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What to Do If You Are Injured in a Chemical Plant Explosion or Fire

Hurricane Laura took a devastating toll on the Texas and Louisiana coast, with sustained winds of 150 mph and a storm surge with waters that are still receding. Early damage estimates, according to The Washington Post, are between $25 and $30 billion.

In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the storm damage caused a dangerous explosion and chemical fire at KIK Custom Products Biolab plant. Smoke from the fire could be seen for miles, closing down I-10. Authorities announced that chlorine gas was being released into the atmosphere and asked nearby residents to shelter-in-place. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards advised people in the area to stay inside, close windows and doors, and turn off air conditioning units.

In the refinery rich area of coastal Texas and Louisiana, an intense hurricane making landfall is particularly treacherous. Plant explosions and chemical fires are common and can result in serious injury. From lung damage to severe burns, both employees and residents are at risk. 

If you were injured in the Biolab chemical fire or another plant explosion, contact The Karam Law Office at (832) 376-6543 for a free consultation. We provide dedicated representation for accident and injury victims throughout Texas and Louisiana.

Chemical Plant Explosions in Louisiana and Texas

The fire at the Lake Charles chemical plant is far from the first in the region to cause irreparable harm. Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey, caused damage to a chemical plant triggering an explosion near Houston, as reported by The New York Times.

Storms are not the only cause of catastrophic events at refiners and chemical plants; the Williams Olefins chemical plant explosion occurred when a heat exchanger failed, killing one person and injuring 73. According to Reuters, the same plant had a fire only a few years before, and the area had multiple plant explosions over the course of 2011 and 2012 that sent toxic pollutants into the air. 

Less than one year ago, multiple people were injured in a chemical plant explosion in Port Neches, Texas. Residents in the area awoke to multiple blasts, shattered windows, and warnings of poisonous chemicals released into the air. NPR notes that in a one-month period, the Houston area was rocked by three chemical plant fires.

Injuries Related to Chemical Plant Fires and Explosions

Explosions and fires at petrochemical plants and refineries can cause severe injuries, some proving to be fatal. Common injuries include:

  • Burns and lacerations
  • Orthopedic injuries
  • Lung damage
  • Vision and hearing problems
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tissue damage
  • Broken bones and fractures

It is important to seek medical treatment for any injuries related to a fire or an explosion. Injuries related to these accidents can be life-threatening. Chemical plant fires and explosions can affect people that are several miles away from the origin. 

What To Do First After a Chemical Fire Injury

If you or a loved one are injured in a chemical fire or plant explosion, you need to seek emergency medical treatment. If you are an employee with the petrochemical plant or refinery, report the injury to your supervisor and immediately go to the emergency room. Make sure that you take pictures of your injuries and any damage related to the incident.

Keep all of your medical bills related to the injuries and document any out-of-pocket expenses. If you pursue a cause of action for damages, you might be entitled to compensation, medical expenses, future treatment, lost wages, loss of future earnings, property damage, and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you determine how much your claim is worth and what damages you should pursue.

Soon after your injury, you may be contacted by a company representative or an insurance agent. Do not sign anything until you have had an attorney review your case. You should never feel pressured to accept a settlement or give up your right to pursue litigation. An initial settlement offer may not take into account the full extent of your injuries. 

Contact The Karam Law Office for Strong Legal Representation

If you or a loved one was injured in a chemical plant explosion or fire, contact The Karam Law Office for a free case consultation. Attorney Jacob Karam provides aggressive, passionate representation for injury victims. He has obtained millions in verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients throughout Texas and Louisiana. Cases are accepted on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you will never pay attorneys’ fees unless we recover money on your behalf.

When you are injured, you need an attorney who you can trust, one that puts your interests first and will always fight to get you the maximum recovery allowed by law —call (832) 376-6543 or email info@thekaramlawoffice.com to speak directly with an attorney regarding your legal options.