Plant and Refinery Explosion Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a plant, refinery, or pipeline explosion, the company at fault often promises to take care of you and your family. However, it is not the company itself that decides your financial future. It is the company’s insurance provider that decides your compensation. Insurance companies have only one goal, to save as much money as possible by paying out as little as possible.
Eric Kirkpatrick has successfully represented industrial workers from falling victim to insurance companies. If you have been the victim of a refinery explosion, call Kirkpatrick Law today. We will answer your questions, explain your legal rights and options. You need to make sure you have the information you need to decide what’s best for you and your family.
Refinery Accidents Are Dangerous
Essentially oil refineries are designed and built to separate hydrocarbon molecules of crude oil. That is, breaking down crude oil into various components such as gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, wax and other products. Many of these components are flammable, explosive, corrosive, and/or carcinogenic. The facilities also tend to be very large and handle a large volumes of dangerous components as a result.
This process of breaking apart the hydrocarbon involves using extreme heats, energy, and chemicals. The gasses and liquids created from this process are often highly flammable. If not stored and managed properly they can result in large explosions and fires. To further add to the danger, in a refinery plant explosion many of the chemicals and gasses that are released are toxic and/or corrosive.
Due to the dangerous nature of the materials, safety is of the utmost importance. Proper safety regulations for the equipment and handling of materials must be used. This includes proper training for all employees.
Regular safety inspections are required for all oil and gas refineries. There are two types of inspections that need to be done. One is a routine safety inspection to ensure that procedures are being followed on the job site. The other is an equipment safety inspection. Corrosion of the equipment, particularly in older, larger plants can be a serious problem if not inspected for and corrected. Failure to follow safety guidelines or regular inspections can result in catastrophic results.
The Most Common Causes of Plant Explosions in Texas
Texas is known as the energy capital. There is a large petroleum industry presence throughout the state. While this provides thousands of jobs, nevertheless, refinery workers are subjected to dangerous conditions while performing their jobs. When negligence becomes a factor in the workplace, not only are refinery workers at risk but the public can be in danger of getting hurt.
Some of the most common causes of plant explosions include:
- Blowouts in wells
- Boilers that are not maintained
- Careless smoking of cigarettes while on the job
- Corrosion that goes unnoticed or addressed
- Failure of complying with federal safety regulations
- Failure to properly train employees
- Improper maintenance of machinery
- Malfunctioning or dangerous equipment
- Poor labeling of parts or chemicals
- Unsafe procedures
- Use of dirty or impure chemicals
- OSHA safety violations
These causes are usually preventable. However, when negligence comes into play explosions are likely to occur. Sadly, these explosions are extremely catastrophic and can kill or injure employees, contractors, or even members of the public.
Why Do Plant Explosions Often Cause Widespread Damage?
Usually, oil and gas refineries are built away from large population groups. This happens for more than just the odors they emit. This is also done because if there is an explosion, they can cause serious injuries. Injuries not just to employees, but also to those living near the facility. These explosions release toxic chemicals that can carry for miles in the air. This can cause symptoms that range from minor eye irritation and sinus issues to permanent scarring of the throat and lungs. Additionally, permanent optic nerve damage can occur due to the toxic chemicals released. If you live around a refinery that has reported a toxic release, you should not take any symptoms lightly. Seek immediately medical attention.
Not only do these explosions effect people, but also property around the facility. We saw such in the West Texas, fertilizer explosion, that devastated the entire city of West Texas and surrounding communities. We have also seen the damage from oil spills in the Gulf waters. Businesses that rely on the Gulf waters were devastated. Fisherman, farmers, and the tourist industry are a few of the businesses that may sustain lost profits when a toxic releases occur. It is very common for homes and real estate to lose resale value if they are located near an incident.
Most Common Texas Plant Explosion Injuries
Refinery and Plant explosions are very unpredictable in their severity. This means injuries from the blasts can range from hearing loss, to severe burns or worse.
If you have been injured due to a plant explosion in Houston area, Texas or New York, you need representation. The company in charge of the facility, is not who you are settling with. You are settling with their insurance company. Insurance companies try to get you to settle for the lowest dollar amount possible. This is why you need an attorney that can help you not just figure out your current damages, but also the future injuries you may suffer.
The most common plant explosion injuries can include:
- Chemical, electrical, or heat burns
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Dangerous falls from plant machinery
- Eye damage, including punctured retinas and partial or full blindness
- Hit by falling objects or equipment
- Inner ear damage or hearing loss
- Lung damage from toxic gases
- Orthopedic injuries or broken bones
- Puncture wounds caused by flying debris
- Serious cuts and scrapes
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one were injured or worse in a plant explosion you need to call an experienced attorney. An explosion lawyer can help you recover the financial compensation outcome you deserve.
Call the Texas and New York Plant Explosion Lawyer, Kirkpatrick Law
When your life has been affected by a refinery explosion you need an attorney that will look out for your best interests. There will be a lot going on. Many people will be calling you asking questions. You will incur mounting medical bills and out of work expenses. Add to that an insurance company calling you trying to get a quick and easy settlement. Don’t be a victim twice. You need a lawyer that will help your financial future by pursuing the negligent party responsible and getting for you the compensation you deserve.
If you have been hurt in a plant explosion or have lost a loved one as the result of an oil and gas plant or refinery catastrophic event, contact Kirkpatrick Law today. He has successfully tried and won compensation damage awards for victims. Get an attorney with experience on your side, get Kirkpatrick Law.