The presence of household gas in most residences is usually taken for granted. It is there, in tank form or coming in through a pipe, fueling heaters, boilers, dryers, ovens, and so on. But the potential for danger in having such explosive material in the home seldom occurs to anyone until an accident happens. An explosion injury can be devastating, not to mention the damage to property, but who is liable?
Residential gas explosions happen for a variety of reasons. Recent natural gas explosions in several states were traced to leaks from aging and poorly maintained pipelines which had originally been lain half a century ago. Between 2005 and 2009, there have been 14 deaths and 51 injuries reported from 282 incidents of pipeline explosions. There have been some initiatives to improve the safety of these pipelines that feed into homes and residential buildings, but it is slow going.
Other residential gas leaks that have been reported involve poorly-maintained and improperly placed propane tanks. Gas companies who install and refill these tanks have the responsibility to ensure that they are properly housed and maintained. In one incident, the gas company overfilled the tanks, which were already in poor condition, and the gas leaked, causing an explosion.
For residential buildings where there is a landlord or a building administrator, gas lines should be regularly inspected and regulated by certified professionals. It is the responsibility of the building manager to ensure that this is done.
Liability for a residential gas explosion injury or death depends on the type of household gas used, type of residence, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. If you believe that the residential gas explosion that injured you occurred due to the negligence of the professionals who are supposed to ensure the safety of pipelines and tanks, then you should sue. Consult with an explosion injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with residential gas leak explosions and see if you are eligible to recover damages.
The deadliest injury in any accident is a head injury, mostly because the head itself is what stands between the world and the brain. Superficial head injuries bleed a lot, but they are not particularly dangerous. It is when the brain is involved that trouble starts. Most injuries that affect the brain due to accidents are called traumatic brain injuries.
The head is composed of a bony receptacle, namely the skull, and it is designed much like a helmet is. Some areas are thicker and some are more vulnerable. But while the bony protection is there to deflect the force of a blow to the head, violent movement can cause the brain to literally slide forcefully forward and back. This can lead to serious brain damage even while the skin and bones of the head remain intact, and there is no apparent injury. This is called a closed head injury, and it is the leading cause of death in very small children, the so-called “shaken baby” syndrome.
A skull fracture, on the other hand, is a more obvious head injury, and will certainly have some brain involvement. The severity of the injury is determined by the location, because some parts of the skull are thinner than others and breaks more easily. A skull fracture could be linear or a starburst, depending on how the force was applied. A starburst pattern normally indicates a blunt instrument or striking surface. A skull fracture could also be penetrating, meaning an object pushed through the bone and into the brain, such as in gunshot wounds, or depressed, meaning a part of the skull has caved in and is pressing into the brain.
Death is not necessarily the result for any of these types of head injury, but even when it appears to be superficial, such as a small laceration, care should be taken to ensure that the brain has not been involved. Some patients who seem perfectly all right collapse and die as they leave the hospital; others with penetrating head injury survive and even recover completely. If you have suffered a head injury as a result of the negligent actions of others, get medical attention immediately. As soon as possible afterwards consult with a personal injury lawyer to get compensation for your injuries.
Cranes are a familiar sight whenever there is construction going on, and few of us give it more than a passing glance. But because it is so big, the potential damage a crane collapse can cause can be extensive, affecting even those who may be sitting quiet at home reading a newspaper. A crane collapse can happen without warning, and it is a scary sight to watch. But what would cause a crane collapse?
According to the Department of Labor, there are 82 deaths due to crane-related accidents annually. In most cases where the crane tipped over, it was due to improper loading, operation, anchoring, assembly or disassembling of the crane. It is mostly the smaller, more mobile cranes that tip over, usually because the loads are beyond the capacity of the crane to lift. Tower cranes that do collapse do so because they were not assembled properly. In some cases, the accident happened when workers were “jumping” the crane, which means adding sections to extend the height. Another reason for a tower crane collapse could be faulty outriggers, which anchor the crane to the ground, such as what happened to the famous 1999 “Big Blue” accident in Milwaukee.
A crane collapse is not something that anyone plans to happen. Most crane mishaps are accidents; but the fact is, they could have been prevented. Human error is clearly indicated in many of these incidents, ranging from overloading to incompetent operation of the crane to improper assembly. Construction companies have a duty of care to their workers and the people who may be affected by their activities, so it is their responsibility to provide adequate training to people who operate and assemble these huge machines to prevent accidents from happening.
If you have suffered injuries from a crane collapse due to human error, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area specializing in construction accidents. Having a giant kid’s toy fall on you is no joke; you will likely require extensive medical treatment and long-term care. You will need all the compensation you can get.
Fertilizer seems innocuous enough to most, but when it comes to ammonium nitrate, it’s not a matter for the compost heap. This was amply demonstrated when the West Fertilizer Company exploded on April 17, flattening 5 blocks of homes surrounding the plant, injuring 200 people and killing 14. Ammonium nitrate is well known as a dangerous chemical; it was responsible for the most disastrous industrial accident in US history in 1947 when a ship carrying 2,300 tons of the chemical fertilizer was in route to Waco, Texas when it exploded. It killed 576 people, including 26 firemen.
The extent of the damage for the West, Texas explosion is quite extensive. Aside from residential buildings, the accident wiped out a nursing home and the local school, as well as creating a huge crater where the plant used to be. The costs have not yet been released.
It has been pointed out that while the cause of the explosion is still unknown two months after the fact, the factory has a history for not following safety laws and regulations. Storing dangerous chemicals such as ammonium nitrate in close proximity to people’s homes, schools and nursing homes is bad enough. West Fertilizer also failed to report to the Department of Homeland Security that they were storing 270 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical that can be used for terrorist attacks as mandated by law. Clearly, the company has very little consideration for the safety of their employees as well as the surrounding community and just as clearly culpable for the damages to property, personal injuries and wrongful deaths that resulted from this negligence.
But West Fertilizer, like many big corporations, has vast resources at its command, including legal representation. Those who have suffered explosion injuries, death and property damage may feel daunted about bringing the people responsible to book, but they have a right and responsibility to do so. If you or someone you know has been directly affected by this terrible accident, consult with an experienced explosion injury lawyer in Texas and get justice done.
Beat the traffic wherever you are and get to your destination the quicker and cooler way by riding your motorcycle. Motorcycles are simply more exciting to ride since these can be maneuvered easily and can pass even through narrow spaces. Due to their lightness, however, and with no protection that can shield riders against impacts, these render drivers more vulnerable to more serious injuries in the event of an accident.
Getting injured or losing someone in a motorcycle accident can be a traumatic experience for you and your family. Besides the physical pain due to the injury, there is also that great stress due to the sudden financial burden you are faced with, and with no means for assured earnings due to failure to report for work.
This is why observance of road traffic rules is very essential; some drivers, though, just have no concern for others’ safety, choosing to act negligently or recklessly once they get themselves behind the wheel. It is no secret that the percentage of fatality during accidents is much higher for motorcycle riders than other motor vehicle drivers; the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes this information available to everyone. The same agency also says that the major cause of fatality for riders is head-on collision with cars.
Other reasons why accidents happen, include carelessness while driving, collisions with fixed objects, cars making left-hand turns, speeding & alcohol use (either by the driver or the rider), road hazards or defective roads, poor vehicle stability and visibility during bad weather conditions, poor riding or driving skills and motor cycle lane splitting, which happens when a motorcycle passes between two stopped or slow-moving vehicles during traffic.
If you get involved in an accident while riding your motorcycle, one of the necessary things that you ought to do is get legal assistance. If the accident is the other driver’s fault, your lawyer will be able to help you get the justice you deserve and earn for you the compensation that you may need.