Virginia Fire and Explosion Construction Accident Attorneys
Were you or a loved one injured in a fire or explosion accident on a construction site in Virginia? Was the accident the result of another person or entity’s carelessness? If so, you may be eligible to file a claim against the negligent parties and receive compensation for your injuries. Talk to the Virginia construction accident lawyers of CHASENBOSCOLO to find out.
Suffering an accident at a construction site can take a huge toll on your health, wallet, and general well-being. At CHASENBOSCOLO, we understand how terrifying a fire or explosion accident can be and how the repercussions of an accident can last a lifetime. We believe no one should have to go through it alone.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, we take pride in helping workers who’ve been injured fight for the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one was injured in a fire or explosion accident in Virginia, contact CHASENBOSCOLO today at (703) 538-1138 for a free consultation with one of our experienced fire and explosion accident attorneys. Just because you’ve chosen to work construction, which is a dangerous job, that doesn’t mean you chose to be injured.
Common Causes of Fire and Explosion Accidents
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthful work environment for their employees. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the regulatory agency in charge of making sure safe conditions are maintained in the workplace. They do so by enforcing regulatory standards and giving educational training and assistance.
When employers fail to conduct regular inspections to address dangerous conditions in the workplace or to train their employees properly, and a fire or explosion accident occurs, OSHA can fine the company for violations of protocol and suspend their activities until changes are made.
When a worker is injured in a fire or explosion accident, they may be eligible to file a personal injury claim and receive a monetary award beyond what they get from workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, even despite the strict standards enforced by OSHA, there is an average of 30 deaths each year from fire and explosion accidents at construction sites in the United States. And often, the workers who are injured or killed are not the ones who caused the explosions.
The most common causes of fires and explosions on construction sites include:
- Defective equipment. Defective tools, wiring, or heating equipment can lead to fires and explosions. Employers and contractors must perform regular inspections to make sure the equipment the workers are using is safe and functioning properly.
- When sparks and high heat are present on construction sites, they can potentially cause a fire or explosion. Welding and grinding equipment can create sparks that, if not properly controlled, can start a fire. Portable heating equipment that is sometimes used to dry paint can overheat, causing sparks and leading to a fire. Lights that put out too much heat can also be dangerous at construction sites.
- Electrical equipment. Fires can start when electrical wires short-circuit or circuit breakers or transformers malfunction. Old wiring that is damaged or tangled can also be troublesome. To avoid electrical fires, all electrical equipment should be regularly inspected and tested before it’s used.
- Tanks or drums of chemicals can explode if they are not protected properly and come in contact with a spark from a drilling or welding tool or any other heavy equipment that causes sparks.
- Pressurized containers. Water tanks and other pressurized containers can explode if they become over-pressurized or an object damages the container. All combustible containers, especially those carrying highly volatile materials such as gas, should be stored safely, far away from anything that could cause a spark.
- Poor safety standards and training. It’s up to employers to make sure safety standards are adhered to, especially when working with a flame, high heat, or anything electrical. Employees should be trained properly and be made aware of OSHA guidelines and standards that must be followed.
- Underground lines and pipes. It’s important that construction sites are accurately assessed for pre-existing pipelines and that workers know where underground gas lines and pipes are located. If not, they can accidentally strike a pipe with heavy work equipment and potentially cause an explosion.
- Carelessness. Often fires and explosions are caused by sheer carelessness, such as when people smoke near combustible materials at a construction site.
Burns are not the only injuries suffered in fires and explosions on construction sites. Here are some of the other common injuries that can occur when there is a fire or explosion on site:
- Broken bones. Explosions are powerful and can send victims flying into walls or hard surfaces, resulting in bruises and broken bones.
- Hearing loss. Workers who are too close to an explosion when it occurs can be left with hearing damage.
- Limb loss. Explosions can take off limbs, and fires can cause such severe damage that in some instances, doctors have to amputate limbs.
- Traumatic brain damage. Being thrown headfirst into a wall or the floor can cause brain damage. Traumatic brain damage can be difficult to treat or impossible to cure and can negatively affect all areas of your life.
- Disfigurement. Burns suffered from fires and explosions can permanently scar or disfigure the body.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also a common side-effect of being involved in a fire or explosion at a construction site. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can make everyday life stressful and difficult. Unfortunately, treating PTSD is expensive and positive results are not guaranteed. Sometimes, after a terrifying accident such as a fire or explosion, victims suffer from PTSD for many years afterward, or even for their entire lifetimes.
Who is Liable in a Fire and Explosion Accident?
Determining liability for a fire and explosion accident on a construction site can be difficult because sometimes it’s unclear who or what caused the accident. However, proving who was at fault is exactly what you and your lawyer will have to do if you wish to win your personal injury claim.
There can be a number of potentially liable parties in a construction site accident. Some parties that may bear part of the fault for the explosion or fire could include:
- General contractors, architects, and engineers. All of these professionals have a responsibility for ensuring workers are in a safe environment. It is up to them to enforce safety codes and regulations, conduct inspections, and warn workers of potential danger.
- Site owners. Unless the site owner has given full control of the site to a contractor, they can be held responsible when a safe environment is not maintained, and a fire or explosion occurs.
- Tool manufacturers. If a defective part or design of a product, such as a power tool or other heavy machinery, leads to a fire or explosion that causes injuries, the product manufacturer may be held liable.
Some of the other elements that an experienced fire and explosion accident attorney in Virginia will consider to determine liability include the condition of the construction site, whether there have been accidents at the site before, and the way equipment was being used and treated before the accident.
Statistics about Fire and Explosion Accidents
A fire or explosion accident at a construction site can be a horrible experience, especially when people are injured or killed. That is why OSHA takes such pains to enforce regulatory standards and rules to limit the number of incidents each year. It is also up to employers and workers to maintain safe working practices.
Below are some statistics about fire and explosion accidents in the United States:
- Between 1992 and 2003, there were over 300 fire or explosion deaths in the construction industry.
- The most common cause of explosions that resulted in deaths were chemical explosions, with 132 incidents.
- 15% of deaths were caused by welding accidents.
- Between 2013 and 2017, there were nearly 4,000 fires in structures under construction and around 2,500 fires in structures undergoing major renovations.
- Fires in structures under construction cause an average of $300 million in property damages and just over $100 million for properties undergoing renovation.
Although the rate of non-fatal injuries at construction sites has been decreasing for the last twenty years, more work needs to be done to protect workers. If you were injured in a fire or explosion accident in Virginia, don’t hesitate to contact a construction accident attorney and find out how they can help.
Contact the Experienced Fire or Explosion Attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO
If you sustained severe injuries or a loved one was killed in a fire or explosion accident at a construction site in Virginia, CHASENBOSCOLO can help you file a claim and hold the negligent parties accountable. Suffering injuries or losing a loved one is hard enough. You shouldn’t have to suffer financially from expensive medical bills and missed time from work, as well.
At CHASENBOSCOLO, our team of compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for our clients who were wrongfully injured over the years. We also work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no need to worry about upfront costs. You only pay us if and when we win compensation for you.
To discuss your situation with one of our attorneys, give us a call today at (703) 538-1138 to set up a free consultation. If you’ve been wrongfully injured in a construction accident in Virginia, CHASENBOSCOLO can help.