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Types of Plant Explosion Injuries

Recent studies have placed the United States at the top of a list it definitely did not want to top—the country with the highest amount of deaths relating to explosions. America tops out the list with 197 deaths, followed by Colombia (105 deaths), South Korea (78 deaths), and Brazil (72 deaths). Mexico, Japan, and Germany also make appearances on the list.

Common Injuries Sustained in a Plant Explosion

Usually, the injuries that are sustained in a plant explosion are from the extreme heat that occurs during the explosion. Statistics have shown that these accidents can result in degrees stepping over a thousand degrees in heat. This will, essentially, vaporize anything in its direct vicinity. For humans, this is fatal. Even should someone be hundreds of yards away from the epicenter of the blast, they can suffer from third degree burns covering a vast majority of their body.

If the heat isn't what causes the injuries, it is most likely caused by the force of the blast. Not only can this affect the human's body itself (often resulting in them being thrown), but it can result in the infrastructure crashing to the ground. Falling walls, ceilings, and other pieces of the building can cause crush injuries, amputations, broken bones, as well as damage to internal organs, the spine, and even the brain. In many cases, the force can be compared to a plane crash.

It is also important to note that not every injury that is sustained in a plant explosion has to do with the physical impact felt by the victim. In fact, in some cases, the harshest aftermath of the explosion will manifest as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In these cases, the anxiety and mental distress can be more than some people can handle—and can, in fact, affect far more people than just the actual victim. For example, spouses could have grounds to file a claim.

Primary, Secondary, Tertiary & Quaternary Injuries

Primary Injuries

A primary injury is one that affects the gas filled structures of the body because of the wave of over-pressurization from the explosive. Most of the time the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and middle of the ear are susceptible to a primary injury from an explosion. Some of the common injuries include a blast lung (also called pulmonary barotrauma), a globe rupture (injury that causes the rupture of the eye,) a concussion that occurs without any of the physical signs of a head injury, or a TM rupture and middle ear damage. Many times the pressure of the blast will burst an ear drum, which can be excruciatingly painful and lead to permanent deafness. Primary injuries can also include abdominal hemorrhages.

Secondary Injuries

This category of explosion injuries involves those that result from flying debris and bomb fragments. Often, an explosion will damage buildings or structures and send heavy or sharp fragments throughout the air. These fragments or flying portions of a building can cause extreme harm to victims. Any part of the body can be affected by a secondary injury, but most often the injuries are blunt injuries or penetrating injuries. Sometimes, a blast can result in an eye penetration that can lead to permanent blindness. Sharp objects such as nails or pieces of metal may also cause deep lacerations, or other more serious injuries. It may require surgery to remove the fragments that caused these secondary injuries.

Tertiary Injuries

Victims of an explosion can also suffer from tertiary injuries. These are injuries that are suffered when the individual is thrown by the blast wind from the explosion. The force of the blast wind may cause people to topple backwards and suffer a blunt force trauma injury to the head or fracture a wrist or leg as they tumble backwards. According to the CDC, most of the time tertiary injuries are fractures and traumatic amputations. They can also be closed or open brain injuries.

Quaternary Injuries

Finally, a person who is at the scene of an explosion may suffer from a quaternary injury. Most of the time, quaternary injuries are those that are exacerbations of existing conditions or complications. For example, if a person has a heart condition already, then an explosion may cause him or her to go into cardiac arrest. As well, those with asthma may have a terrible attack in the event of an explosion. Also, any injuries, illnesses, or diseases that are developed later after an explosion are typically considered quaternary injuries.

Plant Explosion Law Firm: Help Protect the Victims

For victims who have been involved in a plant explosion, we at Arnold & Itkin encourage you to give us a call as soon as possible. We want you to know that just because you have not filed a claim yet does not mean that you are without hope. You have up to two years to file a claim; in many cases, it is recommended that you wait until you are sure to do so. In fact, many of the most valuable cases that have been made in regard to these types of explosions waited almost 18 months before they decided to file. That being said, don't let the statute of limitations pass you by. If you are suffering from the adverse effects of smoke inhalation or any other type of injury, we urge you to contact us today.

Arnold & Itkin fought for workers who survived the 2013 Williams Olefins explosion in Geismar, LA. Nearly a dozen plant explosion victims came to us for help because we had the resources to help them put their lives back together. When the company refused to acknowledge their responsibility for the explosion that killed 2 and injured 167, we helped our clients take them to court. In the end, our clients received over $30 million total for the injuries they suffered. Our firm did the same for victims of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and the 2005 BP Texas City explosions.

Give our firm a call and you will be able to rest assured knowing that you will be represented by an attorney who has the resources necessary to helping you fight for your rights. You can be confident knowing that should you choose to work with our firm that we will be there to help you in every way possible as we fight for your maximum recovery.

If you have been injured in a plant explosion, do not hesitate to contact Arnold & Itkin LLP today!

Client's portion of total recovery may be subject to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement claims, Medicare/Medicaid liens or other third-party claims or liens. These verdicts and settlements are intended to be representative of cases handled by Arnold & Itkin, LLP. These listings are not a guarantee or prediction of the outcome of any other claims.

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