Chemical Plant Explosion Lawyer in Houston

chemical plant explosion

More than 600 chemical plants employ nearly 40,000 workers in the Houston metro area. Unfortunately, the hazardous chemicals these plants process and produce are combustible and can cause fires and explosions. If you suffered injuries in a chemical plant explosion in Houston, you could be entitled to substantial compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, pain, suffering, impairment, and other losses.

At The Callahan Law Firm, we provide compassionate and effective legal representation to injured people throughout Houston and the state of Texas. We work aggressively to identify all claims and sources of compensation to maximize the financial recovery for our clients and their families.

Contact our firm today to learn more about your legal options during a free consultation with a chemical plant explosion lawyer in Houston.

How Our Law Firm Helps People Injured in Chemical Plant Explosions

When you turn to The Callahan Law Firm for help, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Our seasoned trial attorneys have more than 25 years of experience helping Texans pursue full and fair compensation for losses due to preventable tragedies.

We take a personalized approach to every case we handle and will work with you to understand your goals and develop a legal strategy to fit your needs. Our attorneys are aggressive advocates who are as comfortable negotiating an out-of-court settlement as we are taking a case to trial. We will not hesitate to do what it takes to get you the money and the justice you need during this difficult time.

Common Causes of Chemical Plant Explosions

Chemical plant explosions are caused by preventable errors made by one or more parties. Common causes of chemical plant explosions include:

  • Inadequate maintenance – Plant owners and operators have the responsibility to make sure their facilities and all equipment are maintained properly and in a safe condition.  Unfortunately, inadequate maintenance of equipment and tools is the leading cause of chemical plant explosions and other industrial plant explosions.
  • Lack of training or inadequate training – While it seems like common sense and the most basic rule for a safe workplace, unfortunately, the failure to train workers and inadequate training of workers is an all too common factor in chemical plant explosions. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the companies and contractors who hire plant workers to ensure they are adequately trained to do the work for which they are hired.
  • Improper chemical handling – Chemicals in industrial plants are volatile and highly combustible.  When these substances are not handled with extreme care or material handling equipment is faulty, the result can be catastrophic.
  • Improper chemical storage – Chemical plants store large quantities of chemical substances in various containers. If those containers are rusted or lack proper seals, leaks of volatile gases and liquids can fuel a fire or explosion.
  • Chemical impurities – When chemicals are contaminated or otherwise impure, they can react unexpectedly and are often more likely to explode.
  • Cooling tower failures – Many plants rely on cooling towers to lower the temperature of heated materials during the refining or reaction processes. When cooling systems fail, chemical temperatures can rise to unsustainably hazardous levels and contribute to preventable explosions.
  • Emergency shut-off failures – When accidents happen in chemical plants and refineries, remote shut-off systems are typically the last line of defense. If an emergency shut-off system is not maintained properly or is otherwise defective, the result can be catastrophic including devastating plant explosions.
  • Welding accidents – While welding on a chemical storage container, pipe, or other metal structure in a chemical plant, sparks or heat from the welding can be a source of ignition for an explosion.
  • Electric hazards – Improperly grounded electrical equipment or other electric hazards can provide the spark that results in a fire or explosion.
  • Inadequate warnings or labels – Whether in a work area of a chemical plant, during a specific work operation, or in relation to the operation of equipment, inadequate warnings or labeling can lead to catastrophic results.

Common Injuries from Chemical Plant Explosions in Houston

Chemical plant explosions can injure workers and bystanders in numerous ways. The heat and fire of the explosion can cause severe burn injuries, and the smoke and other toxic substances in the air can cause respiratory injuries. In addition, the shockwave of the blast can send people and debris flying, causing blunt-force trauma from falls as well as impact injuries caused by flying debris.

Some examples of the common types of injuries from chemical plant explosions include the following:

  • Third degree burn injuries from fires, chemical exposure and extreme heat
  • Respiratory injuries from smoke and chemical inhalation
  • Asphyxiation and oxygen deprivation
  • Blunt-force trauma injuries
  • Crushing injuries due to structural collapse
  • Fractured or dislocated bones
  • Eye injuries and vision loss
  • Ear injuries and hearing loss
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations and loss of limbs
  • Fatalities

Liability in Personal Injury Lawsuits Over Chemical Plant Explosions

Many different companies, contractors, and their employees are involved in the operation and maintenance of a chemical plant or refinery, and the actions of any one party can cause or contribute to a preventable explosion. Depending on the circumstances, any of the following could be liable for your injuries from a chemical plant explosion:

  • The operator of the facility – If the explosion happened because the chemical plant owner or operator was negligent or reckless in the maintenance or operation of the facility, it can be held responsible for its negligence and perhaps gross negligence that caused or contributed to the explosion.
  • A contractor – Many different contractors can be present at any one time in a chemical plant or refinery, and if a contractor’s negligence in performing its work caused or contributed to the explosion, it too can be held liable.
  • A manufacturer – If a design defect or manufacturing defect – whether in equipment, valves, vessels or other – a product liability claim can be made against the product manufacturer and perhaps others responsible.
  • An employer – If your employer was a subscriber to worker’s compensation coverage and you were injured on the job, then you can make a workers’ comp claim and be eligible for certain benefits including medical care and a percentage of your lost wages.  In tragic cases involving death, an employer with workers’ compensation coverage can be sued for gross negligence if the facts of what happened support that type claim.

What Should I Do If I Was Injured in a Chemical Plant Explosion?

If you suffered injuries in a chemical plant explosion, you should take the following steps to protect your well-being and your legal rights:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately to have your injuries diagnosed, treated, and documented.
  2. Follow your doctor’s care plan to support your body’s natural healing abilities.
  3. Keep any evidence of the explosion and its aftermath including photos and videos.
  4. Hang on to medical bills and other proof of explosion-related injuries and losses.
  5. Keep a journal to record observations about how your explosion-related injuries have impacted your daily life and functioning.
  6. Avoid sharing any information or photos online while your claim is pending.
  7. Contact a knowledgeable chemical plant explosion lawyer in Houston.

Contact Our Experienced Houston Chemical Plant Explosion Lawyers

If you were injured in a chemical plant explosion and would like to discuss your options for pursuing compensation, contact us online or call The Callahan Law Firm. Our experienced Houston chemical plant explosion lawyers are ready to help you.