Propane Explosions in Construction SitesLast updated on: April 9, 2015
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Construction sites are high risks for propane explosions, and when they occur they often result in serious injuries and death. If someone was at fault in the accident, civil liability will arise. Even a bystander injured by a propane explosion at a construction site can recover for his or her injuries, although a skilled attorney may be necessary.
Construction site safety standards are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) however, these regulations are not always adhered to, leading to serious injury and sometimes death. Keep reading to learn more about the many implications of propane explosions at construction sites.
Although there are almost as many causes of propane explosions as there are OSHA safety regulations, most propane explosions can be reduced to a few common causes. One of the main causes is unsafe handling, such as transporting propane in unapproved containers or failing to regularly maintain the tanks.
Another frequent cause is “odor fade” – since propane is odorless, OSHA requires an odorant to be added to it so that a leak can be easily discovered. If the odorant isn’t added, or if it fades over time, a leak that would otherwise have been harmless if caught early enough could ultimately go undetected until an explosion occurs.
The mere fact that an explosion occurred is not enough to prove that someone should bear liability for it. In fact, proving liability in a propane explosion can be quite difficult.
Ironically, the more devastating the explosion was, the more difficult it can be to prove liability. Much of the evidence will have been destroyed in the explosion, and witnesses might have died in the explosion as well.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that liability can’t be proven, only that it might take superior skills and a thorough investigation. The burden of proof lies with the person filing the claim, not the defendant.
To prove liability in a negligence case you must prove:
- Breach of duty
The duty and breach provisions will be satisfied if you can show that the defendant, such as the site owner, violated an OSHA safety regulation. The hard part might be proving that this violation actually caused the explosion. Finally, you must prove the amount of damages that you suffered because of the explosion.
If the explosion was caused by a defective product, you can sue anyone in the chain of distribution of the product from manufacturer to retailer. As long as you can prove that a defect rendered the product unreasonably dangerous, you don’t even have to prove that the defendant was at fault.
Sources of Compensation
If the explosion occurred while you were on the job as an employee (not a contractor), you may be eligible for workman’s compensation benefits, which is an insurance policy held by your employer. The problem with these benefits is that they are strictly limited, and they may not be enough.
If you win a civil lawsuit, by contrast, you will be entitled to damages from the defendant (in many cases including the employer of a defendant) to cover your direct expenses such as medical treatment and lost wages, as well as psychological damages such as pain and suffering.
Contact Zinda Law Group Today!
If you or your loved one has been hurt on a construction site explosion, even as a bystander, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Because of this, you will need expert legal representation to help you negotiate a settlement or even file a lawsuit if necessary.
Zinda Law Group is an outstanding personal injury law firm that has been approved by the Better Business Bureau® and has won the respect of its many satisfied clients. Our attorneys are dedicated to justice. They will fight for your rights at the negotiating table and in court if necessary. Call us today at 800-863-5312 for your free initial consultation.
Where Zinda Law Group Practices:
Our car accident law firm was founded in Texas and has a team of Austin personal injury lawyers as well as attorneys in Dallas and Fort Worth.
As we’ve grown we expanded out west to El Paso, Texas subsequently into Arizona adding Tucson Personal Injury Lawyers to the firm, as well as adding offices in Colorado including Denver Personal Injury Lawyers and the surrounding cities such as Colorado Springs.
Types of Cases We Handle:
We also have a team of attorneys that have experience serious injury cases such as car accidents, wrongful death and truck accidents. We also have experience handling more complex cases such as gas explosions and drug injury cases, such as the Taxotere® Lawsuits.