Liability for Damages in Appliance Gas ExplosionsLast updated on: September 5, 2022
Hundreds of millions of Americans use appliances in their homes that rely on either propane or natural gas. An explosion of one of these can destroy property and, more importantly, injure or even kill people. Personal injury law allows you to recover damages from the party or parties responsible for an appliance explosion, regardless of where they are in the United States.
Common Appliances That Can Lead To Gas Explosions
Gas explosions can occur with quite a number of household appliances, including:
- Water Heaters
- Central Heating Units
- Air Conditioners
- Barbecue Grills
- Clothes Dryers
- Electrical Generators
These appliances can explode; more dangerously, in some cases, they can leak gas into the surrounding air and cause a generalized explosion as soon as a spark is created. A devastating home fire is the frequent aftermath of a gas appliance explosion.
Common Causes Of Appliance Gas Explosions
Why do appliances cause gas explosions? Some of the following reasons can explain why your appliance exploded:
- Fractured or malfunctioning gas tanks
- Leaky or loose gas lines or valves
- Poor installation of the gas appliance
- Poor prior maintenance or service of the gas appliance
- Poor design of the gas appliance
- Material or other defects of the gas appliance
As you can see, some causes of explosions relate directly to the appliance itself, while others have to do with the gas lines and tanks connected to it. This could affect the liable party in your case: The appliance manufacturer will probably not be liable if the appliance itself did not cause the explosion.
Determining Liability For Appliance Gas Explosions
The liable party varies based on the cause of the explosion. If a defect in the appliance itself caused the explosion, the manufacturer is likely liable.
If the explosion was caused by poor maintenance or services conducted by a company or individual, you can probably hold that company or individual liable. If the blast happened at your workplace, you might be able to receive workman’s compensation.
If you were partially at fault for the explosion, you might still be able to recover some of your damages. However, the amount of compensation you receive could be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault you must accept for the accident.
For example, if you poorly maintained a gas appliance that was installed incorrectly, you could be partially at fault for the explosion. If you are 30% at fault for the accident and suffered $100,000 in damages, you may be compensated $70,000.
Types Of Liability In A Gas Explosion Case
Suppose the appliance explosion was caused by a faulty product. In that case, you may be able to sue the manufacturer or the seller of the product on a product liability theory of liability. In this case, you can win without proving that the defendant did anything wrong — you have to prove the existence of a defect in the product.
If the explosion was caused by the provision of faulty services (such as careless repairs), you might be able to recover damages based on negligence liability from the person who performed the repair or, if this person is an employee, from his employer.
To win, you will have to show that the defendant rendered services in a careless, unprofessional manner and that this carelessness was the cause of your injury and your damages.
If the explosion happened at your workplace and you are an employee, you might be able to recover workman’s compensation damages from your employer’s insurer. Since the amount of these damages is limited by law, they may not be enough to compensate you fully, and you may be forced to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Recovering Damages In A Gas Explosion Case
If you were hurt in a natural gas explosion, you can recover compensation for your medical bills for injuries such as burns, broken bones, or other injuries. If your spouse or an eligible relative was killed in an explosion, you might be able to recover “wrongful death” damages in your name.
Damages awards cover not only tangible expenses such as medical bills and lost wages but also psychological damages such as pain and suffering. In fact, these psychological damages (known as “general damages”) often amount to far more than damages for tangible losses.
If you smell gas, be sure not to light a cigarette, use your phone, turn on a light, or use an electrical appliance. Leave the building immediately (after alerting others who may be at risk) and call the gas company or your local police/fire department.
Call Zinda Law Group Today To Learn More About Your Legal Options
If you have been hurt in an appliance explosion or if your spouse was killed in such an accident, expert legal representation might make the difference between winning and losing a lawsuit or between obtaining full compensation and obtaining a woefully inadequate sum.
Zinda Law Group is a respected personal injury law firm that offers expert services. Our satisfied clientele is one of the reasons the Better Business Bureau® has approved us.
Our professional and focused attorneys will fight for your rights and search every avenue to see that you receive fair compensation for your losses. Call us immediately at (800) 863-5312 for a free initial consultation so that we can discuss your case.
Where Zinda Law Group Practices:
Zinda Law Group has helped clients with gas explosion cases nationwide, including in Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. We have 25 offices across Texas and the southwest.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.