Texas Fatal Industrial Work Accident Attorneys
Did you lose your husband, father or child in an industrial accident? Houston wrongful death lawyers Neal Davis and Jed Silverman specialize in helping grieving families get the financial compensation and justice they deserve in industrial workplace accidents.
Upon receiving the news that your loved one was killed at work, shock sets in and it can feel as though it's all just a nightmare. With time, you realize it is not a bad dream after all but a horrible reality - and that's when the questions come: How could this happen? How could it have been prevented? Who's to blame for your loss?
Houston industrial accident attorneys Neal Davis and Jed Silverman understand that this is probably one of the most difficult times in your life, but it is also important to recognize your family's right to compensation for wrongful death. Fatal accident lawsuits have a time limit during which they must be filed, so it's important to contact our lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your case and get your questions answered.
You can't afford to miss the chance to seek justice and compensation for the wrongful death of your loved one.
Schedule a free consultation with our skilled industrial accident attorneys today.
Causes of Fatal Industrial Accidents
Industrial accidents are an unfortunately common occurrence. It doesn't matter where you work - a mine, on an oil rig or at a manufacturing or refinery plant - industrial workers are exposed to a wide number of dangers, and any one of these hazards can escalate into a deadly situation at a moment's notice.
Wrongful death arising out of industrial accident disasters is commonly caused by:
- Explosions. The accidental release of chemicals, radiation, pressure or gases beyond established safety levels can result in a catastrophic explosion. An explosion caused by another factor, such as an accidental release of chemical vapors, is considered a "resulting disaster."
- Fires. If highly flammable materials are not properly handled or stored, an igniting source may come into contact with them and burst into flame. Fires that grow too quickly or cannot be contained often lead to an explosion.
- Toxic chemicals. Many industrial jobs involve the production, storage or transportation of hazardous chemical substances. If mishandled, these toxic chemicals can result in serious injury or death.
- Radiation. Nuclear facilities and other factories that handle nuclear materials may suffer an accidental release of radiation, culminating in an explosion or poisoning.
- Pollution. Environmental pollution caused by mishandled chemicals or biological waste can pose a threat to workers, as well as the surrounding community and ecological resources.
- Acid rain. When an excessive concentration of acidic chemical pollutants is deposited into the atmosphere, such as sulphur and nitrogen, a washout can occur leading to acid rain that destroys local agriculture and environmental resources.
These causes of fatal industrial accidents can be triggered by any number of factors, such as defective or old machinery, user error, inadequate safety procedures or improper training. In most of these scenarios, negligence plays a key role in the accident and fatalities that happen as a result.
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Industrial Accident Wrongful Death Damages
In the event of wrongful death caused by a fatal industrial accident, the surviving loved ones are allowed the option of filing a claim for compensation for the financial and emotional damages caused by negligence. In Texas, only immediate family members can file a wrongful death claim: spouses, children and/or parents of the deceased.
An eligible family member must file a wrongful death claim for damages within 2 years from the date of the accident or else their lawsuit will likely be dismissed in Texas court. This is known as the "statute of limitations," and only in rare cases are these rules waived or extended.
If your loved one was killed in a work-related accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for the following economic and non-economic wrongful death damages:
- The deceased's medical expenses caused by the accident
- Future lost wages and earnings
- Burial and funeral expenses
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium/companionship
- Punitive damages (in rare cases where a willful act or gross negligence played a role)
Industrial Disasters in Texas: A Dark History
Texas is a state rich in natural resources. As a result, harvesting these natural resources has been one of the biggest industries in the Lone Star state. Unfortunately, the processes of extracting, refining and manufacturing these resources are extremely dangerous and Texas has had more than its fair share of industrial disasters in the last century.
Here are some of the most deadly industrial disasters in Texas history:
- Many people still remember the recent fertilizer plant explosion that rocked the small town of West, Texas on April 17, 2013. The West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility, located 18 miles north of Waco, caught fire and caused an ammonium nitrate explosion while emergency services were responding. The explosion killed fifteen people, injured 160 and destroyed or damaged over 150 buildings. The West plant had last been inspected by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1985.
- The second largest oil refinery in Texas exploded in March of 2005, killing 15 workers and injuring more than 170 others. OSHA ultimately proved that the disaster at BP's Texas City Refinery was caused by operation error when gasoline was forced into a blowdown drum and overwhelmed it, resulting in a highly flammable and combustible vapor cloud which was ignited by a nearby contractor's pickup truck. OSHA's report also identified "numerous failings in equipment, risk management, staff management, working culture at the site, maintenance and inspection and general health and safety assessments."
- The Phillips disaster of 1989 took place on October 23 in Pasadena, Texas, near the Houston Ship Channel. The facility, which produced HDPE plastic materials, was undergoing routine maintenance when nearly 40 tons of high flammable gases were accidentally released due to mechanical error and quickly ignited, causing an explosive force equivalent to 2.4 tons of TNT that registered a 3.5 on the Richter scale. Twenty-three people lost their lives and 314 were injured.
- Shockingly, 2005 BP refinery explosion wasn't even the worst industrial disaster to happen in the town of Texas City, Texas. In 1947, a cargo ship carrying approximately 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer en route to Europe caught fire and detonated in the Port of Texas City, resulting in a chain of explosions that killed at least 581 people and left 113 unaccounted for. The force of the blast, originating from the French-registered SS Grandcamp, was so strong that airplanes flying nearby had their wings ripped off and people in Louisiana felt the shock 250 miles away. The Texas City disaster of 1947 is considered the worst industrial accident in American history.
- ARCO Chemical Company's Channelview plant was the site of another industrial explosion that occurred just after midnight on July 5, 1990, killing 17 workers and flattening an area the size of a city block. It is believed the petrochemical plant developed explosive conditions when an important oxygen analyzer malfunctioned, leading operators to let oxygen levels to increase to dangerous levels. ARCO agreed to pay $3,481,300 in penalties proposed by OSHA - the largest monetary settlement on record for safety violations.
Get Justice For Your Loss - Our Houston Industrial Accident Attorneys Can Help
The sudden death of a loved one in an industrial accident can leave family members feeling confused and in disbelief.
Filing a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind, but it is important explore your right to wrongful death compensation now in order to secure your family's future financial security.
For nearly 40 years, Neal Davis and Jed Silverman have helped families across Houston, Texas and the country find closure and healing in all types of cases. We offer aggressive representation and have secured a settlement without going to trial in many cases like yours. Our expert services are backed by our No Fee Unless We Win Guarantee, so there's nothing to lose. Give us a call today to get started on your case.