Common Plant Explosion Claim Mistakes.
There are a number of mistakes you can make that can damage or hinder your claim. Please read through each of these to prevent yourself from ruining your chances for a successful outcome.
Not Getting Medical Attention
The adrenaline that rushes into your body during and after an event as frightening as a plant explosion can temporarily energize you, masking your injuries. It’s important that you don’t assume you are uninjured.
Sometimes, if symptoms aren’t obvious on the scene of a plant explosion, employees are hesitant to “make waves.” They worry about being seen as a troublemaker or a “whistleblower.” They figure they’ll be back to normal in a few days and don’t seek out medical care.
This mistake can be disastrous to your health and detrimental to your case.
The first thing to take care of is your health. Depending on the nature of the explosion, symptoms may be delayed. You must look to your wellbeing.
The second thing to look out for is the value of your case. If you decide to “tough it out” and skip the emergency room, then later decide to file a claim, the insurance company responsible for paying on that claim is going to point to your failure to seek medical care as proof that you weren’t injured in the accident. If they succeed, the value of your claim will suffer.
Getting checked by a medical professional after a plant explosion creates a record of any injuries you have suffered in relation to the timeline of the explosion. This will become evidence for your case.
Not Following the Doctor’s Orders After Your Injury
Being lax about aftercare is a big mistake, too. Failure to complete a series of nebulizer treatments or failure to finish a course of prescribed medicine, for example, will likely damage your claim.
Follow-up treatment can take many forms. It’s important for you to do whatever your doctor instructs you to do to help yourself recover. When you ignore your doctor’s treatment plan, you are helping the insurance company devalue your claim.
Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
It’s likely that you will be contacted by the insurance company after the explosion. They may tell you they are “checking on you, to see you you’re doing.” It’s important to know that the primary reason they are calling is to get you to give a recorded statement about the explosion. Doing this is a mistake.
No matter how sympathetic the insurance adjuster is, remember that this person is trained to get information helpful to the insurance company. And what helps the company is saving money. That’s where your statement comes in. Anything you tell them can be twisted around to devalue your claim.
The best thing to do when they call is let your lawyer deal with communications with the insurance company.
Not Calling a Lawyer Soon Enough
In the aftermath of a plant explosion, hiring a lawyer might be the last thing on your mind. You are probably distracted by anxiety over your health or getting the bills paid. You may think you have plenty of time to file a claim. Many people don’t realize that waiting too long to call a lawyer can be detrimental to your claim, no matter how much time you have to file.
The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner an investigation can get started and key evidence can be gathered.
Choosing a Lawyer Who’s Not a Good Fit for Your Plant Explosion Case
To understand why this is true, consider surgeons. There are many areas of medical specialization, each with a specific base of knowledge and techniques to master. You wouldn’t go to a knee surgeon for brain surgery. Even when choosing amongst brain surgeons, you would go with the most experienced surgeon you can find.
Selecting a lawyer requires the same decision-making process. There are many areas of law. Each one has its own regulations, rules, precedents, and restrictions. Selecting a lawyer who specializes in wills and trusts is not your best choice. Neither is a divorce lawyer or criminal defense lawyer.
Your strongest case will be handled by a personal injury lawyer who has experience with plant explosion cases. This should include a successful track record in the courtroom.
Many cases are settled through negotiation before reaching a trial, but if it comes to that, you need someone who can guide you all the way through.
Our attorneys have successfully resolved plant explosion claims, and they are experienced in going before juries.
The insurance companies know who the successful Georgia trial lawyers are. It’s not uncommon for them to become more willing to negotiate upon finding out which lawyers they are up against.
Avoid the mistake of selecting the wrong lawyer. Your case is going to have the best chance of a successful resolution when you hire an experienced personal injury attorney who has taken plant explosion cases to trial.
Georgia Plant Explosion Client Story
This story is intended to give you an overview of plant explosion cases. Make sure to read it to the end to get as many questions answered as possible. The names and details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy, but the value of the content remains. When you’re done reading, please call us to take advantage of a free legal consultation for your specific case.
Early one morning in July, a few years back, Jay Barnes filled his travel mug with coffee and hopped into his dark blue pickup for the drive to work. He smiled over the rim of his mug as he pulled onto Sand Bar Ferry Road, heading southeast to the plant. A spectacular orange and red glow spread out before him along the horizon. Nothing beats the sunrise in Georgia, he thought to himself.
Jay loved his early morning commute for a lot of reasons. The silence. The cool, fresh morning air — especially on summer days before the humidity chased it away. But nothing beat that view. Always different, each sunrise had its own beauty.
He rolled down the window and touched two fingers to the air rushing by. Already warming up. Going to be a hot one. He drove with the windows down the rest of the way to work, invigorated and content.
Five hours later on lunch, Jay balled up the tinfoil from his sandwich and stood up to return to the distillation room. He went for a three-pointer into the trash but missed as a loud BOOM came from the loading dock, followed by a WHOOSH that rattled the open windows.
What the —
Jay walked down the back hall and prepared himself for the thick, humid air as he reached out to open the loading dock door. It was only halfway open when his foot wobbled right and he stumbled a little.
Jay recovered, catching the door handle, just as his supervisor Wendell, came from the break room, pulling his two-way radio from his belt to listen to the garbled transmission. It was coming too fast and the sender was shouting.
Jay blinked as the radio voice muffled and jumbled in his ears.
“Slow down! I can’t make out what you’re saying” Wendell was saying. Click.
A staccato response, “Gas… loading dock… RUN.”
Jay tried to straighten up, pushing the door all the way open just as Wendell yanked him backward, spun him, and plowed him back through the breakroom.
“MOVE, MOVE!” OUT THE FRONT, MOVE!” Wendell bellowed.
Wendel grabbed the back of Jay’s belt, half lifting him as they stumbled for the exit sign. They burst into the front hall and out into the blinding light of the parking lot.
Jay just made the grass, putting his hands out his knees gave way. He crumpled, vomiting.
“Jay… Jay!” Wendell’s shouts drifted down as Jay hovered somewhere vague.
Coworkers swarmed into in the parking lot. Many of them were also now on their knees, coughing and vomiting.
Wendell knelt beside Jay until the paramedics arrived, talking on the two-way radio to the other supervisors. He looked back toward the loading dock where the loud boom had come from, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. Thick, white fog hovered just two feet off the ground in the back lot.
At the moment of the explosion, Jay’s wife, Audrey, was at the kitchen counter not two miles away, making lunch for two very hungry, very loud boys.
Audrey jumped, bobbling the plate in her hand, before setting it back on the counter. She peered out the kitchen window but saw no indication of where the sound had come from.
“Good catch, Mom!” eleven-year-old Chris called from the table, adding, “What was that? I thought fireworks were over last week.”
Thinking of Jay, dread gripped Audrey’s stomach as her hands went clammy.
“Fireworks!” cried seven-year-old Mason, hurtling out of his chair toward the door.
“NO!” Audrey shouted with such force Mason stopped in his tracks. “Mason Lawrence Barnes, don’t you take another step!”
“But Mooooooooooom, I want to see the firewo—” Mason’s protest was cut short by Audrey’s cell phone.
“Back to the table,” she said in a tone that brooked no argument. Wiping her hands on her jeans, Audrey answered, grabbing the plate again.
Listening to Wendell’s voice, Audrey suddenly froze, watching the plate as it shattered on the floor.
Audrey spent an agonizing night with Jay in the hospital, where four of his co-workers had also been transported. Three of them had died. News vans were everywhere. Audrey had a lot of questions.
Jay spent the rest of the week at home. Audrey was anxious and still had questions about Jay’s recovery.
When Jay was in the hospital, the ER doctor told him to watch for a delayed reaction to the gas. Breathing problems, headaches, abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness, and nausea were all symptoms. So was jaundice.
On Friday morning, as Audrey made coffee in the kitchen, she could hear Jay caught in another coughing fit. She sat with her laptop and googled long-term effects of exposure to the hazardous chemical. They included possible anemia from damage to red blood cells, as well as liver and heart damage.
Audrey’s next search was for a lawyer who specialized in plant explosions, this search led her to us.
As we sat down with the couple in their sunny country kitchen that afternoon, Audrey made it clear she had three primary questions. They were: how much would it cost to hire us, what could Jay’s case be worth, and how long would his case take?
How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
Audrey was a petite redhead with intense green eyes. She focused them on us and asked, “How much would it cost to hire you?”
We told them both that we don’t charge anything upfront.
“We work on a contingency basis. This means we cover all the expenses the case might involve, from beginning to end. We only get paid after resolving Jay’s case successfully.”
Jay, at least a foot taller than his wife, smiled good-naturedly, but closed his eyes and rubbed a temple. He was still having headaches, in addition to the cough. An oxygen tank and nebulizer sat in reach beside a knotty pine corner hutch.
It was Audrey’s turn to close her eyes, exhaling. “Sounds good.”
“So, if we pursue a case,” Jay said, giving his wife the side-eye, “What do you think it would be worth?”
“That’s going to be tough to tell right at the start,” our lawyer answered. We told them that the value of the case would depend upon the results of an investigation and Jay’s damages. We also assured them we could get started on the investigation right away.
“An investigation will involve gathering evidence and getting statements from witnesses. We’d also begin preparing the case as if it were going to trial,” we told Jay and Audrey.
Our lawyer explained that Jay’s job now was to reach maximum medical improvement. This would be the point at which the doctors could definitively say Jay would either be back to normal, or that he’d reached the highest point of recovery he could be expected to attain after the accident.
“We’ll need you to get to this point so we can be sure you won’t need any surgeries. We’ll also have a clear idea of what ongoing medical care can be expected,” we told them, as they glanced at the nebulizer.
We explained that once we knew Jay had reached maximum medical improvement, we’d know his damages, both economic and non-economic.
“Once we know damages, we’ll know the value of your case. The most important contribution you can make right now, Jay, is to follow your doctor’s treatment plan,” our lawyer said.
Jay nodded and sighed, triggering a coughing fit. He turned away to recover as Audrey rubbed his back.
“How long do you think Jay’s case could take?” she asked a minute later, as Jay straightened and faced us once again.
“That’s hard to predict as well,” our lawyer said. “Two things will factor heavily into your case timeline. One is Jay’s damages and the other is how agreeable the insurance company ends up being.”
We went on to tell them that if the insurance company was reasonable, the case would likely move quickly.
“And if not?” Audrey asked, green eyes wide.
“Then we go to court,” we replied. “Don’t worry about a trial, though. We are experienced in the courtroom, and have a solid track record of success. The insurance company knows who we are. They are not likely to take their chances with us in front of a jury.”
“Either way, we’ll be ready,” our lawyer said confidently. “That’s why we prepare your case for a trial from day one. That’s why you hire a trial lawyer. It’s your best route to a successful resolution.”
The couple were happy with our answers to their questions and retained us. Today, we can happily say that we got Jay six times more than what he was initially offered by the insurance company.
Call Our Georgia Plant Explosion Lawyers Today
We hope that the information above has answered some of your questions about your plant explosion claim. Every case is unique, however. Please take advantage of our offer for free legal advice and contact us about your specific case. You don’t need to worry and wonder where to find help for your claim. Call us for free advice today.