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Causes of Injury and Health Risks from Plant Explosions

A plant explosion can cause massive casualties, including long-term physical injuries and fatalities. Personal injuries caused by a plant explosion range from relatively minor conditions to lifelong disabilities and debilitating pain. In some cases, a blast-related health condition may not become known until many years after the explosion. The assistance of experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel is crucial when something like this happens in order to recover the compensation necessary to deal with the negative consequences of the blast.

Causes and Types of Injuries

Although there are many different types of injuries that a person impacted by a plant explosion may experience, the following are the causes of some of the more common injuries from an explosion:

  • The blast wave: A blast wave is a high-pressure wave of gas that expands from the center of the explosion at high velocity. When the blast wave hits a person’s skin, it can cause a concussion, damage to the inner ear, rupture of the eye, cause abdominal perforation, and lead to many other injuries;
  • Flying debris: The likelihood and severity of a flying debris injury depends on the environment of the explosion – how much debris is laying around the site of the explosion and how much is created by the explosion because of the materials involved in the blast. When flying debris strikes a person’s body, it can cause a variety of serious injuries, including shrapnel-type puncture wounds and penetration of the eye;
  • Impact: An impact injury occurs when the force of the blast wave smashes a person into a wall or other hard object. The force of the impact can break or even shatter bones, crack skulls or cause traumatic brain injuries. An impact can also cause amputation of one of a victim’s limbs. In extreme cases, a person can be killed through decapitation;
  • Burns: When overheated gas comes into contact with skin, it can produce severe burns, sometimes over large portions of the body. This can cause long-term or lifelong disability and excruciating pain, because third-degree burns never fully heal. Severe burns are often particularly painful conditions, limiting the enjoyment that a person can experience in his or her life; and
  • Fumes: A gas explosion can release toxic fumes and an expanding blast wave can force these fumes into a person’s lungs, often in an overheated state. This can cause acute lung damage, as well as long-term conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and various types of poisoning. Inhaling toxic fumes may also increase a person’s risk of various types of cancer.

Liability

If the explosion that injured you or a loved one was the fault of someone else, you can file a lawsuit against the responsible party and/or negotiate a private settlement. The best strategy in many cases is to file a lawsuit in order to force the responsible party to negotiate a settlement. The potential of a large jury award can help motivate the person or company to do the right thing. When calculating how much to ask for in damages, you need to think long-term. How much money you will need to take care of your past, present, and future medical needs? How much money will you need to compensate you for lost work time?  What miscellaneous expenses will arise?  All of this must be considered to lead to a reasonable settlement or award.

You are also entitled to damages for your pain, suffering, and other intangible losses. These may be far greater than your award for medical expenses and lost work time. Another important issue is the identity of the defendant. If a plant employee caused the explosion, the plant itself may be liable. Alternatively, if malfunctioning plant equipment caused the explosion, the product manufacturer may be liable. If you are the spouse of someone killed in an explosion, you might be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit in your own name.

If you or a relative were injured in a chemical explosion, the assistance of expert legal counsel could determine whether or not you receive adequate compensation. Zinda Law Group is an experienced Denver personal injury law firm dedicated to getting the best possible results for our clients. Our attorneys are skilled and knowledgeable and understand how to build an effective case.  We will keep fighting for you until you receive full compensation for your losses. Call us today at 303-800-1501 to schedule a free initial consultation with us.



 

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