An explosion is the sudden and violent detonation or blow-up, usually caused by a large amount of energy released in a much smaller area. Explosions are typically either supersonic, i.e., created by high explosives, or subsonic, which are low explosives usually involving deflagration.
Explosions are most common in mining and industrial operations but can occur in other kinds of settings, including factories. In most cases, an explosion causes victims to suffer incredibly traumatic or possibly fatal injuries.
Did you suffer serious injuries or was your loved one hurt or killed in any kind of explosion in the greater Austin area? If so, legal representation can provide valuable assistance in pursuing an injury claim.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you get answers about what caused the blast and obtain justice given the mental and physical anguish you are going through. Our firm can explain all of your legal options for accessing financial compensation when you call (737) 249-6300 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.
Do I Need an Explosion Lawyer?
After any kind of explosion, the responsible party (or parties) is seldom likely to admit fault. Indeed, the negligent parties, which include employers, manufacturers, property owners, criminal actors, and other entities (including those protected by shell companies) will typically attempt to avoid liability. In so doing, they create significant delays in providing a victim with desperately needed compensation.
Worse yet, some insurance companies for negligent parties could even claim that the innocent victim is somehow at fault om the explosion. An experienced Austin explosions attorney won’t be sidetracked by these tactics, however, and will work tirelessly to protect your interests.
When you hire a lawyer, they will immediately conduct a thorough investigation into the explosion to figure out the cause and who is responsible. In this scenario, the attorney routinely consults with experts such as reconstruction specialists who can determine precisely what happened at the scene.
You also want to steer clear of negotiating your own settlement. Let a trained legal professional handle any contact with an insurer. Keep in that mind that an insurance company will aggressively try to get you to accept a much lower payout than to which you are actually entitled and usually before you have even had the chance to discuss your claim with a lawyer.
Hiring an attorney will ensure that you have somebody in your corner who knows what your case is actually worth and can negotiate a settlement that covers all of your past, present, and future money damages. This includes medical care, lost pay, and rehabilitation, all of which may be extensive for explosion victims.
Why Choose Gibson Hill Personal Injury To Handle My Case?
In any personal injury case we handle, Gibson Hill Personal Injury puts you and your needs first. Our firm is focused on doing whatever we can within the legal system to help restore normalcy to your life or getting you as close as possible to that.
Ty Gibson and Brett Michael Hill both received their Juris Doctor degrees from South Texas College of Law in Houston. Together, our attorneys have more than 10 years of combined legal experience.
Mr. Hill is also a member of the Austin Trial Lawyers Association. He received the Heart of Advocacy award from the South Texas College of Law.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury handles explosion cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you will only pay us if or when you have a obtained a financial award. There are no upfront legal fees.
Types of Explosion Cases We Handle
There are four basic blast injury mechanisms :
- Primary — Unique to high-order explosives (HE), these result from the impact of the over-pressurization wave with body surfaces. Gas-filled structures are most susceptible, and body parts affected could include lungs, gastrointestinal tract (GI tract), and middle ear. Injuries could include blast lung (pulmonary barotrauma), tympanic membrane (TM) rupture and middle ear damage, abdominal hemorrhage and perforation, eye rupture, abdominal hemorrhages, middle ear damage, and concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Secondary — This is the result of flying debris and bomb fragments. Any body part could be affected. Injuries may include penetrating ballistic (fragmentation) or blunt injuries, eye penetration, lacerations, or impalement.
- Tertiary — This injury results from individuals being thrown by the blast wind. Any body part can be affected. Injuries could include fractures, traumatic amputations, closed and open TBIs, sprains, bruises, and soft tissue injuries.
- Quaternary — This category includes all explosion-related injuries, illnesses, or diseases other than those due to primary, secondary, or tertiary mechanisms. Any body part could again be affected. Injuries may include burns (flash, partial, and full thickness), crush injuries, closed and open TBIs, asthma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hyperglycemia, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing problems from dust, smoke, or toxic fumes.
In general, there are three common kinds of explosions. Chemical explosions involve plants at which liquids or gases are being mixed or manufactured.
Electrical explosions can occur at plants or many other locations in which electrical current is operational. A propane explosion usually involves pipelines or tanks.
While explosions are certainly more common at plants and other industrial settings, it is also possible for explosions to happen within a person’s home or office. Explosions in residential settings are incredibly frightening and often leave many homeowners struggling to find answers to what occurred.
Any explosion could stem from multiple acts of negligence or wrongdoing, and this means that one or more parties could be liable for a victim’s explosion injuries. A skilled attorney is best positioned to conduct comprehensive fact-finding to determine all the responsible parties and holding them accountable.
You could be entitled to various damages for the injuries you have suffered in an explosion case. Many cases are ultimately resolved through out-of-court settlements; some cases will go to trial to deliver suitable compensation.
When a victim is able to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence in civil court, they are eligible for an array of compensatory damages, which typically is a combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages refer to those costs that a victim actually faces such as medical bills, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages, are more psychological or emotional in nature, such as loss of consortium, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Austin Explosions Statistics
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that there were 20 explosions resulting in fatalities or hospitalization in fiscal year 2015. A total of 22 workers were killed and 12 were hospitalized.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reported that there were 630 explosion incidents in 2015, the lowest total since 2010. Explosion Incidents include bombings, accidental explosions, and undetermined explosion incidents.
According to the ATF, explosions resulted in injuries to 58 victims, five suspects, and one law enforcement officer in 2015. Explosions caused injuries to 437 victims, 17 suspects, 18 law enforcement officers, and one fire service worker in 2014; 98 victims, 20 suspects, six law enforcement officers, and five fire service workers in 2013; 123 victims, 44 suspects, two law enforcement officers, and seven fire service workers in 2012; 75 victims, 18 suspects, 16 law enforcement officers, and 21 fire service workers in 2011; and 220 victims, 36 suspects, 13 law enforcement officers, and two fire service workers in 2010. As far as fatalities, ATF reported that explosions caused the deaths of eight victims in 2015; 38 victims and three suspects in 2014; 56 victims, 22 suspects, two law enforcement officers, and one fire service worker in 2013; 74 victims, 36 suspects, two law enforcement officers, and one fire service worker in 2012; 56 victims, 18 suspects, seven law enforcement officers, and six fire service workers in 2011; and 145 victims, 45 suspects, seven law enforcement officers, and one fire service worker in 2010.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) reported that there were 772 total serious pipeline incidents over the 20- year period between 1999 and 2018. These incidents resulted in 291 fatalities and 1,267 injuries.
By year, 1999 had the most serious incidents with 66 and 2017 had the least with 23. The year with the most fatalities was 2000 with 38 while 2001, 2017, and 2018 all had the lowest mark of seven fatalities. Injuries associated with serious incidents were highest in 1999 with 108 and lowest in 2017 with 32.
According to the PHMSA, there were 5,711 significant incidents during the same 20-year period. The year with the highest number of significant incidents was 2005 with 336 while the lowest total was the 233 recorded in 2001.
Contact an Austin Explosion Injury Attorney Today
If you sustained severe injuries or your loved one was harmed or killed in an explosion in Austin or in the Travis County area, legal counsel should be among one of your top priorities.
A lawyer is equipped to begin the all-important evidence-gathering and -preservation process into the explosion right away. This is going to an intricate task that requires a dedicated legal team going into action on or as close to day one as possible. Rest assured that Gibson Hill Personal Injury will forcefully fight at the negotiating table or in court to get you all of the compensation too which you are entitled.
Gibson Hill Personal Injury is committed to helping people harmed by the negligence of others, especially victims of devasting explosions. Call (737) 249-6300 or contact us online to make arrangements for a free consultation with our Auston explosion attorneys.