explosion injuries

Determining Liability for Workplace Explosion Accidents

Industrial accidents can be catastrophic for everyone involved, often leaving multiple workers dead or injured. These accidents also tend to get substantial media attention, often leading to a public outcry for accountability. Unfortunately, while this may push companies to correct the errors that led to the explosion, it doesn’t always help injured workers get the compensation they deserve.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a workplace explosion, you may be entitled to compensation. Set up a consultation with Hedge Copeland by calling us at (251) 432-8844.

Damages in an Explosion Accident

If you’re seeking compensation after a workplace explosion accident, be aware that damages in these types of accidents tend to be very high. Depending on the injuries you’ve sustained, you could be spending months or even years away from work. Family members of workers who die in an explosion may be entitled to compensation for their loved one’s death. However, before you can figure out which types of damages you can recover, you have to figure out who is liable.

Parties That May Be Liable

A wide range of parties may hold partial or full liability after a workplace explosion accident. Possible liable parties include:

  • Plant manager or employer: Per OSHA, employers are required to take reasonable steps to make sure employees have access to a safe work environment. The onus is on plant managers to keep their work environment safe, particularly due to the high level of risk in industrial work settings. They are required to provide proper training, give access to machines that are maintained properly, give employees proper safety equipment, and limit access to toxic chemicals. If they cut corners, they could be liable for subsequent explosions.
  • Equipment manufacturers: If a piece of machinery explodes, liability could lie with the designer, manufacturer, or marketer of the machine. A lot depends on where the error in creation occurred.
  • Property owner: If the owner of the property is a separate party from the employer, they may be liable for an explosion if they did not take proper steps to ensure that their property was safe for workers.
  • Company that manages operations: In many large industrial projects, there are companies hired to manage the daily operations of a job. If this company fails to exercise due caution or protect workers from injury, they could be held liable for subsequent injuries.
  • Third party contractor: Industrial and commercial work settings often have a substantial number of third-party contractors onsite. Consider, for example, a company that does the electrical work at a worksite. If their work is not up to standards and causes an explosion, the contractor could be responsible for the explosion.
  • Other related parties: Depending on the details of your claim, other parties may also have some liability. Consider a situation where the gas company marks the location of gas lines to ensure that workers do not hit them. If the gas company’s employee mismarked the lines and employees later hit gas lines and caused an explosion, the gas company could have some liability.

Seeking Compensation After an Explosion Accident

If your explosion was caused by your employer or a coworker, you can probably only get compensation through the workers’ compensation program. This allows injured employees to get some reimbursement after an accident while protecting companies from personal injury lawsuits. This is typically limited to a portion of your average weekly wages and all medical bills for treatment related to your injuries.

If another party was responsible for the accident, you may be able to seek both workers’ compensation and a third-party claim. This may be an option if a third-party contractor, equipment manufacturer, or outside company is liable for the explosion. This would allow you to pursue much greater damages, including full wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and property damage.

Turn to Hedge Copeland to Talk About Your Options

The complexities of a workplace injury can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re healing from serious wounds. The team at Hedge Copeland can help you understand your options and pursue the compensation you are entitled to. Take the first step now by calling us at (251) 432-8844 or contacting our team online to set up a consultation.