Explosions can happen in any number of ways and cause many different types of injuries, such as:
- Cuts and scratches
- Burns (can range from first to third degree in severity)
- Wounds from shrapnel or other flying debris
- Smoke inhalation and/or lung damage
- Chemical exposure
- Burst or injured eardrums
These injuries can cause significant damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. If an explosion causes a temporary or permanent disability, the victim may have future medical bills as well. To get compensation for these damages, victims or their loved ones can file a claim. Before doing so, claimants need to establish who is liable (the defendant) through applicable evidence and legal argument.
Types of Explosions and Liability
Identifying liability is the first step in filing a personal injury claim. In the case of an explosion, many different parties may be liable. If a faulty part caused the explosion, a manufacturer may be liable. If somebody incorrectly installs a gas pipe and the pipe leaks, leading to an explosion, you can hold that party liable. If that party works for a company, you may be able to hold the company vicariously liable. If dangerous conditions on the property are to blame, the property owner could be liable.
The type of explosion and the circumstances surrounding it may affect liability. For example, in the case of a:
- Propane gas explosion, e.g., your propane grill exploded: Whoever filled your propane tank may be liable if they filled it incorrectly. If the manufacturer neglected to add an odorant to the gas, it could be liable. (Propane and natural gases are odorless; federal law requires gas companies add odorants to facilitate awareness of a leak.)
- Natural gas explosion: If a construction worker hit a pipe causing the release of gas, his company may be liable for any damages you experienced.
- Electrical explosion: If the explosion was due to faulty wiring, improper connections, or other defective installation, the electrician who completed the work may be liable.
- Explosions caused by defective products: If a defective product caused your explosion, you may be able to hold the manufacturer and/or the seller of the product liable.
What should I do if I was the victim of an explosion?
After receiving medical attention, if you plan to file a claim for damages, you need to start gathering evidence. A lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability as well as help you calculate your damages. Evidence can include medical bills, doctor’s notes or testimony, proof of lost wages, photos or video from the scene, eyewitness statements, etc.
If you are able to prove liability, the liable party’s insurance company will offer you a settlement. Be sure that the settlement covers all of your damages, including past and future bills. In addition to helping you prove liability, a lawyer will also look over your settlement to ensure it is fair and accounts for all your damages. Use Primerus to find a lawyer in your area.