Some of the most severe injuries occur during an explosion, and death is a real possibility when people are in close proximity to the accident. Although some industries, like the oil and gas and petrochemical industries, and some facilities, like fertilizer plants, are susceptible to major accidents, they can occur anywhere, even in the home. And when they do happen, they are almost always due to negligence at some level, as they represent a total failure in safety measures. This is true no matter what causes the accident, so victims and families are encouraged to explore their legal options if they lose a loved one due to the recklessness of employers, product manufacturers or other responsible parties.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN EXPLOSION ACCIDENTS AND WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS?
It’s rare that material just detonates without negligence playing a role in the accident. Employers and product manufacturers are held to a high standard in ensuring such accidents do not occur. Motorists are required to follow safe driving regulations at all times to prevent deadly vehicle crashes and subsequent detonations from taking place. Haulers of hazardous materials and chemical suppliers must follow an exhaustive set of safety protocols to protect others. When a major accident does occur, an investigation must follow, and these investigations typically uncover the primary factors behind the accident, which may include the following:
- Poor product design or manufacturing – Vehicles and electronics are both capable of causing an explosion and wrongful death if they are not designed and built to standard. For example, the rise of “vaping” technology, an electronic alternative to cigarettes, has demanded scrutiny after lax production methods have resulted in more than two dozen accidents since 2009. While no one has been killed by a defective electronic cigarette, victims have been found unconscious with severe external and internal burns after their device detonated in their face. In the home, water heaters, climate control units, gas ovens and gas heaters are also capable of dangerous detonation.
- Poor workplace safety procedures – Nearly every time an industrial facility experiences a severe accident, negligent safety measures are involved to some extent. This may include improper storage of hazardous materials, infrequent equipment inspections, poor safety training, or any number of other safety violations. When an accident occurs on a work site, the employer may be liable if their negligence was particularly egregious, but in some cases, third parties, such as contractors, may bear the brunt of the liability.
- Not observing traffic laws and conditions – Vehicle crashes, and particularly those that involve a commercial truck, can result in ignition and detonation of fuel or other flammable materials. Drivers are entrusted with a duty of care when behind the wheel and any form of negligent driving, such as speeding or sudden lane changes, can result in an explosion and wrongful death.
Losing a loved one is something that a family may never fully recover from, especially when an explosion causes the wrongful death of a beloved parent, child or spouse. Holding the negligent party responsible, though, can bring a measure of closure, and ensure the family is able to begin the healing process.