Causes for Gas Explosions in the Home
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Residential gas explosions are more common than most people realize. A gas explosion in your home is a dangerous, potentially deadly event. It puts the lives of you and your family at risk not only because of the blast of the explosion, but also because of the fire that is likely to follow.
Natural Gas Leaks
According to the American Gas Association, more than 177 million Americans use natural gas in their homes. When gas leaks into a confined space, it creates a mixture of gas and air. As gas continues to escape, the ratio of gas to air increases, and so does the pressure.
When the gas-air ratio reaches a certain level, it can be ignited by a single spark–even a static electricity spark will do. The spark ignites the gas, setting off a conflagration. The gas expands as it heats, causing the pressure to reach intolerable levels. Any windows in the room then blow out, and the explosion causes great damage to people and property.
The ultimate cause of this type of accident may be defective pipes, gas regulators, or gas meters; alternatively, it may be that these items were not originally defective but became so due to insufficient or improper maintenance.
Propane tanks are most commonly used with barbecue pits. Propane itself is a heavy gas that can cause an explosion in much the same way as natural gas. In some cases, the propane tanks or associated equipment, such as tubes and valves, are faulty, allowing propane to leak into the air and eventually explode.
Although an explosion of this sort is less likely to occur outdoors than indoors, any inhibition of air flow in a confined area increases the risk of explosion. In other cases, the propane tank itself may explode.
Product liability law might allow you to file a product liability lawsuit against either the manufacturer or the seller of faulty equipment, such as a defective propane tank, if it caused the explosion. If the explosion resulted from negligent behavior, such as the careless installation of a gas regulator, you might file a lawsuit for your damages against the person who installed it. If this person was employed by a company, you are likely to be able to sue the company itself.
The gas explosion might have been the fault of more than one defendant–for example, natural gas may have been leaking because of a defective valve, and faulty electrical wiring might have caused the spark that ignited the explosion. If you win a judgment against two defendants, a court might allow you to collect the full amount of damages from any one of the defendants.
If you were partially at fault for the explosion–for example, you were responsible for faulty maintenance–some courts will reduce the amount of damages by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 20 percent at fault and your damages totaled $100,000, your recovery amount may be reduced by $20,000.
Our El Paso Gas Explosion Lawyers Can Help
If you or members of your family have been injured in a home gas explosion that was someone else’s fault, your losses could be immense. Because this type of case can get complex, you need experienced legal representation to claim the compensation that is due to you.
At Zinda Law Group, our attorneys are dedicated fighters, and we will leave no stone unturned to secure the best possible personal injury settlement or court judgment. We will help you seek maximum compensation for medical bills, property damage, loss of income, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and more. And as one of our clients, you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable verdict, judgment, or settlement.