Explosion Lawyer in Lake Charles
Chemical processing plants, oil refineries, and other industrial plants form a lynchpin of Louisiana’s economy. These businesses, and the hardworking men and women who work in them, generate millions of dollars for our economy and provide the materials that power modern life. In addition, the jobs these plants provide are high-paying, stable careers that help Lake Charles workers provide for their families.
However, the owners of these industrial plants commonly put their own profits over the safety of their workers and communities. When plant owners neglect their workers’ safety by failing to properly maintain or inspect their plants, catastrophic accidents become all the more likely.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by a plant explosion, fire, or toxic chemical leak in or around Lake Charles, you need an advocate to protect your interests. Contact the Lake Charles personal injury lawyers at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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What Causes Lake Charles Plant Explosions?
Tragically, over 90% of all Louisiana plant explosions are caused by negligence, meaning they’re completely preventable. If management would properly maintain the plant and machinery, and properly train and equip their employees, the vast majority of catastrophic plant accidents simply wouldn’t happen.
Employers hold a duty of care to their employees for a reasonably safe workplace. Industrial work is inherently more dangerous than many other jobs—making it even more important for proper safety protocols to be in place and followed. Any of the following can lead to a deadly plant explosion:
- Airborne particle buildup
- Bad wiring or equipment problems
- Poor safety training or protocols
- Failure to adhere to safety protocols
- Poor emergency preparation
- Ineffective or nonexistent personal protective equipment
- Human error
Westlake Chemical Explosion
In January 2022, an ethylene dichloride tank at the Westlake Chemical plant near Lake Charles exploded. The blast injured at least six people, was felt in the surrounding neighborhood, and sent clouds of smoke into the community. While the fires were extinguished within less than an hour, the chemicals—typically found in cleaning supplies, fuel, and plastics—made its way into the community and caused harm to Westlake employees.
The explosion of 2022 came less than six months after another explosion at Westlake Petrochemical, another plant owned by the company nearby. That blast caused broken bones, burns, and other injuries for 23 workers. Westlake has seen multiple violations from regulators over the past years, and it doesn’t seem as though anything will change soon.
Common Injuries from Plant Explosions in Lake Charles
Plant explosions can cause thousands of dollars in damage, dozens of injuries, and even death. Victims of industrial accidents often experience catastrophic injuries including
- Serious burns that can cause lifelong disfigurement or require multiple surgeries, therapy, and treatment
- Toxic chemical exposure from the hazardous materials released during the explosion, which can lead to brain injury, organ damage, and chronic injuries
- Internal damage from the percussive forces of the blast
- Spinal cord injuries and others that can lead to permanent disability, including paralysis
- Tragically, wrongful death
Damages You Could Suffer After a Plant Explosion
The damages generated by plant explosions can be catastrophic. If you’ve been hurt in an explosion, you could be suffering from any of the following:
- Mounting hospital bills, surgery, and treatment costs
- The cost of medication, care, physical therapy, and medical assistive devices like a wheelchair
- Lost wages due to missing work because of your injuries
- Diminished earning capacity due to a disability or inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
These damages fall into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are easily quantified, such as bills and treatment costs. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate, and include your ongoing pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inability to enjoy your previous hobbies and interests.
It can be complicated to prove both of these types of damages, which is why it’s vital to hire an experienced plant explosion attorney if you’ve been in an accident. The plant’s owners will try to avoid their legal liability to pay for your damages, so you need a trusted advocate on your side to fight for your rights.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Hurt in a Plant Explosion?
If you’ve been injured after a Lake Charles plant explosion, you should first seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel injured. Some injuries can take hours or even days to show symptoms, but getting a diagnosis early can help your recovery and your injury claim.
You should also be sure to go to every doctor’s appointment that’s scheduled. Failing to attend appointments can be construed as evidence that you’re not as injured as you say you are.
It’s also a good idea to keep a daily journal of your pain, injuries, and mental state. This record will serve as evidence in the coming proceedings.
One of the most important things you can do to maximize your compensation is to call Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys at 337.888.8888 for a free consultation. Our Lake Charles law firm has over 679+ years of combined legal experience helping our clients recover $2.5 Billion in compensation for their injuries, and we can help you too.
Call us today to begin your path to healing. We won’t charge you a dime until we win your case—that’s the G Guarantee.
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