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Chemical Plant Accident Attorneys

Our Houston Lawyers Represent Clients Throughout Texas, Louisiana & Nationwide

Arnold & Itkin LLP has represented hundreds of workers injured by the negligence of their employers and fellow workers. Our case history includes catastrophic events such as the 2005 Texas City explosion or the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, among many others. With hundreds of clients, many of whom became our friends over the course of the case, we understand the pain and costs of a serious injury. Our role is to make sure they receive the compensation they deserve on all fronts: for medical costs, lost wages, lowered earnings, pain and suffering, and more.

Were You Injured in a Chemical Plant Accident?

Employees of chemical plants are placed in danger on a daily basis. While there are inherent risks of working with volatile chemicals in this industry, it does not mean that injuries should be expected or discounted; in fact, an alarming number of accidents occur from preventable causes—such as negligent or merely careless behavior. If you were injured or if someone you love was killed, the time to act is now.

At Arnold & Itkin, we bring a wealth of experience to the table with industrial disasters such as chemical plant accidents. We have recovered billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements since opening our doors, and we have been proud to help countless clients get the money that they need during their recovery period. If you would like to talk to a chemical plant accident lawyer about your situation, contact us today.

You can either call our chemical plant accident lawyers at (888) 493-1629 or click here for a free consultation.

Example of a Chemical Plant Accident: Williams Olefins Plant Explosion

In Geismar, LA on June 13, 2013, disaster struck when a petrochemical plant exploded. According to reports, the failure of a heat exchanger most likely caused the explosion, which prompted investigations from both the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). It is estimated that the blast from the explosion could be felt for several miles, and a shelter in place order was placed within a two-mile radius. Nearly 115 people were injured, and 2 people lost their lives.

5 of History's Largest Industrial Disasters

  1. Bhopal Disaster (December 2, 1984) — 558,125 injuries & 3,787 deaths
  2. Oppau Explosion (September 21, 1921) — 2,000 injuries & 500+ deaths
  3. Phillips Disaster (October 23, 1989) — 314 injuries & 23 deaths
  4. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster (March 11, 2011) — 37 physical injuries & 2 radiation burns
  5. Chernobyl Disaster (April 26, 1986) — Injuries still being accounted for & 31 direct deaths

What Are Common Causes of Chemical Plant Accidents?

In many cases, the causes of chemical plant accidents can be broken down into two categories: natural causes and human error. An example of the first would be the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, where an earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit the power plant—causing three nuclear reactors to meltdown. This, however, is rare; in fact, it is sadly more common to see chemical plant accidents attributed to some form of human errors. To take the Bhopal disaster as an example, it is argued by both the Indian government, as well as activists, that the accident was caused both by both lax management and deferred maintenance.

Per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, some of the most common causes include:

  • Inadequate hazard review or process hazards analysis;
  • Inappropriate and/or poorly-designed equipment;
  • Inadequate indications of process condition; and
  • Warnings about potential problems that were ignored.

Another cause of chemical plant accidents is aging equipment. Watch our video to learn more.

Electrocution & Burns Injury Claims

Two common injuries sustained in chemical plant accidents are electrocutions and burns. Electrical equipment or chemicals can cause burn injuries. Whether it is on the skin, in the eyes, or internally, chemical burns lead to severe tissue damage. It is not necessary for a chemical to be on fire or extremely hot to cause a burn—chemical burns often result from a substance’s pH level (acidity or alkalinity), not its temperature.

Ingesting harmful chemicals also leads to severe internal organ injury. The symptoms of these injuries include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle twitches

These burns may not be noticeable at first, so it is crucial to immediately rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes. If you accidentally ingested dangerous chemicals, seek medical attention immediately.

Numerous factors can cause electrocution, including:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Malfunctioning equipment
  • Aging outlets or cables
  • Unsafe electrical design

Your Employer’s Obligations

Those who work at chemical plants are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis. The nature of the job is inherently dangerous, which makes it necessary for employers to have robust safety protocols familiar to every worker. An employer’s obligation includes training employees on how to avoid accidents and ensure safe production. It is important to remember that employers may be liable for injuries caused by another employee’s negligence. Employers are responsible for ensuring their workers are fit to work. Employers are also responsible for the state of their plants.

While workplace conditions will always be dangerous in an industrial facility, there are ways to maximize the safety of employees (often through frequent maintenance or updated equipment). However, many employers reduce costs and cut corners by limiting much-needed updates, maintenance, and renovations--resulting in devastating and catastrophic accidents. While workers are usually aware of unsafe conditions, it often doesn’t change until someone files a formal complaint or the employer is held accountable in court. That’s where our firm can help.

Wrongful Death from Chemical Plant Accidents

When people die in chemical plant accidents, families lose both a loved one and the ability to build a stable future. Many plant workers are the sole breadwinners for their household, meaning their death not only robs a family of their parent or spouse—they're robbed of weekly groceries, of the ability to pay the rent or mortgage, of the peace of mind that comes from a stable paycheck. Chemical companies know this, but they still do nothing to lend a hand or help support widows and widowers. Our chemical plant accident lawyers won't stand for it. Arnold & Itkin fights for bereaved families in order to get them the money they need. We've helped thousands of spouses and children get what they needed to keep their homes, put food on the table, start a new career, or whatever else they needed to take care of themselves and their households. If your family member was killed in a plant accident, your loss deserves to be answered for. That's what our firm does—we get answers.

Plant accident wrongful death claims help families recover money equal to:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of companionship/consortium
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Projected future earnings
  • Punitive damages

Chemical Plant Accident FAQ

What types of injuries do chemical plant accidents cause?

Chemical plant accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injury to plant workers. They can even cause harm to people living and working in buildings in the area, and they can cause environmental harm. When explosions occur, workers are at the highest risk of harm and may experience serious trauma from being thrown into the air in the initial blast, burned by a resulting fire, inhaling toxic fumes, or trying to run from the incident. Other incidents, like falls, heavy equipment malfunction, and chemical exposure, can lead to head trauma, broken bones, lacerations, and even life-threatening illness.

What should I do if I was injured while working at a chemical plant?

Get medical help as soon as possible, and inform your supervisor or manager. You need to let your employer know, in writing, that you were injured. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, this will cover your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages. Failing to inform your employer will jeopardize your right to these benefits. You should also consider talking to an attorney. The injuries you experienced may be severe and could have a lasting impact on your life. You need to be certain that any compensation you recover is enough to cover all of your medical treatment and lost earnings, now and into the future—plus other losses and harm you’ve had to endure.

Do I have a workers’ comp or personal injury case for a chemical plant accident?

If you were working at the time, you may be covered by workers’ compensation—if your employer carries this insurance. If you were not on the job while injured, if gross negligence was involved, or if someone other than your employer or a co-worker was to blame, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. These are two distinctly different courses of action, but either can help you get the medical care and financial support you need. Make sure you work with an attorney who can help with any type of chemical plant accident to help you seek answers, accountability, and compensation.

Get a Free & Confidential Consultation from Chemical Plant Injury Attorneys You Can Trust

The aftermath of an accident at a chemical plant is one of the most confusing, volatile times anyone can experience. It is difficult enough trying to piece your life together without having to worry about the legalities of pursuing a claim. That is why, after you have received proper medical attention, it is crucial that you speak to a Houston plant explosion attorney about your case. You need an experienced lawyer who has dealt with these types of cases before—someone who knows the ropes and will be able to offer effective legal counsel. You need the industrial injury attorneys at Arnold & Itkin. With a decade of experience and billions won, we have proven that we are heavyweights both in and out of the courtroom. To see for yourself, all you need to do is browse through our case results or watch videos to see what our clients have to say.

When you are ready to get started, please fill out our online form to request your free case consultation. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you in the pursuit of justice. Call today at (888) 493-1629.

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Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $171Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement of $171 million.
  • $97Million Massive Settlement Secured for Refinery Workers Arnold & Itkin is proud to share that after months of preparation for trial, our firm was able to secure a huge settlement for clients who were injured in a refinery fire. Find out more now.
  • $39.7Million Record Verdict Won for Victim of Industrial Accident Attorneys Kyle Findley and Adam Lewis obtained a record $39.744 million verdict on behalf of a client who was burned in a severe dust fire and explosion at a plywood plant in Corrigan, TX.
  • $18.5Million Second Verdict Won for 4 Victims of Geismar Explosion In our second trial on behalf of victims of the 2013 plant explosion in Geismar, LA, Arnold & Itkin won a massive verdict for 4 workers and their families. The verdict will go toward providing the extensive care they have required in the years since the explosion as well as the care they will need for the rest of their lives. This was the second of 2 massive verdicts Arnold & Itkin won against Williams Companies, Inc.
  • $15.5Million Massive Verdict Won for Geismar Explosion Victims Arnold & Itkin won a landmark verdict against Williams Companies, Inc. and child company Williams Olefins LLC for their part in the 2013 explosion that killed 2 workers and injured over 100 more. Williams Companies tried to blame the incident on their limited liability shell company, but the jury saw through the defense. They awarded 95% of the blame to Williams Companies, Inc. and gave our clients the money they needed for medical care.
  • $13.7Million Massive Settlement Won Only Months After Injury Arnold & Itkin represented a plant worker who was seriously injured in an accident on the job. Plant injuries are often complex, taking years to fully investigate and litigate. Fortunately, our firm’s work was able to secure a multi-million dollar settlement mere months after the injury took place. Now our client’s medical expenses and other needs are taken care of for the rest of his life.
  • $12Million Injured Worker Received Settlement for Burn Injuries Our industrial injury lawyers have recently recovered $12 million on behalf of a plant worker who suffered burns when a safety valve failed at the refinery where he was employed. His settlement will go toward providing him with extensive and long-term medical care. His employer chose to settle his case two weeks before trial was set to begin.
  • $11.7Million Settlement Won for Plant Worker Injured During Turnaround Attorneys Kurt Arnold and Jason Itkin successfully recovered $11.75 million on behalf of a man who was injured while working a turnaround at an industrial plant. He was injured because he and his team were not informed of the plant’s dangers, and his family turned to Arnold & Itkin shortly afterward. Our team was able to get him money for his present and future medical expenses less than a year after he was injured.
  • $11.6Million Verdict Secured for a Worker Partially Blinded on the Job Our client was only offered $300,000 by the defendant for his near-total loss of sight in one eye, but the jury only deliberated for less than 2 days before they found the defendant guilty of defective equipment design. They gave our client an award of $11.6 million.
  • $4.97Million Settlement Reached for Orthopaedic Injury Victim Our team worked to represent a client who was severely injured while working at a chemical plant. He was performing construction and maintenance work at the time of the incident. In the end, our firm was successful in settling the case for $4.97 million.
  • $4.8Million Verdict Won for Bereaved Daughter Kurt Arnold recovered $4.8 million for a client whose father was killed after suffering a severe head injury in Port Arthur, Texas. Winning justice for grieving clients is a primary reason we became lawyers, and it's our honor to help clients like this one receive help.
  • $4Million Victim of Plant Explosion Received Millions in Settlement Arnold & Itkin attorneys represented a Mississippi man who was severely injured in a Texas refinery plant explosion. Cases like these require a high level of experience and investigative resources due to the myriad factors involved in a plant explosion. Our attorneys are proud to have helped our client receive a settlement of $4,000,000.
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