Gas explosions are one of the leading causes of explosion injuries. In the U.S, more than 100 million people use natural gas and about 26 million people use propane gas for home heating and cooking. This makes it one of the most commonly used utilities in the US. Sadly, just as it is common for families and businesses to use gas, it is also common for terrible explosions to result from their use. According to one report, on average, a pipeline catches fire every 4 days and results in an explosion every 11 days. When these explosions occur, they are often fatal. According to the same report, gas explosions cause injury every 5 days and fatality every 26 days. Although gas is a useful utility, it can be dangerous when mismanaged. This is why gas companies are expected to be incredibly proactive about keeping gas lines safe. If they fail in this duty, the repercussions are often huge.
If you have been injured in a gas explosion that happened because of negligence, you may have the right to sue. Considering the significant property damage, and even severe injury or death that occurs after gas explosions, you will require adequate compensation to cope. Getting this compensation is not always easy because you will be dealing with large gas companies and even larger insurance companies. What you need in this situation is uncompromising legal representation, from a skilled and dedicated lawyer that is willing to fight for you. And that’s exactly what you are going to get at Oshan and Associates. We understand that gas explosions are terrible occurrences and we will fight for your right to recover compensation.
According to Natural Resources Defense Council data, natural gas distribution lines account for most injuries (79%), deaths (73%), evacuees (62%), fires (71%), and explosions (78%). Gas explosions can occur whenever propane is improperly handled. Private homes, commercial buildings, and construction sites where propane gas is used are susceptible to explosion. However, quite a lot of propane explosions occur on construction sites. This can happen for a handful of reasons. Failure to follow necessary safety precautions, a leak, a pipe not properly tightened, or a defect with the chemical additive can all result into an explosion.
Household gas is also a risk factor here. Natural gas and propane are two that are often used at home. Natural gas, which primarily consists of methane, is delivered to homes and businesses through underground gas lines. Both types are used for a number of purposes. Cooking, home heating, water heating and even barbecue grills are a number of them. In household explosions, leaks from gas-powered kitchen appliances are the major cause of the explosions. They occur when old underground pipelines are not maintained or are hit by construction work. This gas can, and most often will, cause a hazard when it comes into contact with a combustible source. In many cases, this can happen when the gas leak is ignited by fire, smoking materials, electric sparks or static electricity. While gas itself is odourless, a chemical additive, ethyl mercaptan, is usually added to give it a ‘smell’. The sad thing however is that the odorant can fade when new pipes are not properly conditioned or when a container has worn out its usage. That creates an explosive situation just waiting to ignite.
The 2.5 million miles of America’s pipelines suffer hundreds of leaks and ruptures every year, costing lives and money. There have been more than 5,500 total incidents. These have led to almost 600 injuries, more than 125 fatalities, more than 800 fires and almost 300 explosions till date. To an individual, the heat and blast from a gas explosion can cause many different injuries. This could be physical and psychological. The most common physical injury sustained from gas explosions are thermal burn injuries. Burn injuries can be extremely painful and may leave the victim with significant permanent and life-changing scars. Additionally, burn victims may also experience emotional trauma. There are three types of burns:
Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring. In severe circumstances, they can even result in death. Blast wave injuries are also common for gas explosions. Blast wave injuries occur when the wave of the gas explosion comes into contact with your skin. This may then lead to concussion, inner ear damage, eye rupture or even abdominal perforation. Gas explosions can be very forceful. In many instances, persons have sustained injuries because they were tossed by the blast wind. Bone fractures and damage to other parts of the body are common. One of the other blast effects of a gas explosion is that a passersby may be hit by flying debris. Sharp objects may be lifted and come in contact with delicate parts of the body. With gas explosions, it’s not just about physical or bodily injuries. Victims may suffer pain and suffering as a result of the accident. Mental anguish may arise as a result of physical disfigurement or impairment.
Due to the inflammable nature of gas, there are guidelines as to how they must be handled according to industry safety regulations. Negligence and failure to follow procedures are the causes many of these gas explosions. If a gas explosion was caused by the negligence or willful act of another person or entity, you can file a lawsuit against them. You will be entitled to recover damages for any injuries caused to you. You may also institute an action against the employer of any person that committed the act that led to the explosion. For natural gas explosions, you may have a claim against a landlord or building owner. Depending on the circumstances, you can also file a suit against the gas company or the person/entity that has ruptured the gas line.
Gas and energy companies are obligated to keep their gas lines and the people who use them reasonably safe from foreseeable harm. When a company or any other person fails in this regard and someone is injured or killed as a result of their negligence, they can be held responsible. In this event, you may file a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit. If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensatory damages, including medical bills, lost wages, loss of affection, emotional and psychological injuries, physical pain and suffering and other expenses. In wrongful death cases, family members may be awarded punitive damages. There are usually multiple persons responsible for causing a gas explosion. It may be a company, the landlord, a propane or gas supplier, electricians or contractors. Even so, a gas explosion would require detailed investigation by experts.
This is why you will need a personal injury lawyer knowledgeable in fire and gas explosion. Your qualified lawyer will help you investigate the cause of the accident and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered a gas explosion injury or you have questions about the legal remedies available to you, contact us at Oshan and Associates. You can reach us at 206-355-3880 or fill out our online contact form as soon as possible to get the best legal representation.
Comments will be approved before showing up.