An explosion can have a major impact on the lives of victims. When we think of an explosive blast, we normally think of the immediate aftermath, including the serious injuries and massive amounts of property damage that are inflicted. However, explosions can also cause long-term consequences. In many cases, these consequences are more serious and life-altering than the initial impact of the explosion.
If you or a family member have suffered injuries due to an explosion, you should know your legal rights. You should seek a settlement that protects not only your current situation but also covers any damages that you may expect in the future. When explosion victims settle their cases too soon, they often fail to take into account the future costs of their injuries. As a result, they end up with a poor outcome that leaves them financially responsible for someone else’s negligence.
The Cause of Explosions
Explosions typically happen with very little warning, at least for victims. An explosion is often the culmination of a series of errors made by one or more people who could have prevented the occurrence of the blast.
In scientific terms, an explosion is a chemical process caused when a combustible material, such as gasoline, comes into contact with an ignition agent. The reaction of the two materials leads to a massive release of energy, causing the explosion to occur. Explosions take place in many different areas, including:
- Factories and manufacturing plants
- Oil rigs
- Underground mines
- Construction sites
- Personal residences
The Impacts of an Explosion
The major impacts of an explosion, in terms of injuries and property damage, are often quite apparent from the beginning. In 2019, an explosion at a chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas, resulted in two injuries to employees and more than one billion dollars in damages. The company involved in the blast, TPC Group, LLC, ended up declaring bankruptcy in order to clear its debt.
Other explosions throughout American history have led to the significant loss of human life. In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon explosion killed 11 people when an oil rig exploded off of the coast of Louisiana. Subsequent investigations revealed several structural problems with the rig itself.
Long-Term Effects of Explosions
Some of the most common explosion injuries include broken bones, head trauma, neck and spinal cord injuries, scarring, disfigurement, and death. Injuries from a blast normally require immediate medical treatment. However, they also normally require long-term and ongoing care.
Explosion victims commonly sustain internal injuries either from the force of the blast itself or from inhaling toxic or dangerous chemicals at the site of the explosion. These circumstances can lead to the development of chronic conditions, mainly affecting the lungs and respiratory system.
The World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001, remains the deadliest explosion in United States history. Survivors of the terror attack, notably first responders, were surrounded by millions of tons of hazardous dust, gases, chemicals, and other materials. The exposure to a substantial amount of harmful material has led to the development of chronic health conditions among survivors, including what has become known as World Trade Center cough. Victims have also experienced an increased rate of certain types of cancers, bronchitis, breathing troubles, and other diseases.
Property Damage from Explosions
In addition to personal injuries, explosions normally lead to major property damage. Entire structures can be taken out in a matter of seconds by a powerful explosion, damaging businesses, and even nearby residential structures. When this occurs, individuals and businesses are forced to rebuild, sometimes from the ground up.
Rebuilding a structure following an explosion requires a substantial undertaking. In some instances, the cost to rebuild is too great, and the explosion causes the permanent loss of a home or business.
Long-Term Effects on Communities
Explosions sometimes happen in cities and residential areas. When an explosion occurs, it results in the release of toxic and harmful substances into the air and the soil surrounding the explosion site. This may result in residents being forced to evacuate their homes. To make matters worse, the contamination of the soil can also lead to a disruption of the clean water supply. Residents can be displaced as they are forced to move from their homes for an extended period of time while tests are conducted to determine if the area is safe for habitation.
Future Damages As Part of Settlement
Victims of an explosion often overlook the sometimes permanent effect of an explosion on their lives. In the moment, they are concerned about surviving and getting through the very negative effects of the blast. This is certainly understandable from the victim’s perspective. An explosion can have many serious immediate consequences, including the inability to work and earn a living.
When they are negotiating a settlement, victims may take only a short-term view of their situation. Being compensated for current medical bills seems like the most important thing. However, it is important to remember that many explosions will have long-range financial and health impacts. As a result, the value of any such future medical care and the long-term financial impact must be considered.
At Burg Simpson, we do not lose sight of the future in the present moment. Our United States explosion attorneys will always consider how a potential settlement might impact your future.
Contact a National Explosion Accident Attorney
Reaching out to a national explosion accident lawyer is the best move you can make following a blast. You are likely to have many questions about your legal rights. Your attorney is here to give you proper advice and help you move forward along the ultimate path to recovery.
Our firm provides free consultations and case evaluations for all potential and prospective clients. Each day, we devote our resources to assisting victims of serious injury accidents, including chemical, gas, and oil explosions. We are standing by to take your call at any time. To schedule your appointment with one of our nationwide explosion accident attorneys, please reach out to us using our online intake form or give us a call at (866) 695-2095.