A gas explosion can be a horrific event for victims. Explosions are caused by powerful chemical reactions that occur when a flammable or volatile substance comes into contact with an ignition agent. Oil and natural gas explosions are among the most common and also the most devastating types of explosions in the United States. These explosions have the potential to kill or injure hundreds of innocent victims in a very short time period. To make matters worse, there is often very little warning to victims that an explosion is about to occur.
Many natural gas explosions occur in the workplace. Factory and oil rig workers are on the front lines producing valuable materials and harvesting resources that Americans use in their daily lives. These workers are already involved in dangerous occupations, and the threat of an explosion simply increases the dangers that they naturally face. The sad reality is that many gas explosions could have been prevented and were caused by the mistakes or negligence of some third party.
Gas explosion victims may be entitled to compensation when they have been affected by a blast. Obtaining compensation, however, can sometimes be a difficult process. Due to the scientific and often technical nature of explosions, having an expert witness to help advocate for your case can make a major difference. At Burg Simpson, our national natural gas explosion attorneys regularly utilize experts to help our clients receive the compensation that they deserve.
Holding Companies Liable for Gas Explosions
Liability for natural gas explosions often falls back on natural gas companies. These companies maintain plants and industrial factories that use flammable gas as part of their daily operations. When a gas explosion occurs, the first step is determining why it occurred. There are several possible causes of gas explosions, including:
- Leaking pipes
- Defective or worn-out equipment
- Improper handling of flammable substances
- Improperly constructed or hooked-up gas lines
These and other potential causes will be examined in order to potentially determine how the explosion occurred. In many instances, the cause can be traced back to fault or negligence on behalf of one or more individuals. The company that maintained the building or gas lines can be held liable under various legal theories in the case of an explosion.
The Use of Expert Witnesses
In legal terms, an expert witness is a person who has specialized knowledge or training on a particular subject. In litigation, expert witnesses are frequently utilized by one or both sides in a contested case. An expert witness, by their knowledge or experience, is able to give a specialized opinion in court.
Expert witness opinions are normally based on facts or data from the case. An expert will look at all of the circumstances and then give their opinion on a particular matter. In most explosion cases, experts are called on to determine the most likely cause of the explosion. This issue is most often in dispute and usually requires some level of scientific or technical knowledge. Looking at the circumstances of the case, a gas explosion expert will be able to form an opinion that may help to clarify exactly how the blast occurred.
Using Experts in Litigation
The use of an expert witness in gas explosion litigation can be helpful in several ways. An expert may be asked to do any of the following tasks:
- Help your attorney investigate the explosion
- Speak with witnesses
- Prepare written reports of their findings
- Attend and assist with preparing for mediation
- Give testimony at a deposition
- Testify in court
Gas explosion cases involve serious injuries and scientifically complicated evidence. Even an experienced attorney can benefit from the guidance of an expert in helping to prepare the most compelling case.
Challenging the Other Side’s Expert
Oil and natural gas companies utilize their own experts when a major case goes to litigation. These companies normally do everything they can to avoid paying settlements. This includes the use of expert witnesses to deny negligence or responsibility for the explosion. Usually, the experts used by defendants in explosion cases are highly-credentialed and respected professionals. Overcoming their opinions presents a challenge for nearly any explosion accident lawyer.
Having your own expert is crucial to challenging the other side’s expert. Your expert will review any findings of the other expert and will point out areas where their report may be missing information or is otherwise inaccurate. Your attorney can then utilize this information to help discredit the other expert opinion and strengthen your case in the process.
If the other side has an expert and you do not, you are working at a major disadvantage. Being able to challenge the opinions and conclusions of the other side’s witness is one of the most important keys to winning a gas explosion case. Here at Burg Simpson, we always ensure that our clients are in the best possible position to prevail when they have been injured in a blast.
Hire a Skilled National Explosion Accident Lawyer
Being injured in a gas explosion can cause major trauma. Victims will experience the physical pain of their injuries, but also the mental and emotional scars of such a devastating event. Serious injuries can lead to long-term and costly medical care. Most victims of explosion accidents were innocent bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, this does not mean that you will automatically be compensated for your injuries. Unfortunately, natural gas companies are not always motivated to act in a proper or ethical manner.
Here at Burg Simpson, we will make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation that you deserve. We work with a team of respected experts to help our clients reach their goals. Our firm has successfully recovered more than $2 billion for injured accident victims. We offer free consultations for all potential clients, and there is no fee unless we win your case. To speak with one of our nationwide gas explosion attorneys, please contact us using our online intake form or give us a call at (866) 695-1236.