Explosion Injury Attorneys Serving Las Vegas and All of Nevada
Few injuries are as devastating as those suffered in an explosion, and the Las Vegas explosion injury lawyers at Burg Simpson are here to help victims and their families seek justice. Explosions are instantaneous and often inflict life-altering injuries, including brain injury, burn injury, and spinal cord injuries, to multiple people at once. These destructive and violent incidents can also cause extensive property damage and, tragically, often result in a loss of life.
When you are injured or a loved one is killed in an explosion, you have every right to hold the negligent party accountable and seek compensation for all of your damages. Discussing your case with a qualified attorney is the best way to learn how to move forward.
The Las Vegas explosion injury lawyers at Burg Simpson have extensive experience and a successful track record of litigating fire and explosion lawsuits. If you need help, call us at 702-668-2070 to schedule your FREE case evaluation today.
Leading Causes of Explosion Injuries
Explosion injuries can result from a variety of causes, ranging from improperly installed gas lines and defective equipment to old, deteriorating pipelines, and even simple human error. No matter if it’s a residential gas leak, an industrial mishap, or a construction site disaster, our Las Vegas explosion injury attorneys have the expertise to help victims navigate the legal process and seek the compensation they deserve.
Primary causes of explosions include:
Auto Accidents and Vehicle Defects
Automobiles, particularly those running on combustible fuels, pose an explosion risk in the event of a serious collision or mechanical failure. A high-speed crash can rupture a car’s fuel tank and ignite the gasoline, causing a powerful explosion. Mechanical faults, such as a defective fuel line or improperly installed battery, can also lead to vehicle explosions.
Industrial sites and laboratories where volatile chemicals are used and stored are at risk for chemical explosions. Improper storage conditions, mishandling of chemicals, or failure to follow safety protocols can create an unstable environment. An example of this might be a chemical plant where reactive chemicals were improperly stored together, leading to a violent reaction and subsequent explosion.
Fireworks and Pyrotechnics
Fireworks and pyrotechnics, while captivating, are a common source of explosion injuries. Whether during a large-scale event or an individual lighting fireworks at home, a single malfunction can lead to devastating injuries. For instance, fireworks at a community event that explode prematurely or too close to the ground can harm firefighters and others in its immediate vicinity.
Improperly Stored Fuel Tanks
Fuel tanks, whether they contain gasoline, propane, or other flammable substances, should always be situated a safe distance away from combustible materials. When they are not, an accidental spark or heat source can ignite the flammable materials, leading to an explosion. For example, storing a gasoline tank near a pile of wood chips can create a dangerous situation.
Leaking Hoses or Fuel Tanks
Leaking hoses and tanks present a serious explosion risk when they are carrying flammable gasses or liquids. Even the smallest spark or ignition source can cause the leaking material to explode. Imagine a propane tank with a slow leak in a closed garage; a single spark from a tool or electrical outlet can set off a disastrous explosion.
Leaking Gas Appliances
Home appliances that use gas, like stoves or water heaters, can leak without homeowners even realizing it. If the leak is not detected and corrected, it can lead to a build-up of flammable gas and cause a catastrophic explosion when ignited. An unfortunate example of this is when a family’s gas stove leak leads to a house explosion when someone turns on a light switch.
Improperly Installed Gas or Propane Lines
Improper installation of gas or propane lines can result in gas leaks, which are highly dangerous and can lead to an explosion. It may occur when a novice DIY homeowner tries to install a new gas line without proper knowledge or when a professional neglects to adhere to safety regulations during installation.
Old Gas Pipelines
Over time, pipes and gas lines can become corroded or weakened, which can result in gas leaks. If the aging infrastructure is not regularly inspected and maintained, the risk of an explosion increases significantly.
Gas Flow Equipment Defects
Any defect or malfunction in the equipment that controls gas flow can lead to an unintended release of gas, leading to a potential explosion. For instance, a faulty control valve might not close properly, allowing gas to leak into an enclosed space.
Ruptured Gas Line
One of the common causes of gas explosions is accidentally hitting a gas line while digging for construction, cable or fiber installation, or even while gardening. If not located and marked correctly, these lines can easily be punctured, leading to a dangerous gas leak and potential explosion.
Industrial Equipment Failure
In heavy industries, machinery operating under high pressure or utilizing flammable substances poses the risk of explosion, particularly if there’s a malfunction or lack of proper maintenance. For instance, a boiler can explode if its pressure relief systems fail, resulting in a dangerous build-up of pressure.
Improperly Connected Equipment
Often after maintenance or repair, equipment needs to be reconnected. When this is done incorrectly, gas leaks are possible. This can occur in industrial settings where workers, possibly under time pressure, hastily reconnect equipment, inadvertently creating a hazard.
Leaving Equipment On
Sometimes, equipment that uses flammable materials is accidentally left on, leading to a build-up of gasses and subsequent explosion. This is particularly common in industrial settings where machines operate continuously, such as a gas-powered generator left running in a poorly ventilated space.
Where Do Most Explosion Injuries Occur?
Although explosions can happen at any location at nearly any time, there are various industries and areas that seem to be more prone to these disasters. Some of the most common locations include:
- Chemical Plants: The majority of explosions at chemical plants occur due to incorrect storage practices, inadequate maintenance, improper handling of flammable objects, non-compliance with federal and state laws, defective equipment, and inadequate training.
- Refinery Plants: Many plant and refinery explosions occur due to unseen corrosion, improper maintenance, improperly cared for boilers, well blowouts, unsafe practices and procedures, and inadequate training. These incidents are truly devastating and often result in burns, fires, and massive property damage.
- Fertilizer Plants: The majority of synthetic fertilizers are made of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which lead to violent explosions when combined with other substances. In some cases, inadequate training and improper storage methods can lead to these incidents.
- Land Rigs: Although not as common as plant explosions, land rig explosions continue to happen throughout the U.S. In most instances, land rig explosions occur because of gas truck accidents and pipeline transport errors. Failing to maintain the equipment and property adequately can also lead to life-changing explosions.
- Oil Rigs: Working with oil rigs presents unique challenges that most people fail to recognize. There are extensive risks associated with using heavy machinery while working with volatile substances. When oil rig explosions occur, many companies try to shift the blame to the victim. It’s important to seek legal guidance from a skilled attorney as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are protected.
- Pipelines: Gas and oil pipeline explosions can result in mass casualties and billions of dollars in property damage. These incidents are truly catastrophic and can take days to clear up. Regrettably, when pipelines explode, it can lead to toxic exposure, burn injuries, severe blunt force trauma, and even death.
The Most Common Explosion Injuries
According to the CDC, penetrating injuries and blunt trauma are the most common injuries experienced by survivors of explosions, producing “unique patterns of injury seldom seen outside combat.” In addition, injuries that can be sustained in an explosion include:
- Blast Lung. A severe pulmonary condition involving contusions, bleeding, and swelling.
- Burns. Flash burns are common in explosions and can vary in severity.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The force of an explosion can cause concussions or more severe brain injuries, leading to a range of symptoms from headaches and dizziness to cognitive and behavioral changes.
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). SCI can occur from the force of the blast or debris impact, potentially leading to paralysis and other life-altering conditions.
- Amputation. The force of the blast can lead to the loss of limbs.
- Eye Injuries. These can range from minor abrasions to serious damage leading to vision loss.
- Fractures. The impact from the blast or flying debris can cause bone fractures.
- Crushing Injury. Victims can be crushed under falling debris or structures.
- Respiratory Injuries. Inhalation of toxic fumes or dust can cause serious lung damage.
When you sustain an injury in an explosion, you may be faced with excessive medical expenses, be unable to work and support yourself, and have to deal with untold amounts of personal suffering. Each of these things must be considered when seeking compensation.
Determining Liability in an Explosion Injury Claim
Identifying who is liable in an explosion accident can be an extremely complex process. Explosions often involve various parties and contributing factors, each of which will need to be examined to establish proper liability.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, one or more of the following parties may be held liable for explosion injuries in Nevada:
- Property Owners
- Product Manufacturers
- Utility Companies
- Government Entities
Each explosion injury case is unique. Determining liability requires a thorough investigation into all possible causes of the accident. At the Las Vegas office of Burg Simpson, we have the resources and experience needed to help ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Can an Explosion Injury Lawyer Help Me?
An explosion injury lawyer will help by investigating your claim, building your case, and negotiating for the best possible outcome. During this process, they will also work to protect you from the tactics of coercion and intimidation that are sometimes employed by insurance companies and defense attorneys in an attempt to get victims of serious injury to waive their rights.
At Burg Simpson, our investigative process is exhaustive. Our team gathers evidence, interviews witnesses, consults with experts, and pours over reports to establish the facts of the accident and build the strongest possible case. Once the facts of your claim have been established, our explosion injury lawyers will help determine its worth. This will include an assessment of the full extent of your injuries and associated costs—both immediate and long-term—such as medical expenses, loss of earnings, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
After your claim has been valued, we may choose to negotiate with Insurance companies in an attempt to settle before trial. Most personal injury claims can be resolved during these talks. But insurance companies are not always reasonable.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to court. In these cases, we will argue your case in front of a jury in an attempt to secure maximum compensation.
While most explosion injury claims settle before trial, Las Vegas personal injury attorney Jack F. DeGree is a skilled and effective litigator who prepares every case for the eventuality of trial. No matter the direction required by your claim, Burg Simpson is here to provide expert legal guidance and experienced representation at every turn.
How Much Is My Las Vegas Explosion Injury Worth?
The value of an explosion injury claim can vary depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the case. The Las Vegas explosion injury lawyers at our firm will carefully review your claim to determine how much it may be worth.
Damages that might be sought in an explosion injury claim include:
- Medical expenses such as emergency treatment, hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, prescription medications, and future medical care. Specialized home care and assistive technologies, such as walkers, may also be included in these damages.
- Lost wages from missed work, reduced earning abilities, and loss of future earning capacity if your injury results in long-term disability. Lost retirement benefits, savings, and other financial issues may be included in these damages.
In addition to these damages, general damages that seek compensation for physical pain and emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are typically sought through personal injury claims.
It’s important to note that once you accept an insurance settlement, you typically waive your right to pursue additional compensation through a lawsuit. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with an attorney before agreeing to an insurance settlement. Our experienced explosion injury lawyers can evaluate offers you have received to assess what they do and do not cover and help you decide if a lawsuit might be more appropriate.
How Long Do I Have to File an Explosion Injury Claim in Nevada?
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for explosion injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident (see Nevada Revised Statute § 41A.097). This means that you have two years from the date of the explosion to file a lawsuit under most circumstances.
Exceptions to this rule include:
- Minors. If the victim of an explosion injury is a minor (under 18), the statute of limitations does not begin until they turn 18. They then have two years from that date to file a lawsuit.
- Workers’ Compensation Claims. If you suffered an explosion injury at work and wish to file a workers’ compensation claim, you must notify your employer of the injury within seven days and have only 90 days to file a claim.
- Discovery Rule. In some cases, TBI, SCI, and other injuries may not be immediately apparent. Nevada law allows for the ‘discovery rule,’ which means the statute of limitations doesn’t start until the date you discovered (or should have discovered) the injury.
While there are exceptions to the statute of limitations for explosion injuries in Nevada, the complexities of these cases make it important to consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. The team at Burg Simpson can help you understand your rights and ensure you don’t miss any critical deadlines.
Talk to a Las Vegas Explosion Accident Lawyer Today—for FREE
If you have been injured or a loved one has died in an explosion accident, Burg Simpson is here to help. Our passionate and experienced explosion injury attorneys have the resources and drive to take these cases as far as needed in our pursuit of fair and full compensation. An award-winning law firm with a proven history of securing significant compensation for our clients, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you FREE of cost and obligation to help you determine how best to pursue the justice you deserve.
Good Lawyers. Changing Lives.®
To schedule your complimentary case review with an experienced Las Vegas explosion injury lawyer, please contact Burg Simpson online or by calling 702-668-2070. We welcome clients from Las Vegas, Henderson, Spring Valley, and throughout the state of Nevada.