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Grain Bin Explosion Lawyer

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Grain bins can be dangerous contraptions, especially for those who work in or near the bins. Grain bins have the potential to suddenly explode, causing significant, potentially life-altering injuries. Hundreds of workers in California and across the country suffer injuries in grain bin explosions yearly. In 2016, five-grain bin dust explosions were reported, and two of those incidents resulted in fatalities, according to the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. The explosions occurred in feed mills, grain mills, and grain elevators.

How Grain Bin Explosions Happen

The reported causes of the 2016 grain bin explosions included static electricity-generated sparks, friction between machine parts, and overheating bearings. As you can see, grain bin explosions are initiated by an ignition source that can be sparked by farm equipment, grain dust, or a cigarette. This ignition creates a wave of pressure that ignites the bin’s dust particles.

Injuries Suffered in Grain Bin Explosion Accidents

Unfortunately, when someone is close to a grain bin that explodes, their injuries are usually catastrophic and life-threatening. Those injuries include:

Taking Legal Action to Obtain the Financial Compensation You Deserve

If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a grain bin explosion, you can pursue financial restitution for your harm and losses, which are usually extensive in these accidents. The types of harms and losses that are compensable in California include:

  • Medical expenses associated with emergency care
  • Medical expenses associated with your rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other long-term treatment
  • Prescription medications
  • Lost wages
  • Mental, emotional, and psychological damages (also known as pain and suffering)
Injuries Occurring at Work

Under the California Workers’ Compensation Act, you can pursue monetary compensation if you were injured in a grain bin explosion at work. This state law requires that an employer pays for your medical treatment and workers’ compensation benefits to an injured employee.

Important to Determine Who Was Responsible for the Accident

Due to the serious safety hazards associated with grain bins, big farming companies must comply with specific protocols in the workplace to improve worker safety. This includes posting sufficient safety warnings and supplying proper ventilation to reduce the risk of an explosion. Unfortunately, many of the established safety protocols are ignored by many employers, and post-explosion investigations reveal that the accident was preventable if only the facility owner followed established safety protocols.

Evidence of Negligence by Employer

Evidence must be collected and analyzed to determine whether the employer’s negligence caused the accident. This is because negligent actions that cause a grain bin explosion allow an injured party to file a personal injury claim to hold the employer liable for your injuries.

Below are some ways that grain facility owners may have been negligent and caused the explosion:

  • The grain bin was not adequately ventilated
  • The facility owner failed to follow proper loading protocols
  • No warning signs were posted around the grain bin
  • Disregard for established safety protocols to minimize the risk of a grain bin explosion
  • Workers were not adequately trained
  • The grain bin itself was defective
  • Some combination of these factors
Be Careful Not to Violate the Statute of Limitations

When you or a loved one is injured in an accident caused by another individual or company’s recklessness, you have limited time to speak to an attorney and take legal action against the responsible party or parties. This finite time limit is codified in California’s statute of limitations.

If you suffered an injury in a grain bin explosion, you have only two years following the accident to file a lawsuit in a California civil court. Once two years have passed, your personal injury claim will be barred from going forward in court. If you lost a family member in a grain bin explosion, you also have two years from the explosion date to file a lawsuit.

California law allows you to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years. Still, you are strongly recommended not to wait until the last minute to take legal action. This is because you need to budget time for your attorney to conduct a thorough investigation of the explosion, review any investigative reports filed by state and federal authorities, interview witnesses, etc. This is why it makes much more sense to contact an attorney shortly after the accident so they can begin working to build your case right away. The longer you wait, the easier it is for the at-fault individual or company to evade liability.

Why Hiring a Personal Injury Law Firm Makes Sense

The laws related to farming accidents are pretty complex, and you are usually forced to deal with a company that may have an experienced defense attorney on retainer. At the very least, the facility’s insurance company will almost assuredly have defense counsel primed and ready to go. In addition to complex laws, specific steps must be taken to get an injury claim filed, both with the insurance company and a California civil court. This is why it makes sense to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. They can take this burden off of you and assist in investigating the incident, compiling medical records, photographs, and other relevant legal documents related to your personal injury or wrongful death claim.

An experienced and skilled grain bin explosion attorney can help guide you through every aspect of the litigation process, from pre-trial discovery to a full-fledged jury trial. Contact an experienced grain bin explosion lawyer for more information.

Experienced Grain Bin Explosion Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, please call our injury lawyers for free, friendly advice at (559) 377-7676 or (800) 404-5400.

Editor’s Note: updated 10.24.23 Photo by ab sb bw [cs 1001]

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