explosion. When a workplace explosion occurs, workers will respond in a variety of ways. Some people react soundly, exiting the building in a calm but hurried fashion. Other workers may not be so quiet, and they may run over other workers, push people out of the way, and act unpredictably.
When this happens, other workers can receive injuries due to the panic of their coworkers. If a worker is injured in the panic of an emergency evacuation due to a chemical explosion, the facility can be found responsible for such behavior. This is considered an indirect injury as a result of the explosion. Talking to an experienced chemical plant explosion attorney can be the first step in determining if your indirect wound could result in a case. The hysteria of a co-worker after an explosion is not the only way someone can receive compensation through indirect injuries.
Other hazards that can cause indirect injuries are:
- Falling debris from the explosion
- Falling or tripping while running from the explosion
- Smoke from the blast
- Gases leaked by the explosion
- Fires started by the blast
In some situations, these hazards cause more injuries than the chemical explosion itself. However, making the connection between the blast and an indirect wound is vital to winning a personal injury case. The judge will need to see how the explosion was a direct cause of your oblique injury. This is why anyone directly or indirectly injured by a chemical explosion should get in contact with an experienced chemical plant explosion attorney.
At Arnold & Itkin, we go through every step of an incident to prove that a chemical explosion was the cause of an explosion-related wound. If you need to talk to someone about your case, Arnold & Itkin can hear you out and determine if your injury can go to trial. Get in touch with the Houston plant explosion attorneys from our team to request a 100% free and confidential review of your case.
Call (888) 493-1629 to talk to our chemical plant explosion attorneys in a free consultation. We're ready to listen to what happened and start fighting for the answers you need.