Grain Bin Explosion Lawyer

grain bin

Grain bins can be dangerous contraptions, especially to those who work in or near the bins. Grain bins have the potential to suddenly explode, causing significant, potentially life-altering injuries. Each year, hundreds of workers in California and across the country suffer injuries in grain bin explosions. In 2016, there were five grain bin dust explosions 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 and friction between machine parts, along with bearings that became overheated. As you can see, grain bin explosions are initiated by an ignition source that can then be sparked by farm equipment, grain dust, or a cigarette. This ignition creates a wave of pressure that then ignites the dust particles inside the bin.

Injuries Suffered in Grain Bin Explosion Accidents

Unfortunately, when someone is close to a grain bin that explodes, the injuries they suffer 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 have the right to pursue financial restitution for your harms and losses, which are usually quite extensive in these types of 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

If you were injured in a grain bin explosion at work, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation under the California Workers’ Compensation Act. 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 certain 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 owner of the facility followed established safety protocols.

Evidence of Negligence by Employer

Evidence must be collected and analyzed to determine whether the accident was caused by the employer's negligence. 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 properly 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 properly 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 a limited amount of 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 date of the explosion to file a lawsuit.

California law allows you to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit within two years. Still, it is strongly recommended that you do not 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, and so forth. 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 quite 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 need to be taken to get an injury claim filed, both with the insurance company and with 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

I’m Ed Smith, a Grain Bin Explosion Lawyer in California. 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.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our case history of verdicts and settlements and our client reviews on GoogleYelp, and Avvo.

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