Plant Explosion Property Damage Attorneys
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Plant explosions damages aren't limited to the perimeters of the plant; in a lot of cases, the force will push outwards and pieces of the building itself can travel in many directions. As a result, an explosion can damage properties nearby—including vehicles, homes, or businesses. If a business is damaged during an explosion, it is vital to pursue a business interruption claim to cover the financial loss of a suspended business.
In other cases, property damage after an explosion might not be as readily apparent. For example, contamination from the explosion can take a long time before they are realized; however, this does not mean that it is not any less important. Groundwater, soil, and dust can all be contaminated from the toxins released in the explosion, which can cause long-term health risks to the local community. This can manifest in lung problems, the possibility of cancer, and many other diseases that result from the long-term and unknowing exposure to possible carcinogens.
What Property Owners Should Do After an Explosion
Following an explosion, it is important to keep calm.
Your immediate actions may have a direct impact on the future unfolding of events, and it is distinctly important that you do everything possible to help yourself in the long run. There are several steps that can help you should it be necessary to pursue a property damage claim.
Steps you should immediately complete following the incident include:
- Carefully identify and take note of all damage.
- Make a list of all damaged or missing items.
- Take pictures! Having photographic evidence is invaluable.
- Preserve any evidence that might be important in the claim.
- Make temporary repairs but keep track of all receipts.
- Call a local lawyer to help you assess the situation.
The Result of Plant Explosions
In the aftermath of a plant explosion, the noticeable effects might not accurately reflect the true damage caused by the disaster. While it can be easy to identify roof destruction and the injuries that result from an explosion, it can be much more difficult to spot other effects that could be significantly more damaging than those that were immediately revealed. Take, for example, property contamination; the toxins and hazardous chemicals that are released into the air upon explosion or fire can travel beyond the perimeters of the plant on which the explosion occurred. In effect, the businesses and landowners nearby the plant can be adversely affected by contamination to their water and crops.
Poor air quality is another great example of the seemingly invisible damages that can result from a plant explosion or refinery fire in your area. Although the immediate response to a disaster of this nature will, of course, be to attend to the injuries of victims and remedy the physical property damage that resulted, other resources need to be utilized to fully treat the effects of an explosion. In addition, divisions of the federal government, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will need to be involved.
The harmful toxins released during an explosion pose a significant risk to workers of the refinery, as well as business operators and landowners nearby.
Poor Air Quality Can Affect Your Health
Professors of air quality, as well as environmental specialists, have declared that caustic substances such as ammonia and hazardous materials that are stored in plant refineries can be extremely toxic to the environment, as well as the people directly in their vicinity. Even an immediate response from environmental agencies might not be enough to stop the toxic damage from a plant explosion. In fact, it is quite likely that the actions taken in response to a disaster such as this will be geared more toward future prevention. Therefore, surrounding residents and business owners in the area need to secure legal representation that can help them protect against the harmful environmental effects of an explosion.
The following health conditions could develop as a result of prolonged exposure to poor air quality:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Heart disease
Property Contamination Caused by Industrial Explosions
There are many chemicals and gases that are exposed to heat, fire, and other forms of extreme temperatures. When this is the case, the environment is classified as unstable. This is particularly true of oil refinery plants that frequently use intense amounts of heat to complete the refining processes inherent in their work. Exposed to high degrees of heat, certain substances are at great risk of exploding, thereby releasing toxic chemicals into an environment that is already suffering from high temperatures and the shock waves of the explosion.
Common types of explosions that present the most risk to workers and other nearby persons include:
- Industrial explosions
- Refinery explosions
- Residential gas explosions
- Fuel tank explosions
- Boil explosions
- Natural gas explosions
- Propane explosions
- Petroleum explosions
Anyone who is working on-site at a plant that explodes can be significantly injured. The inhalation of toxic chemicals is one of the biggest risks to refinery workers. Property contamination remains a leading problem among several of the companies within the refinery industry.
Land & Water Contamination on Your Property
Regardless of whether you were exposed at your workplace or if you reside near a refinery that has released harmful chemicals into the environment, you could be eligible for compensation. In fact, landowners are some of the hardest hit when a plant explosion occurs. Oil and gas companies are responsible for the environmental damages that are experienced by many landowners whose property lies near a plant refinery.
Unfortunately, property contamination is a serious problem that many leading industry officials in the refinery business have yet to rectify.
Roof Damage Caused by Plant Explosions
Although the flames of an explosion are usually confined to the plant itself, the debris of the explosion often carries over to nearby workplaces or residential properties. In fact, the landowners of surrounding properties are sometimes just as adversely affected by a plant explosion as the refinery is itself. A natural consequence of flying debris is often roof damage to nearby properties. As blown-out building parts are scattered, the closest thing upon which they might land is the rooftop of an adjacent building. Business and residential homes alike can be significantly impacted by the force with which their roof is hit—particularly if the damages to the building are impacted by an already unstable rooftop.
Plant Explosion Property Damage FAQ
How do plant and refinery explosions affect nearby homes and businesses?
An explosion at a chemical plant or refinery can damage homes, businesses, and other structures in the area as a result of the initial blast, which can be extremely forceful. It can blow out windows, knock over walls, or cause other property damage. Another concern involves any chemicals or toxins that are released into the air when the explosion occurs. These can contaminate water sources and soil and can adversely affect the health of people who live and work in the area.
My property was damaged because of a plant explosion. What should I do?
You should do three important things in this situation. First, make sure you document the damage by taking pictures and noting down any details, so you don’t forget anything important. Second, inform your homeowners' insurance company. Then, talk to an attorney. If your property sustained significant damage, you need to be certain that all repairs will be fully covered. Any lost property value should be covered as well, and if you were injured, your medical bills should be paid. An attorney can help determine the fair value of your claim so you can rebuild and move on. When you need the best representation, we are here to help.
How do I know what my property damage claim is worth?
The value of your property damage claim after a plant or refinery explosion will depend on the extent of destruction and the cost of repairs. If you had to leave your home while repairs were being performed, this should be covered as well. The same applies if you experienced a drop in property value because of the explosion. You should be compensated for every single loss you have experienced or may experience in the future, as long as it’s related to the explosion.
How to Recover Financial Compensation for Your Physical Damages
Property damage, especially roof damage, can be extremely pricey to repair.
Businesses whose roofs are damaged might need to suspend work while repairs take place. Homeowners whose rooftops are wrecked might need to move out of their homes while repairs are underway. In both circumstances, money and time will be unavoidably lost.
As a business owner whose company required a suspension for repairs, you are entitled to file a business interruption claim. When completed effectively, these claims can be used to help cover the financial expenses that were incurred as a result of suspending the production of your business.
As a homeowner who was forced to vacate their home to accommodate roof repairs, legal action can be taken to reclaim the money that was spent on repairing your roof, as well as money spent to accommodate temporary living conditions. Under almost any circumstance, if it can be proven that roof damage was caused to your property unnecessarily, then legal action can be taken to recover compensation.
Contact an Experienced Attorney for a Free Case Review: (888) 493-1629!
At Arnold & Itkin, we are well-versed in all matters relating to the statute of limitations (SOL) and can help you understand the time frame you have following an explosion. In most cases, you have about two years following the incident to make a claim, but this can change depending on certain circumstances; for example, in cases where the damage is noted years down the line. If you are unsure whether or not you still have time to file a claim, do not hesitate to contact an attorney from our firm. Whether you are suffering from poor air quality or the results of roof damage, we are here to help. We have been able to recover billions of dollars on behalf of our clients and have been successful in handling complex litigation of all kinds. We were even involved in cases involving the 2013 Williams Olefins plant explosion in Geismar, the 2005 explosion at the BP plant in Texas City, TX, and the offshore explosion on the Deepwater Horizon. Give us a call to learn more!
Contact us for a free consultation at (888) 493-1629. We are here to fight for the best results.