Gas Explosion Lawyers in Dallas

CALL  (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A DALLAS GAS EXPLOSION LAWYER FOR FREE

Texas is no stranger to gas explosions.  Because Texas produces a large portion of the United States gas supply, it is not surprising that there have been several major gas explosions in the past few years.  For instance, in 2018, there was a severe explosion at a natural gas pipeline outside the city of Midland.  Seven people were hospitalized with injuries, and unfortunately, one person died from his injuries.  More recently, in November 2020, a gas explosion near a school in Highland Park injured two people.  Though gas production and distribution companies are supposed to follow strict guidelines to prevent such explosions from happening, errors are inevitable.  

If you or your loved one has suffered an injury from a gas explosion, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our gas explosion lawyers.

Oil and Gas Pipeline Explosion Statistics

A study done by the non-profit organization FracTracker offers a worrying insight into the state of pipelines in the United States.  Analyzing millions of miles of pipelines from 2010 to 2018, they discovered that pipelines have resulted in hundreds of explosions, injuries, and death.

Furthermore, FracTracker discovered that a pipeline catches fire every few days and explodes around every ten days.  They found that liquid pipelines caused the majority of incidents while natural gas pipelines accounted for most of the injuries and deaths.

Read More: FracTracker Texas Statistics

Types of Pipelines Where Gas Explosions Can Occur 

Oil Pipelines

Oil pipelines allow the transportation of crude and other refined oils between oilfields and refineries. Generally made from steel, these pipelines can be a few inches to several feet in diameter. Most oil pipelines are installed underground, but some, like the Trans-Alaskan pipeline, are installed at the surface.

Natural Gas Pipelines

You may be familiar with natural gas pipelines, as many residents utilize natural gas pipelines for their daily home use.  Natural gas pipelines are often made from carbon steel.  Along with oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines are the most common pipelines used throughout the United States.

What Contributes to Gas Explosion?

Oder Fade

Natural gas is odorless.  However, utility companies often add odorants to natural gas so that consumers can quickly identify a gas leak. However, if a natural gas leak occurs from an underground line, the odorant can fade.  As a result, consumers may not be able to detect natural gas, thus increasing the likelihood of an explosion.  Rusty pipes can also contribute to odor fade.

Digging/Trenching

Construction or digging crews may not be aware that the site that they are in working on has gas pipes.  If they inadvertently strike a gas pipe, it can cause a major explosion.  Though the Texas Gas Service generally mark sites of underground gas pipelines, they sometimes make mistakes.

Old and Poorly Maintained Pipelines

To save costs, many utility companies fail to replace old and rusted pipelines.  Pipelines that are decades old need to be replaced.  Otherwise, they can contribute to gas explosions.

Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion (BLEVE)

A boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion, or BLEVE, occurs when liquid that is pressurized inside a vessel reaches a temperature higher than that liquid’s boiling point.  When the liquid temperature goes above the liquid’s boiling point, the vessel may be unable to hold the additional pressure caused by the higher temperature.  In such cases, the vessel may explode if the liquid inside is flammable.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

  • Company that supplied the gas
  • Party that installed the appliance
  • Seller of the appliance
  • Manufacturer of the appliance
  • Distributor of the appliance

Gas Explosion Injuries

WHAT TO DO AFTER A GAS EXPLOSION

1. Seek Medical Attention

After a gas explosion, you may be disoriented.  You may have inhaled dangerous fumes or received severe physical injuries.  Do not delay going to the hospital to seeking an appointment with a doctor to find out the full extent of your injuries.  A doctor’s report may also be needed if you decide to file a lawsuit.   

2. Document the Accident

After a gas explosion, the police will certainly show up to record the accident. However, the accident scene is safe and you are physically able, you should make your own documentation of the accident by taking photographs of the accident scene. Do not do your own investigative work if there are emergency personnel who tell you that it is unadvisable or if you feel that the scene of the accident is still dangerous. After all, there may still be a likelihood that further explosions can occur.  If that is the case, remove yourself from the scene of the accident as quickly as possible. If you are unable to document the scene of the accident yourself, you may wish to hire an investigator or an experienced lawyer who has dealt with gas explosions cases before.

Witness testimony is also very important to gas explosion cases. If there were witnesses to the accident, you should also get the names and contact information of the witnesses. If any of the witnesses took photographs or video recordings of the accident, ask them for copies.   

3. Keep Receipts and Invoices

You should document any costs that arise from the gas explosion.  For instance, you should document any medical bills from any injuries you received from the gas explosion.  If, as a result of the gas explosion, you cannot work, you should document paystubs to show how much lost wages you incurred.

4. Call an Experienced Lawyer

After a gas explosion, you may be too distraught to even know where to begin.  If the explosion occurred while you were on the job, you may have the option of filing a workers’ compensation claim for damages.  Under other circumstances, you may wish to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your injuries from the at-fault party.  An experienced Dallas gas explosion lawyer may be able to offer you advice on how to proceed with your case.

Read More: How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

How a Gas Explosion Lawyer MAY Assist You in Your Case

If you hire an experienced gas explosion lawyer, he or she may first start by finding the cause and origin of the explosion.  The lawyer will generally consult with experts, such as engineers and industrial gas consultants.  If the investigation shows that an entity or individual caused the explosion by breaching a standard of care, the lawyer may determine that there’s a viable negligence claim against the responsible entity or individual.

For instance, if an explosion was due to a leak inside the house, your lawyer may find through an investigation that the cause was improperly installed pipes.  He or she may then advise you that you may have a viable claim against the manufacturers and plumbing companies that installed the pipes.  When filing the negligence claim, the lawyer may argue that the explosion was due to the responsible individual or entity’s failure to comply with industry standards.  If the explosion was due to a leak outside the house, the lawyer may file a negligence claim against the gas utility company.  

Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case

May I File a Claim on Behalf of a Loved One Who Passed Away in a Pipeline Explosion?               

Yes, if you lost a loved one in a pipeline explosion, Texas allows you to file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party on behalf of your loved one under certain circumstances.  If you are successful in your wrongful death claim, you may receive compensation for economic and non-economic losses due to the death of your loved one.

Compensation for economic losses may include:

  • Monetary compensation to match the value of financial support that family members would have received if the deceased were still alive
  • The value of household services the deceased would have contributed to if he or she was still alive
  • The value of the medical expenses related to the deceased’s death
  • The funeral and burial expenses
  • The value of the deceased’s wages and benefits

Compensation for non-economic losses may include compensation for the loss of companionship or mental and emotional distress. 

Can I Sue My Company for a Workplace Gas Explosion?

You may be able to sue your company for a gas explosion if your employer did not sign up for workers’ compensation.  Because Texas does not require employers to have workers’ compensation, you may be able to sue your employer in many cases.  However, even if your employer does have workers’ compensation, you may be able to file a lawsuit against a third party responsible for the gas explosion, such as the gas company that supplied the gas to your employer.  

Read More: Dallas Workplace Injury Lawyers

Time Limit to File Personal Injury Lawsuit 

In Texas, any civil action for personal injury must be filed within two years from when the injury occurred.  In other words, if you suffer an injury from a gas explosion, you have two years from the date of the explosion to file a claim.  It is important to speak with an attorney to understand more about the legal time limits of your case because, in some cases, you may be able to file a claim even after the time limit has expired.

CONTACT A DALLAS GAS EXPLOSION LAWYER

The experienced Dallas attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your gas explosion claim.  After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis.  You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.      

Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our Dallas gas explosion lawyers.  We are also offering virtual consultations during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety of our clients.

Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.