Whether we realize it or not, highly-flammable and pressurized gases are found in one form or another in most American households. They help to power our stoves, heaters, and even our barbecue grills.
However, when these gases leak and are then exposed to an open flame or spark, powerful gas explosions can result. In the best cases, families just so happened to be away from home when the explosions occur. In the worst of cases, family members are severely maimed, burned, crippled, and even killed.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a gas explosion, you need to know about the powerful rights available to victims of such gross negligence. We can connect you today with experienced gas explosion attorneys who will walk you through the legal process and your options for compensation in a free legal consultation. Contact us now.
There are various different gases that you may find in the average American home; these can include propane, carbon monoxide, butane, and methane, among others.
When used safely and without the failure of any equipment, natural gas serves as a very efficient and cost-effective power source for cooking our food and heating our homes, among other applications. However, when safety measures fail, the same chemical characteristics that make them desirable as a source of power can also turn them into deadly forces.
Most home explosions occur when flammable natural gas leaks or is otherwise released into the home and allowed to accumulate in high concentrations in closed environments.
For example, when you’re using propane to cook on your stove, only a small quantity of it is being released at a time, so the flame is constantly lit and under control. However, if you were to leave the valve open and allow the vapor to accumulate in your kitchen, a small spark could quickly ignite all of it at the same time, causing a powerful blast.
As long as we are able to maintain gases such as propane in low concentrations, the possibility for a tragedy to develop is mostly mitigated. Regrettably, safety measures can fail due to defective manufacturing, negligence, or even carelessness, often leading to avoidable catastrophes.
Hollywood films have taught us that gas explosions generally cause big fireballs which the leading actor often escapes from in the nick of time and without injury. However, the fire that is produced in an explosion is hardly the only cause of harm – in fact, it’s not even the first one.
The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Injury Prevention compare natural gas explosions to bombs because in many respects they are quite similar. Perhaps most notably, both gas explosions and bombs produce a powerful blast or pressure wave which can cause unimaginable damage to those who are close by.
The blast wave can result in damage to the lungs, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, ears, eyes, brain, and worse. In the medical field, the effects of such explosions on each of these bodily systems are colloquially known as blast lung, blast belly, blast ear, blast eye, and blast brain.
Just one of these diagnoses is quite serious. Unfortunately, victims of explosions rarely experience just one of them, which puts them in a very precarious state of health. It also makes for a long road to recovery, if they are able to survive such severe injuries at all.
If the blast doesn’t kill or injure those who are close to a gas explosion, then other secondary and tertiary risks may.
Secondary hazards include fast-flying debris which turns into virtual projectiles. Being physically flung onto other harmful objects and suffering injuries is yet another concern categorized as a tertiary risk.
The last category of gas explosion injuries is caused by what we referenced earlier, the “Hollywood fireball”; this category includes skin burns, damage to the lungs due to toxic fumes, chemical burns, and worse.
All of these injuries don’t take into account the fact that, if an individual suffers a personal injury due to a blast, existing conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and lung disease (OCPD) may be exacerbated by such a traumatic event.
We’ve just covered the incapacitating and likely permanent injuries that can result from natural gas explosions. But what can victims of these shocking ordeals do after the fact?
There is no doubt that nothing can turn back time and undo the property damage that has been done and the personal injury suffered. So, how can victims find closure and receive the help they deserve moving forward?
Seeking the help of experienced gas explosion attorneys is often the most vital choice, if not the only one on the path to justice.
With the backing of a law firm that has experience litigating gas explosion cases, victims can pursue a substantial financial award that covers all of their damages, including:
There’s no question about it – once someone becomes the victim of a gas leak explosion accident, their life will likely never be the same. By filing a gas explosion lawsuit, victims and their loved ones get a chance at normalcy and peace.
The road to recovery after suffering the degree of injury that generally results from a gas explosion is fraught with obstacles and expenses. It's not just about the medical expenses, although these often run into the tens of thousands of dollars. These incidents cause serious emotional wounds that can require professional help to recover from.
Successful gas explosion cases can provide the financial support that families require to focus on their health and not on all of the undeserved hardship that has been unnecessarily thrust upon them by the negligence of others.
Depending on the nature of the incident that injured you, a lawsuit may be brought forth against a multitude of different parties.
Generally, for a gas explosion accident to occur, a series of established safety measures and standards have to fail, be violated by individuals, or both. This means that a lot of “links in the chain” must break for these deadly blasts to manifest. If it can be found that any of these "links" did not perform the specific duties which would have prevented the accident in the first place, they may be found liable.
For instance, if you had a gas explosion accident at home, you may be able to file a lawsuit and seek damages from one or multiple of the following parties:
These are only some of the potential parties who may be found guilty of negligence and ultimately liable for the damages suffered by victims.
The fact of the matter is that each and every single gas explosion case is different from the last, so it’s very difficult to predetermine exactly who is at fault without thoroughly analyzing the facts. Gas explosion lawyers and their team of investigators would perform this study on your behalf, researching exactly what happened, what or who failed, and how that caused the natural gas leak and subsequent explosion. Once the responsible parties are identified, your lawyer will begin preparing your case.
In most cases, if you suffered injuries or if a loved one was killed in a natural gas explosion at work, filing a worker’s compensation claim will be the main method for seeking compensation.
This is due to the fact that employers are usually required by law to pay for workers’ comp insurance coverage for all of their employees. This insurance coverage will “kick in” and pay for most expenses that a worker may suffer in the workplace. On the other hand, the fact that the employer is forced to pay for this insurance whether a work accident occurs or not offers significant protection to the employer from lawsuits by their employees.
The most effective method for learning more about who may be found responsible for an explosion that affected you is by speaking with personal injury attorneys who are experienced in these cases.
If you’re not familiar with the civil justice system, it’s also likely that you’re not too familiar with the different types of lawyers that exist. The easiest way of explaining this is to compare attorneys with doctors.
In the same manner that a doctor may specialize in plastic surgery, family medicine, orthopedic procedures or else, a lawyer, too, concentrates their efforts on a specific segment of the law.
You wouldn’t go to a bariatric surgeon if you suffered a head injury, would you? Instead, you’d likely visit a neurologist. In the same manner, if you or a loved one were injured in some sort of gas explosion, you would want to reach out to gas explosion attorneys.
A gas explosion lawyer will not only have handled similar cases in the past, but they will also be up-to-date with the most recent gas explosion case settlements and changes in the relevant law. Moreover, they will know how to build a strong case, how to negotiate with the liable parties, and which expert witnesses to bring in to testify for your case.
Perhaps most importantly, the law firm will have the resources required to see a case all the way to the end. Gas explosion lawsuits can take months if not more to be resolved. A law firm must have the financial resources necessary to pay for everything required to keep the case going and ensure that the victim and their family have the greatest chance of receiving the maximum compensation they need and deserve.
If you are considering pursuing a gas explosion case, fill out the form on this page or contact us at our 24/7 helpline to schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced law firm today.
Legal consultations are completely free of charge and free of obligation. You’ll get the chance to ask any legal questions you may have, and if you decide not to pursue legal action, no fees whatsoever will be owed.