Plant Explosion Lawyer Baton Rouge
According to the US Energy Information Administration, Louisiana is one of the top five states for natural gas production and proven reserves. Some of the state’s economically valuable natural resources include crude oil, natural gas, and biomass from agricultural byproducts and wood waste, all of which are processed by industrial plants. In total, there are 17 oil refineries in Louisiana which account for almost one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity, processing 3.4 million barrels of crude oil a day. Unfortunately, that means that there are many opportunities for accidents to occur at plants.
Tragically, explosions can occur due to deficient safety management programs at plants.
- In June 2013, a plant explosion killed two men at a petrochemical plant in Louisiana due to a willful violation of safety rules, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- In 2016, lapses in safety regulations led to a catastrophic explosion that injured four workers at a Baton Rouge refinery, for which Exxon Mobil Corp was fined $165,000. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued nine citations, many of which were similar to citations issued to other Exxon plants in Louisiana.
- In February 2020, fire crews were called out to a massive blaze at a Baton Rouge refinery after an explosion that caused the fire.
- As recently as April 2021, federal investigators were called to investigate an explosion at a Louisiana plant that severely burned workers who had to be flown to Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport. The injured and their families have relied on the help of injury attorneys to fight for their rights after that horrible accident.
Personal injury lawyers help accident victims to recover economic and non-economic damages when they have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of their employer. But not all injury attorneys share the same practice areas. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident at a Baton Rouge chemical plant, then you will need to speak to the attorneys at Murray & Murray, LLC. We specialize in helping those whose lives have been irrevocably and tragically changed by a refinery explosion.
Typically plant explosions will lead to catastrophic injuries from the initial blast, but complications can arise, leading to other health concerns. Blasts in confined spaces or structural collapses are associated with high morbidity as they affect multiple systems.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blasts can lead to primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary injuries.
Explosion lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana assist victims of plant explosions who have astronomically high medical bills related to the following: crush injuries, burn injuries, sepsis, airway epithelial damage, renal injuries, and disruption to their digestive, circulatory, and auditory systems.
The first injuries are caused by the blast wave, which creates extreme pressure on the surface of the body and particularly affects gas-filled structures such as the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and middle ear. The issues that occur in the primary category can include:
- Pulmonary barotrauma
- Abdominal hemorrhages and perforations
- Tympanic membrane perforations
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as concussion
- Eye ruptures
The CDC also recognizes injuries after a refinery explosion caused by flying debris and fragments that can affect any part of the body. These fragments can penetrate the skin, head, and sometimes even bone or eyes. Our attorneys have also represented victims who suffered blunt force trauma from flying debris.
An explosion can throw a person so they could land on the floor or against walls, machinery, or equipment. The resulting injuries can affect any part of the body and typically include fractures and traumatic injuries to the brain and extremities. Amputations are very common types of tertiary injuries, as well as open TBI and closed TBI.
Quaternary injuries include those that occur after the explosion, including illnesses and diseases that develop later which are not due to primary, secondary, or tertiary mechanisms of blast injury. Any body part may be affected, and a quaternary injury could exacerbate or complicate existing conditions. Examples include:
- Burn injury
- Open or closed TBI
- Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other lung issues stemming from breathing in toxic fumes, smoke, or dust
- Angina, also called ischemic chest pain, is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
- Hyperglycemia, which is too much sugar in the blood
- Hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure
What is open and closed TBI?
When an open head injury occurs, and the skull has been penetrated or fractured, then that is considered open TBI. A non-penetrating injury to the head due to impact without the skull being fractured is called closed TBI.
Why do accidents and plant explosions occur?
Some of the most common reasons for plant explosions are heat and hazardous chemical reactions, usually stemming from gas leaks. Poor maintenance can allow gas to leak and then come in contact with a heat source, which then causes the gas to ignite.
Plant explosions can also be caused by liquids in sealed containers being exposed to heat, which causes the liquid to boil, expand, and then turn into gas. This vaporizing causes the pressure within the container to grow until it expands too much and explodes, leading to injurious accidents.
Wrongful Death After A Plant Accident
Unfortunately, a plant explosion can result in a wrongful death that likely could have been avoided had the proper precautions been taken to ensure the safety of the workers at the plant. It is important to work with an injury attorney in Baton Rouge who has experience representing workers and their families whose lives have been changed by a refinery explosion.
When you reach out to our personal injury attorneys, we can evaluate your case and determine what type of compensation you may be eligible for. According to Louisiana law, if workers die due to the negligence or fault of another worker or their employer, then their loved ones will be able to recover damages sustained as a result of the death. Those loved ones include:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased
- The surviving child or children, whether adopted or natural-born
- The surviving mother or father of the deceased, if they did not have a spouse or surviving children
- The surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased, whether they are blood-related or adopted, if the deceased had no surviving spouse, child, or parent
- The surviving grandparents of the deceased if they did not have a surviving spouse, child, parent, or sibling
It is important to hire an experienced Baton Rouge, Louisiana refinery explosion accident attorney if you or a loved one has been injured and wants to file a Worker’s Compensation claim. Unfortunately, there are cases where workers have been injured in a chemical plant explosion and had their Worker’s Compensation claims rejected, even as recently as 2018. The injury lawyers at Murray & Murray, LLC fight to ensure that victims of plant accidents are compensated fairly.
Filing A Claim
In the state of Louisiana, employers must file a first report of injury within ten days of an explosion to initiate Worker’s Compensation claims for those who have been injured in plant accidents. The insurance company for the plant will then notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration (OWCA), who will review claims. For example, suppose you or a loved one suffered a burn injury as a result of a Baton Rouge explosion. In that case, the OWCA will review your medical records, your work history, your wages, and whether or not you will be able to ever work again.
When you need assistance filing a Worker’s Compensation claim, wrongful death claim, or getting the compensation that you deserve after a plant explosion, then contact the accident lawyers at Murray & Murray, LLC for qualified legal guidance.
Working With Personal Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge
The experienced accident lawyers at Murray & Murray, LLC have helped many Baton Rouge workers who have suffered injuries from a plant explosion recover Worker’s Compensation benefits, damages, and other benefits that they deserve after being in a tragic accident. We provide a risk-free case evaluation to review your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay a penny unless we recover compensation on your behalf after your accident.
Explosions can lead to catastrophic injuries that can permanently change a person’s life as well as the lives of their family. Call now to set up your free, no-obligation consultation with the injury attorneys at Murray & Murray, LLC to learn more about your rights in Louisiana.