Firouzbakht Law Firm | Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
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Denver Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer

Accidents are all around us. People get into accidents while walking on the road, driving a car, cycling, or carrying out their work functions. No matter how careful you are, chances are almost everyone would suffer one form of accident in their lifetime. 

One industry that is no stranger to accidents is the plant and refinery. The latter includes but is not limited to chemical plants and oil refineries. Due to the hazardous nature of the products handled by employees, plants and refineries are some of the most dangerous job sites in the world

Massive explosions, chemical fume leaks, and fire outbreaks are common occurrences. Victims of a devastating explosion who suffer catastrophic injuries like burns suffer both physical and mental trauma. As Denver plant and refinery accident lawyers, we have seen workers dealing with severe burns, permanent disfigurement, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

As a plant and refinery accident victim, you are entitled to fair compensation. Only the best legal representation can get you the settlement sum you deserve. At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we provide the best legal service and are willing and ready to help you. 

Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer

What Are the Types of Plant and Refinery Accidents?

Plant and refineries and known for three types of accidents: chemical plant explosions, chemical fires, and oil refinery accidents.  

Chemical Plant Explosions 

Chemical plants deal with toxic and highly flammable materials daily. Proper training and strict adherence to OSHA safety guidelines are critical for workers' safety. It would protect them from toxic chemical burns, gas inhalation, gas fires, and propane explosions. 

Common causes of plant explosions are:

  • Electric equipment failure 
  • Failure to inspect hazardous equipment for combustible gas leaks
  • Faulty boiler maintenance
  • Use of impure chemicals 
  • Use of improper chemical quantities 
  • Use of substandard materials

Chemical Fires 

Carelessness is the bedrock of most chemical fires in plants and refineries. It mostly occurs when toxic gases escape during equipment maintenance or upgrade. Mishandling of equipment and combustible materials by untrained workers or independent contractors also causes this industrial accident. 

Common causes of chemical fires are: 

  • Failure to implement safety protocol
  • Improper employee training
  • Faulty electrical equipment 
  • Outdated machinery
  • Overheated equipment
  • Unsafe chemical storage systems

Oil Refinery Accidents

Like an industrial explosion, a refinery explosion happens for several reasons. Most oil refinery accidents involve coking units, pumps, desalters, treatment, and storage tanks. It also includes alkylation units, heaters, and pipelines. Each of these would cause severe injury to a worker. 

Common causes of oil refinery accidents are: 

  • Inadequate daily inspection
  • Inadequate safety protocols
  • Failure to follow OSHA safety regulations
  • High-temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA) equipment damage
  • Improper chemical storage
  • Use of contaminated impure materials

Those in the oil and gas industry understand the danger of working with crude oil chemicals and defective equipment. But still, some business owners cut corners in a bid to save resources. Such persons are liable to compensate an injured worker for the injury and losses suffered. A Firouzbakht plant and refinery explosion lawyer can help with the claims process. 

What Are the Types of Injuries Sustained in Plant and Refinery Accidents?

Whether it is a natural gas explosion, a gas accident, or defective equipment, injuries from plant and refinery explosions are catastrophic. Those who survive a catastrophic explosion might end up with life-altering wounds and significant medical expenses. This is why we always advise injured workers to make an insurance claim as soon as possible. 

Below is a list of some of the most common injuries sustained in plant and refinery accidents: 

  • Brain injury (traumatic brain injury)
  • Crush injury (when a piece of equipment falls on a person)
  • Chemical burns and scarring
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Finger injury
  • Bone fractures 
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Eye irritation and blurred vision
  • Respiratory damage
  • Internal organ damage
  • Shrapnel laceration

When the extent of a crush injury is so severe, a victim might undergo traumatic amputation. Victims also go through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe emotional distress. Cancers like leukemia are a common illness contracted by those who inhale carcinogenic gasses after an explosion. 

Despite the above, not all plant and refinery accident injuries appear immediately. Sometimes, it takes months to years before a wounded worker can discover the extent of the injury suffered. This is why our personal injury attorneys advise victims to seek medical care immediately after a work accident. Having regular checkups will also help uncover a work-related illness before it worsens.

What Compensation Is Available After a Plant and Refinery Accident? 

Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer

Our years working as the legal team for injured Denver workers have shown us that an injured employee has two compensation avenues. The first is workers' compensation, and the second is through a personal injury lawsuit. 

Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation is an insurance policy held by an employer. It is what business owners use in paying injured employees after a work-related injury. A typical workers' comp offer from the employer's insurance company covers medical bills and lost wages. 

It will not include anything like pain and suffering or mental anguish. Also, an injured employee is only entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly wage. This money can last until the worker recovers or attains Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). 

Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court of competent jurisdiction. An injured victim, known as the plaintiff, commences the action against the person who wronged them (the defendant). A successful personal injury action ends in favor of the plaintiff. 

Generally, the plaintiff is entitled to receive three types of compensation. They are namely, economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The latter will only apply if the court finds the employer guilty of gross negligence or misconduct. 

Economic damages cover the victim's out-of-pocket expenses (tangible losses that are quantifiable). Non-economic damages cover intangible losses that are unquantifiable. A combined list of the two would cover: 

  • Past, current, and future medical expenses
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement and impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If the employee dies, their family can file a wrongful death action in place of a personal injury lawsuit. In such instance, in addition to some above, the plaintiff would be entitled to: 

  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Funeral and burial expenses 

The benefits of a civil action far outweigh workers' compensation. This is why most plant and refinery accident victims file a lawsuit. By working with our undefeated Oilfield explosion lawyers, you will get the maximum compensation for your injuries.

Who Is Eligible To File a Plant and Refinery Accident Lawsuit?

For a civil action to stand a chance at success, the proper parties must be involved. It simply means that the plaintiff must be someone who directly suffered harm caused by the defendant. The injury must have resulted in some physical or monetary loss or emotional damages.

Thus, the right party to file a plant and refinery accident lawsuit is the injured worker. A relative of the worker is not eligible to file the action on their behalf. The only time a relative can commence a lawsuit is for wrongful death.. Even in that instance, Colorado law limits those who can bring the action to:

  • The spouse within one year of the victim's death; and
  • The spouse and surviving children after two years

The victim's parents can only file if the victim has no surviving spouse or children.

Does the Element of Negligence Affect a Plant and Refinery Accident Lawsuit?

Negligence is a common ground for most civil actions. In cases like this, several parties like the employer, equipment manufacturer, contractor, or third-party company might have acted negligently. The latter means they failed to exercise the required standard of care. 

The presence of negligence improves the compensation an injured worker gets. It means you can get total compensation for losses. It would also help if the following played a role in your injury: 

  • Defective equipment
  • Faulty storage protocols
  • Inadequate worker training
  • Irregular job site safety inspections
  • Faulty supervision
  • Poor equipment maintenance
  • OSHA violations

All your plant and refinery explosion lawyer needs to prove is that the company failed to take reasonable steps to protect employees. If you're unsure if company negligence caused your injury, speak with a personal injury attorney from Firouzbakht Law Firm.

What Is the Role of a Denver Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer? 

The intense nature of a plant and refinery accident calls for the expertise of a legal team. Victims of these accidents often find themselves fighting against companies with lots of funds and expert lawyers. If you go against them alone, they will settle you through their insurance company, and the money might not cover your medical expenses. 

But if you get legal advice from a personal injury lawyer, you stand a chance of getting the maximum compensation. The lawyer responsible for your case will carry out all necessary research and negotiate on your behalf. The attorney will investigate and gather evidence and call in expert witnesses when needed. 

Denver plant and refinery accident lawyers work on a contingency fee. It means they won't demand an upfront payment. They get paid a percentage of the settlement or judgment sum, so your win is their win.

Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer

Need a Denver Plant and Refinery Accident Lawyer? Contact Firouzbakht Law Firm

Legal matters arising from plant and refinery accidents are so complex, they need an expert mind. This is what Firouzbakht Law Firm is here for. Our goal is to get you the justice you deserve and protect your rights as a Colorado worker. Our services are on a contingency fee basis, and we will work for you until we win. Contact us today for a free case review.

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