Explosives can be extremely dangerous. In a heartbeat, an explosion or blast can turn an individual’s world upside down — causing catastrophic personal injuries, death, and destruction of life, limb and property, not to mention loss of livelihood. If you have been injured or someone you love has been injured or killed in an explosion accident, you should seek the counsel of an experienced Chicago explosions attorney with the expertise and resources to pursue just compensation for your injuries and/or loss.
Common Types of Explosions
Explosions come in many forms, sizes and shapes. Some of the most common include:
- Chemical and industrial explosions often occurring at factories and power plants;
- Gas explosions at work sites, industrial and residential buildings;
- Explosions from storing, shipping, and transferring liquid propane;
- Residential and commercial construction explosions;
- Gas explosions often resulting from poorly-designed vehicle fuel tanks;
- Defective product explosions; such as from gas stoves, gas and oil burners, water heaters, clothes driers, lawn mowers, electrical equipment and numerous other appliances and consumer products;
- Fires resulting in explosions due to faulty wiring in buildings, motor vehicles and other electrical equipment;
- Improper storage of combustible materials;
- Building code violations; and
- Excavation blasting.
Explosion Deaths and Injuries
Explosions can produce injuries seldom seen outside of military combat. Their combustive power has the potential to inflict catastrophic injury to many people and property at the same time. Injury patterns depend on a host of factors; including the type and volume of the materials involved, the contiguous environment, the delivery method, the distance between the victim and the source of the blast, and any intervening barriers or environmental hazards.
Because injuries from explosions are less common than other types of injuries treated in hospitals, they can also present unique triage, diagnostic and medical management issues to emergency care providers.
Explosion injuries are usually classified as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary:
- Primary injuries resulting from blast shock waves can include deafness, ringing of the ears, damage to the lungs (called blast lung), internal injuries (such as organ rupture and bleeding), traumatic brain injury, severe pulmonary contusions, bleeding or swelling of blood vessels, and/or any combination thereof.
- Most casualties result from secondary injuries. Secondary injuries are often described as “penetrating trauma” with visible bleeding. These are injuries that may result from objects being propelled from the explosion (nails, glass, etc.) and embedding into the body, thereby causing internal bleeding but obstructing the loss of blood to the outside.
- Tertiary injuries result from the powerful displacement of air that throws victims against solid objects, causing blunt and penetrating trauma, bone fractures, etc. Due to their lesser size and weight, young children are especially at risk to these kinds of impacts and injuries.
- Quaternary is the catch-all term used for all remaining injuries resulting from explosions. Grouped here are such injuries as flash burns, crush and respiratory injuries. Traumatic amputations resulting in death, eye injuries, and psychiatric injuries from post-traumatic stress disorder all fall into this category as well.
Explosion Accident Injury Claims
Explosion accident claims can be quite complicated. Evidence of potential legal culpability comes from innumerable sources, including medical emergency responders, firefighters, police, and often a wide array of other municipal providers, and liability can embrace a host of companies and individuals.
At Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., we have been representing victims injured in explosions for over 20 years. We work with all parties involved to thoroughly investigate the incident to determine the root cause and what parties are at fault. From there, we build a strong case to ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable and our clients obtain full damages for their injuries. If you have been injured in an explosion accident, contact an experienced Chicago explosion accident lawyer at HM&M today for your free consultation.