Explosion Injuries Attorney in Alabama
Explosion accidents are among the most traumatic experiences any individual can face. These accidents often result in serious and catastrophic injuries and fatalities for those involved. For those who survive an explosion accident, the effects of their injury can last a lifetime. Medical bills alone could easily top seven figures, and there is often a long road to recovery before they are able to return to work (if they are able to come back to work at all). This can result in severe financial hardship for victims and their families.
At the law office of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., we understand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll explosion injuries take on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our lawyers have over 35 years of experience representing clients who have suffered all types of personal injuries in Alabama. We have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and a successful track record with even the most complex cases.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an explosion accident, your only job should be to focus on your recovery. We handle all the complicated legal tasks, putting our extensive experience to work to aggressively pursue the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. Throughout the process, we provide frequent updates on the progress of your case, so you are always kept informed. And we are always happy to address any questions or concerns you may have along the way.
Common Causes of Explosion Injuries
There are four general types of injuries that can result from a blast or explosion:
• Primary blast injuries: These are injuries that occur as a direct result of the explosion from the pressure of the blast wave striking the surface of the body. This can cause injuries such as instant damage to lungs and other internal organs, ruptured eyes or eardrums, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
• Secondary blast injuries: These are injuries that happen when individuals are struck by objects, materials, or debris that are disbursed immediately after an explosion. Being struck suddenly by all manner of heavy objects can cause various types of trauma injuries, as well as penetration of the skin.
• Tertiary blast injuries: These are injuries that happen when someone is thrown by the blast wind that results from the explosion. If someone is thrown a significant distance, such as out a window or off of a high platform, it can result in very severe injuries and fatalities.
• Quaternary blast injuries: These are other injuries that happen as a result of the explosion; such as burn injuries, angina, crush injuries, and exposure to toxic substances.
There are a number of factors that can cause an explosion and subsequent injuries, some of the most common include:
• Flammable gases and liquids: These substances are a major contributing factor in a wide range of explosion accidents. Examples include chemical and power plant explosions, oil and gas drilling explosions, pipeline explosions, and fuel tank explosions that sometimes happen after a motor vehicle accident.
• Combustible dust: Just about any substance has the potential to be combustible when it is in dust form. This is why combustible dust is often a major contributor in various types of manufacturing explosion accidents.
• Hot work: Welding, torch cutting, soldering, heating, and other types of hot work can pose a danger of explosion accidents and injuries.
• Faulty machinery and equipment: Various types of machinery and equipment can cause explosions when there are defects and/or the equipment is not properly installed. One common example is furnaces. Virtually every residential and commercial building has one, and it must be properly installed and maintained to prevent the potential hazard of an explosion or another type of malfunction.
• Electrical hazards: Faulty wiring, overloaded outlets and circuits, wiring that is exposed to moisture, wearing that is not up to code, and similar hazards can lead to electrical fires that cause explosions.
Pursuing an Explosion Injury Claim in Alabama
Explosion injuries can impact the victim and those around them in a number of ways. Some of the most excruciating physical injuries result from explosions, one common example being severe burn injuries. But the effects of an explosion can be far more than just physical. Oftentimes, the emotional trauma of being in the immediate vicinity of a major blast and seeing others get seriously injured or killed can stay with someone for a long time.
Pursuing compensation for an explosion injury is not usually a simple process. There may be several parties responsible, and a thorough investigation is needed to determine the exact cause. If the explosion happened at work, your first step would most likely be to file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer.
Most Alabama employers are required to carry worker’s comp insurance, and you should be able to obtain compensation through their policy for medical expenses, a percentage of your lost wages, and for permanent disability, regardless of who was at-fault for the accident (with some exceptions). In exchange for providing no-fault coverage, workers in Alabama are generally not allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer for injuries that happen at work.
If the explosion injury happened at work but a third party was responsible, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the responsible party. For example, if you are making a delivery while on the job and another motorist crashed into you and caused a gas tank explosion, you may be able to sue them for damages. This may also be true if a product designer, manufacturer, or distributor was responsible for an explosion because faulty equipment they provided.
In a personal injury our product liability claim, you can pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are intangibles that are more difficult to assign a dollar figure to; such as physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life. In rare cases in which the actions of the party responsible for the explosion were especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded to “punish” the wrongdoer and deter them (and others) from committing similar acts in the future.
Personal injury claims in Alabama can be difficult to pursue because of the state’s “contributory negligence” legal doctrine. Contributory negligence means that if an injured party is found to have “contributed” in any way to the underlying accident that caused their injury (even 1%), they can be barred from recovering damages. For this reason, it is essential to work with a seasoned attorney who has a proven ability to overcome Alabama’s defendant-friendly legal standard.
Contact Our Experienced Explosion Injury Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an explosion accident in Alabama, contact the law office of Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C. today for a free no-obligation consultation and case assessment. We will meet with you to review your case and advise you of your legal rights and options, so you can make the most informed decision on how you wish to proceed. Call our office today at 800-574-4332 today. You may also send us a message through our online contact form or visit our Mobile office in person at your convenience.