Explosion Injuries

Explosion Accident Lawyer | Birmingham, AL

A catastrophic explosion is a detonation and rapid expansion causing serious injuries or wrongful death to people within the blast radius. Sadly, explosion injuries and deaths occur in the U.S. more than anywhere else in the world. Raw materials plant and refinery explosions are the most common type, commercial and residential gas explosions can happen, too.

If you survive an explosion accident, or your loved one loses their life in one, you deserve to pursue compensation and justice. However, the road to success for cases like yours can be rocky if you lack experienced legal counsel. That is where Glenda Cochran and Associates in Birmingham, AL, is here to help!

With 30+ years of experience representing clients in Alabama for explosion-related litigation, our team of personal injury attorneys and staff will skillfully guide you and your case to victory. Call us today to schedule a free consultation for your case, or read on to learn more about how we can help.

Causes of Explosions?

Explosions are caused by complex reactions that result in the rapid expansion of gas and energy. In the modern world, we are virtually surrounded, both at home and work, by appliances, machinery, engines, fuel, chemicals, pipelines, and power sources that can serve as the catalysts for an explosion.

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Explosions often happen in industrial, construction, and excavation settings. One of the primary causes of plant and refinery explosions is a combination of inadequate training and corporate negligence to protect workers or promote employee safety on these worksites. Such negligence creates a domino effect, resulting in the following secondary causes of explosion accidents:

1. Plant and refinery accidents involving the handling of combustible materials (chemicals or gases) can lead to explosions. Factors like defective equipment with unseen corrosion, improper handling, or inadequate safety protocols can contribute to these incidents.

2. Liquid expanding vapor explosions (LEVE) occur at plants or refineries when flammable liquids vaporize, leading to pressurized flammable vapors in a confined space. If ignited by an external heat source, this pressurized vapor can cause a sudden and violent explosion.

3. Gas leaks from natural gas sources, propane tanks, buried pipelines, and valve lines in stoves, furnaces, and water heaters can result in explosions.

4. Improper handling of explosives, including handling, storing, or transporting explosives like dynamite without proper precautions or adherence to safety regulations, can lead to accidental detonations.

5. A high-current electrical fault can create an electrical explosion, forming a high-energy electrical arc flash that rapidly vaporizes metal and insulation. This hazard is dangerous to persons working near energized equipment, such as switchgear. An electrical arc flash’s temperature is more than four times hotter than the sun.

6. Volatile Chemicals: Chemical explosions occurring in labs or industrial worksites usually involve reactive substances and failure to follow safety protocols.

Understanding Explosion Injuries in Birmingham, Alabama

Alabama law generally allows a victim injured in an explosion to recover damages from other parties whose failure to exercise reasonable care or whose reckless or intentional misconduct caused the explosion. If the victim is killed, Alabama law authorizes the victim’s representative or dependents to bring an action for wrongful death.

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If an explosion occurs at work, an employee injured or killed is generally entitled to workers’ compensation for lost wages and benefits covering medical expenses, regardless of fault. In such cases, there are legal restrictions on the liability of the victim’s employer and co-workers.

However, the victim is often entitled to recover damages from third parties whose misconduct caused or contributed to the explosion. For example, an injured worker may be entitled to recover damages against contractors or subcontractors whose work on a job site results in an explosion. An injured worker may also recover damages from companies that designed, manufactured, sold, installed, serviced, or inspected equipment or a product involved in a workplace explosion.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Victims injured in an explosion can seek damages for economic and non-economic losses.
– Medical bills, lost wages, and lost earning capacity are examples of economic losses.
– Emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, and a reduced quality of life are types of non-economic damages that are hard to quantify, but are subject to recovery in amounts set by a jury.
– The injured victim’s spouse may also be entitled to damages for loss of consortium.

Punitive Damages

It is possible to recover punitive damages in cases where the party responsible’s actions were especially egregious to punish and prevent others from engaging in such misconduct in the future.

Additionally, in Alabama, all damages for wrongful death are considered punitive. As such, they are determined by a jury in light of the defendant’s conduct, not by economic considerations like the victims’ age and established earning capacity.

Impact on Victims

An explosion can cause property damage, severe injuries, or death, regardless of whether the explosion occurs indoors or out.

The pressure waves emanating from an explosion can directly harm individuals near an explosion’s source, including severe external and internal injuries. Blast waves can also cause indirect injuries in which the individual falls or is knocked off their feet, impacting solid surfaces and structures such as sidewalks, walls, mechanical equipment, or vehicles. Flying debris can also result in traumatic brain injuries, amputations, penetrating injuries, and eye injuries, including blindness.

Explosions can cause fire or chemical burns. In addition, dust, smoke, particulate matter, and toxins released into the air during an explosion can result in inhalation injuries that can damage the lungs and cause asthma and other breathing problems.

In addition to physical injuries, it is well known that explosions can have severe and long-lasting emotional effects. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among explosion survivors. The condition is complex and debilitating, affecting all facets of an individual’s life as well as the lives of their loved ones.

Property damages or losses, medical treatment expenses, and lost income (due to inability to work) are just a few of the typical financial stressors for survivors of explosion accidents. Debt piles up quickly when combined with the physical therapy or rehabilitative treatment most explosion accident survivors must undergo for several weeks at a time when they are most likely unable to work.

We’ve been defending burn injury victims for 30 years

Why Choose Glenda Cochran Associates?

Victims of these horrible explosion accidents deserve total financial compensation, fair recovery leave, and justice! However, many hesitate to seek legal counsel because of the high fees many personal injury lawyers charge.

Our Birmingham-based firm promises to treat you fairly and get you the maximum compensation possible. We operate on a contingency fee-based system, so we only expect payment when we help you win.

Plant and Refinery Explosions Lawyer

Most of our clients in plant and refinery explosion cases are injured workers who survived catastrophic explosions or the grieving families of those who did not survive such a tragedy.

Typically, these devastating accidents happen to innocent plant and refinery workers due to someone else’s safety violations and negligence. For example, defective equipment is one common high risk of explosions on these worksites. Yet, it is one of the most easily preventable of all potential hazards when the person responsible for conducting quality control inspections and safety procedures does their job correctly. When these “highly trained” inspectors fail to do their job right, it is criminal negligence, and when it results in such tragedy, they must be held accountable to the victims.

We passionately fight for our clients impacted by a plant or refinery accident and have extensive knowledge and experience representing clients affected by such accidents.

Advocacy for better employee training on these sites is also important to us. Read more about our close connection and commitment to this area of law in this blog and our online media gallery!

Gas Explosion Accident Lawyer in Birmingham, Alabama

The team at Glenda Cochran Associates is here to assist you and your family with a free, no-obligation case evaluation for explosion accidents in Alabama and elsewhere. It may be challenging to take the time to contact an attorney immediately after you or a family member has been seriously injured or killed in an explosion. Doing so, however, is extremely important since it may be the difference between winning or losing your case.

Explosion cases are complex, and it may not be immediately evident just who and what caused the explosion. As a result, the time immediately following the accident becomes critical to preserving evidence—before the scene is cleaned up and the equipment involved is repaired or discarded.

Additionally, it is essential to interview witnesses soon after an incident, as memories can fade over time. Our decades of experience in explosion cases have taught us to know what evidence to look for and how to ensure it is secured. Contact us today.

Explosion Injuries FAQsExplosion Injuries FAQsExplosion Injuries FAQs

Among the most common injuries suffered in explosions are:

  • Lung injuries
  • Burns
  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions.
  • Damage to the eyes and ears.
  • Internal bleeding
  • Abdomen perforation
  • Amputation

Yes. Failures, malfunctions, and defects in appliances, products, and equipment are common causes of explosions at home and in the workplace. Product liability law generally allows victims to recover damages from product manufacturers and sellers for defects from the product’s design, the manufacturing process, or a failure to include proper instructions.

An explosion is a rapid expansion of gases. Most explosions occur when gases are exposed to heat sources—such as fire, sparks, live copper wiring, or even static electricity—or pressure increases. Chemical reactions can also cause explosions.