Fighting for Victims of Catastrophic Explosions in Texas & Nationwide
People use the word “catastrophic” when the unthinkable happens: catastrophic injuries, catastrophic accidents. Explosions are catastrophic.
They leave survivors with physical and emotional wounds that last a lifetime. They leave families with losses no amount of time may heal. Healing from the aftermath of an explosion takes more than perseverance or well-wishes—it takes support. It takes money. It costs money to get specialists for burns, one of the most costly injuries in all of medicine. It costs money to support a family while their loved one spends weeks in bed and months in physical therapy and counseling for post-traumatic stress. It costs money to afford prosthetic limbs for amputation injuries, and it costs money to ensure a home accommodates a survivor’s new limitations.
Meanwhile, an explosion survivor (or a grieving family) has just lost their largest source of income. In an ideal world, their employer would step in to cover the cost of recovery—would provide them with stability in the wake of life-shaking tragedy. Employers often do the opposite, unfortunately. Despite many industrial employers making billions of dollars every year, none of these companies will voluntarily provide for your care.
Explosions are extremely dangerous and can result in death or injury. By definition, an explosion is a rapid increase in volume and a release of energy in an extreme manner. Most explosions generate high temperatures and will cause the release of gases into the air. Explosions can fall into two broad categories: supersonic and subsonic. Supersonic explosions are created by high explosives and travel through shock waves. Subsonic explosions react through a slow burning process called deflagration. Both types of explosions can be catastrophic. Industrial workers or those who work near flammable sources are at an increased risk of injury from these explosions.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an explosion, fill out our free case evaluation form. Our Texas explosion lawyers can review your situation and offer sound insight.
“What Can We Do Next?”
Call the Houston personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin so we can review your case together. Our firm is one of the leading firms in the country for the victims of plant explosions, factory explosions, gas pipeline explosions, oil rig explosions, and offshore explosions. Our firm has beaten the largest companies in the world at trial, securing billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. People turned to us for help after the BP Texas City refinery explosion in 2005, and we secured millions for their families. Workers turned to us after the 2013 Williams Olefin plant explosion in 2013, and we won more than $33 million total on their behalf—despite facing an army of litigants and corporate executives. Nearly one-third of the Deepwater Horizon crew turned to us after the oil rig exploded in 2010, and we secured massive confidential settlements to help get them back on their feet.
Our explosion lawyers have investigated nearly every kind of industrial explosion that occurs on land and at sea. Our understanding of these events is backed not only by research and expert testimony but by action. Arnold & Itkin has won real results for explosion victims—securing them the money they need to keep their homes, put food on the table, get medical care, and provide for their families.
Call (888) 493-1629 or use our online form to review your legal options for free with a top-rated explosion attorney. If we take your case, you pay us nothing unless we win.
Plant Explosions, Oil Rig Explosions, & More
When our firm wins a massive result for a family, it serves two purposes.
One, it forces companies to make themselves safer. By putting a heavy price tag on incompetence, old equipment, and poor safety practices, companies feel the financial pressure to change their ways. This helps ensure that no one else is hurt in another explosion in the future.
Two, it provides for the long-term well-being of explosion survivors and their families. The size of these results is appropriate for the losses suffered by survivors and families. Explosion victims have the right to claim their medical expenses, lost wages, diminished lifetime earnings, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and even punitive damages in some cases. Grieving families can claim the same, as well as funeral expenses and the emotional losses.
Case Results We’ve Secured for Explosion Victims
$97 Million - Settlement won for refinery employees who were burned when their plant caught fire.
$39.7 Million -Verdict won for the victim of a plywood plant explosion in Corrigan, TX.
$18.5 Million - Second of two verdicts won on behalf of the victims of a 2013 Williams Olefin plant explosion.
$15.45 Million - The first of two verdicts won for the victims of the 2013 Williams Olefin plant explosion.
Billions More - Our firm has secured more than 100 results in excess of $1 million each or more.
Read more about our firm’s victories on our case results page.
Chemical explosions are common, especially in regards to plant explosions where the liquids or gases are manufactured or mixed. Most of the time, these explosions occur when there is rapid oxidation that produces large amounts of hot gas. Some dangerously explosive chemicals include the following:
Forms of chlorine
Ammonium permanganate and chlorate
Forms of fluorine
Forms of lead
Forms of silver
Forms of xenon
In addition to primary chemical explosives, there are secondary explosives and tertiary explosives. Secondary explosives are less sensitive than primary explosives are and require more energy. TNT and RDX are both considered secondary explosives. Tertiary explosives involve blasting agents are often used in large-scale mining and construction operations but have also been used in terrorist attacks.
The LyondellBasell Chemical Leak in La Porte
A July 27, 2021 chemical release at the LyondellBasell plant in La Porte, Texas. Since the accident involved a pressurized line that burst, it was initially reported as an explosion. The line released a hazardous cloud of acetic acid vapor, a substance that causes burns and respiratory injuries. At the time of the incident, the La Port chemical plant was partially shut down for maintenance. Each of the two killed workers were contractors. It’s not yet clear what their specific jobs were at the time of this writing. Just weeks before this accident, another LyondellBasell plant made headlines for a leak that sent a garlic-like odor over nearby homes. While the leak wasn’t determined to be hazardous, residents reported having headaches and feeling nauseous after encountering the odor.
Some explosions happen when a high current electrical fault reacts with metal or insulation materials. People who work with energized switchgear or are electricians need to be particularly careful of electrical arc hazards that can cause these blasts. Electrical explosions often happen at power plants or wherever people are working with electric currents. These explosions can quickly start a fire.
Propane / Petroleum Explosions
Propane explosions typically happen in tanks or pipelines. This is an extremely flammable gas that millions of Americans use. When there is a leak in a propane tank or pipeline, an open flame can set off an explosion in an instant. Also, anyone who stores propane tanks in a basement or near a furnace or water heater should be cautious, as this could trigger one of these damaging explosions. Petroleum explosions are also a very real danger in America, where there are about 21 million barrels of petroleum used as an energy source every day. Petroleum explosions can happen in vehicles, heaters, gas stations, electrical generators, oil refineries, and storage facilities.
Injuries Caused by Explosions
Explosion injuries are generally divided into four separate categories: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Any injury caused by an explosion may warrant compensation, so you should discuss your case with a Houston explosion injury attorney as soon as possible.
These injuries are caused by the over-pressurization wave hitting the body. In most cases, the gas-filled structures of the body like the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and middle ear are most affected, creating a painful pressure differential that causes internal damage. Primary injuries can include the following:
Middle ear damage
Concussions without blunt force trauma
Globe eye rupture
Secondary injuries are those that result from flying debris or fragments at the blast site. This includes:
Some individuals also suffer tertiary injuries. These injuries result from being thrown in an explosion due to the blast wind. Any part of the body can be affected by these injuries. Tertiary injuries can include the following:
Finally, some individuals can be injured by quaternary injuries in an explosion. These involve all explosion-related injuries, illnesses, or diseases that are not covered in the first three categories. Most of the time quaternary injuries are those that result after the explosion occurs or the exacerbation of previously existing medical conditions.
The company might have told you your explosion was a freak accident. They might have implied no one could have seen it coming, that the explosion was spontaneous and unpreventable. Your company wants you to believe that because it lets them off the hook. Here’s the truth: the company is responsible for making sure their factories, plants, refineries, rigs, and vessels are all properly maintained and operate as safely as possible. When they fail, it’s on them—not on you, not on “the odds,” and not on nature. The practical causes of plant explosions often come down to:
However, the common cause for all explosions is company culture. When we investigated the Deepwater Horizon explosion, we found a history of problems that predicted an explosion might take place. Why didn’t the company do anything? Because they were behind schedule, and rig engineers were under pressure to keep drilling instead of stopping operations to fix a major safety flaw. The same devotion to productivity over safety led to the Texas City refinery explosion and the Geismar plant explosion.
What Past Clients Had to Say About Arnold & Itkin
“I was able to actually witness them in court. They went in there like straight bulldogs and they won. They’re unstoppable! They definitely have the experience you need. They're fighting for these little people that can’t handle themselves when a giant comes. Almost like David and Goliath. It’s amazing thing to see. I would recommend them to anybody, I mean anybody. When they say Super Lawyers, that's what they mean.” - Shawn Thomas
“I felt like family because they were there to listen and hear—not just brush you off because ‘you're just a client.’ They let me know when I met them that everything was going be all right. Ever since the day I met them until today that I'm sitting here, they have always had my back.” - Veronica Sowell
“They're very professional. They didn't back down. That's why I like my lawyers. Even when I had to do my testimony in court, they didn't let those lawyers run over me. They fought hard. You have some lions with Arnold & Itkin. They not going to back down.” - Maurice Dilworth
Review your case for free with Arnold & Itkin LLP—it costs nothing upfront, and our clients only pay if they win their case. Call (888) 493-1629 or use our short online form below.
What Should I Do if Injured in an Explosion?
If you were injured in an explosion, the first thing to do is seek medical attention. You will also need to inform your employer (if the incident occurred while you were at work). Now, you should talk to a lawyer. Most firms, including ours, offer free consultations to talk to you about what occurred. We can help you understand what rights and options you have at this point, and even who could be held responsible. You probably have a lot of questions, and we can answer them all. Instead of wondering how you’ll pay for medical care and living expenses while you can’t work, trust a team of proven attorneys to handle everything.
I Lost Someone I Love in an Explosion. Who’s to Blame?
Every explosion is different. All are catastrophic, but they have various causes, and it is the cause that will determine who can be held responsible. If you lost someone you love in an explosion, whether it was a plant or refinery explosion, pipeline explosion, oil rig explosion, or any incident involving a forceful blast, fault may lie in the owner of the property, the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or other product, a worker, or a large corporation. Lax implementation of safety standards, old equipment, and untrained or careless work can all contribute to explosions. Our team can help you determine what caused your loss and who is legally responsible.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for Explosion-Related Injuries?
If you survived an explosion, you may have sustained catastrophic injuries like severe burns, broken bones, disfigurement, or head trauma. You deserve to receive full compensation for all of your injuries. An explosion injury settlement or award may include money for medical care, future treatment, emotional trauma, lost income, future loss of income, property damage, and possibly more. This can help you start to get your life together again.