New York Personal Injury Attorneys
New York Jobsite Explosion Injuries Attorney
Injuries caused by explosions are often catastrophic, and even fatal. They are unique to certain occupational situations, such as combat, construction, firefighting, and mining. Unfortunately, acts of terror are also causes of explosion-related injuries and death. Some of the injuries sustained after an explosion include unique types of concussions, burns, and internal damages. Unfortunately, construction workers are at risk for explosion injuries because blasting is a form of demolition. Additionally, heavy equipment and machinery can also combust, causing explosions.
If you or a loved one has been hurt or tragically killed in a construction or jobsite explosion, you may be eligible to recover a settlement. Dedicated New York City personal injury firms, like Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo (SPBMC) focus on helping injured workers and families get their lives back after an accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Why Choose SPBMC Attorneys?
SPBMC has proudly served the New York and New Jersey communities for decades. We are a full-service personal injury law firm with attorneys and staff for specific areas of personal injury law – including construction injuries and explosions. You want the compassion, fierce determination, and knowledge of a firm like SPBMC on your side in the courtroom.
What Sets Us Apart?
- We have recovered, in the last 10 years alone, more than $2 billion in settlements for our clients.
- We tirelessly serve the workforce. Our attorneys serve as general counsel for the rescue workers of 9/11, and as lead counsel for the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York.
- We work on a contingency-fee basis. That means we do not charge any legal fees until a settlement is reached. In that case, we receive a predetermined percentage of the settlement.
Common Injuries Associated With Explosions
Explosion injuries are unique in some ways, and similar to other catastrophic injuries in others. These accidents often occur so quickly that victims have little time to react or get away, resulting in a more serious injuries and a higher potential for fatalities.
What are some common explosion injuries?
- Blunt trauma occurs when debris from the exploded object hits the victim hard enough to inflict injury or death.
- Burns occur when the explosion creates fire and heat, and the victim is within that fire or very near it.
- Blast lung is the most common cause of an explosion-related fatality because it causes respiratory difficulty, failure, or hypoxia with or without trauma to the chest.
- Smoke inhalation, sometimes related to blast lung, causes injury and long-term damage to victims. Sometimes this condition is temporary, but in other cases it can be life threatening.
Types of Worksite Explosions and their causes
Explosions occur for many reasons on worksites. What are the most common?
Worksites often contain chemicals, heavy equipment, and even industrial-grade dynamite, so they present a greater risk for explosions than most other job sites. Dynamite used for demolition can set off with the construction crew present. Other hazards include engines or electronic components of heavy machinery which can explode, as well as caustic or hazardous chemicals onsite that can combust.
An employer is liable for all injuries that happen to employees while on the job and claims are covered through workers’ compensation. If the explosion was caused by safety violations or other negligence, workers may have the right to obtain additional compensation through the civil justice system. More so than other construction site injury accidents, negligence resulting in an explosion may not be immediately apparent, and an investigation is often necessary to determine the cause of the incident. When you hire an attorney who handles job site explosions, they will complete an independent examination of the incident, as well as subpoena or submit FOIA requests for any related records to the investigation. These tasks will assist in determining which parties are liable for your injuries.
Gas Explosions and Fire in Buildings
- Faulty Pipes: when gas companies, which control the underground pipes that bring natural gas into buildings, fail to maintain pipes and cause a gas leak, an explosion may occur. The gas company would potentially then be liable for any resulting injuries and damages. Gas companies can also be held responsible when an explosion is caused by other defective property, such as a bad gas regulator or meter.
- Faulty Wiring: fires in homes and buildings, which can result in explosions, can be caused by faulty wiring, defective smoke detectors and inappropriate escape mechanisms. In such cases, the owner or landlord may be liable.
- Punctured Pipe: when working at a home or in a building, an explosion can easily be caused by a construction crew member or contractor negligently puncturing or breaking a natural gas pipe. Natural gas pipes can be found underground and also connected to appliances. Faulty equipment and appliances fueled by propane, gasoline or natural gas, can also produce a gas explosion. When this takes place, the equipment or appliance manufacturer could be responsible for damages.
- Open Fire Doors: fire doors are vital important to a building’s fire strategy, and are specially designed to prevent the spread of fire and smoke throughout a building. However, they can only do their job and allow people to evacuate safely or protect the structure from damage if they remain closed. When a fire door is wedged open and a fire occurs, every person or living thing within the building is at risk of injury or death. Fire doors are clearly marked with a sign that warns people to keep it shut. The person who wedges a fire door open or the building’s owner may be liable in the event that a fire occurs while it is open.
Working near manhole covers can be dangerous because manholes have the ability to spontaneously explode. There have been numerous instances of Con Edison manholes exploding due to a lack of ventilation. Sudden rises in pressure, for example when gases are unable to escape, can be sufficient enough to propel a manhole cover to great heights. These type of explosions can result in significant injuries to workers and damage to equipment inside the manhole.
In addition to natural gas, manhole explosions can also occur when water reaches the aging electrical cables run underground New York City. These cables makeup the underground utility grid and are easily accessed by workers, however manholes do not always keep the cables protected. When salty water, that is produced in winter from melting snow that is mixed with de-icing salts, reaches frayed low-voltage cables then they can easily fail and cause an explosion.
Personal injuries caused by explosions also occur to those who work in the military, oilfields and mines.
Workers’ Rights and Compensation after a Jobsite Explosion
When a worker is injured on a jobsite in New York by an explosion, that worker will usually become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. All employers are required to carry a policy to protect their employees in the event of an injury accident. Injured workers do not have to prove negligence when filing for workers’ compensation, but only that an injury occurred while on-the-job.
Workers’ compensation will typically cover the following:
- Medical bills and any reasonable medical expenses related to the injury.
- Percentage of lost wages
- Permanent disability award
- Funeral and burial expenses
In many cases, a workers’ compensation claim may be your only legal solution, as New York’s workers’ compensation law prevents you from suing an employer or a co-worker for negligence. However, when a third party may be liable, you have the right to pursue a third-party claim for damages. Potentially liable third parties following a jobsite explosion can include, contractors, subcontractors, supplies and materials vendor, property owners, and manufacturers of defective worksite or safety equipment. Third-party claims allow workers to seek damages for:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and anguish
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of quality of life
Why You Need a Jobsite Explosion Injury Lawyer
Explosions can be devastating to nearby victims, often rendering them unable to even consider pursuing legal action and what exactly that entails. With the main focus being on recovering, by hiring an experienced jobsite explosion injury lawyer, your rights will be protected and all legal matters will fortunately be taken care of for you. When injuries are severe, victims may never be able to work again and could require life-long in home care. The costs associated with these types of injuries can be well beyond the reach of most families. Finding out your legal options available for obtaining compensation will be critical to you and your family’s well being.
The causes of explosions can often be traced back to human error or corporate negligence. However, that will require proof. Law firms have the resources and professional connections to hire specialized experts who can conduct an independent investigation from law enforcement agencies. They will be able to determine the cause of the explosion and the manner in which it could have been prevented. Once evidence has been collected, your attorney will handle all communications with insurance companies, settlement negotiations, as well as the litigation of your case if necessary. Jobsite explosion injury attorneys will often advocate for you on a contingency fee basis, eliminating the financial risk for you, because you will not have to pay them if you don’t win.
How Long do I Have to File a Third-Party Claim?
The statute of limitations is a New York law, which allows victims to pursue personal injury third-party claims for up to three years following an explosion. When lives are lost, surviving family members have two years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased.
However, when the liable party is a negligent government agency or public entity, victims must file a formal claim within 90 days against a city or county in New York. Then one year is allotted to file a lawsuit against that particular city or county. When the state of New York is liable, victims must either file a claim or give notice of intent to file a claim, within 90 days .
No matter the defendant, once the statute of limitations has run its course, victims will likely lose their right to pursue compensation for their explosion injuries.
Legal Help for Work-Related Explosion and Blast Injuries
If you or someone you love experienced injury or wrongful death due to a workplace construction explosion, you are likely entitled to a compensatory award. Though taking your case to court cannot undo what happened, reaching a settlement for damages can recoup medical expenses and mitigate some hardship, while helping you get your life back. We provide the compassion, care, and information you need, while giving your case the hard-hitting, fierce legal prowess it deserves. Contact the attorneys at SPBMC today for a free consultation.