Explosion Injury Attorneys in North Carolina
A gas explosion can cause extensive property damage as well as catastrophic personal injury and death to people near the source of the explosion. A gas explosion caused by a buildup of natural or LP gas is typically the product of a gas leak caused by someone’s negligence or a defective product.
Residents of North Carolina and particularly the Raleigh-Durham Triangle will recall the gas explosion in Durham in April 2019 that killed two people, injured 25 others and severely damaged or destroyed several buildings. It was ruled an accident caused by a contractor who ruptured a natural gas line while boring under a sidewalk.
If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in a gas explosion caused by someone else’s negligence or a product defect, contact the Raleigh gas explosion lawyers of Hardison & Cochran to discuss a potential legal claim. Our attorneys and staff are here to help you through the healing process after the destruction and harm caused by a gas explosion. We can pursue a claim for compensation that makes you financially whole, and we promise to keep you up to date on your case as it progresses.
How and Why Gas Explosions Happen
Natural gas is a leading source of energy in North Carolina, used every day by your neighbors and the stores and companies where you do business. Five local distribution companies and eight municipal natural gas systems deliver natural gas through some 35,000 miles of pipeline to residential, commercial and industrial customers across the state of North Carolina. Propane, or “LP gas” (liquefied petroleum gas), is sold by numerous retailers.
But natural gas and LP gas are both incredibly explosive. A flame, a spark, even static electricity can trigger a gas explosion. Gas ignited in a confined space, such as in a home or business or even a hole in the ground, can explode with enough force to flatten buildings and kill or maim anyone in the vicinity of the explosion.
Gas explosions typically occur because of a leak from distribution lines that deliver natural gas or propane to appliances such as heaters, stoves and furnaces. Leaked gas mixes with the air in a confined space and the built-up pressure causes it to explode upon ignition.
After an investigation, a gas explosion is likely to be traced back to such causes as:
- Leaking pipes, hoses, valves or connectors
- Improper installation, use of or damage to gas appliances, such as:
- Air conditioners
- Water heaters
- Stoves / ovens
- Outdoor grills / barbecues
- Outdoor lighting systems
- Commercial refrigeration units
- Improper venting of propane tanks
- Design or manufacturing flaws in gas appliances, equipment, or systems
- Violations of codes and standards governing the handling of gas or propane.
Often the cause of a gas explosion is determined to have been negligence in the use, maintenance, manufacture or design of a gas storage or distribution system or a gas appliance. Most gas explosions are caused by negligence in residential and commercial use of gas appliances or because the installers have violated gas, electrical and/or building codes.
Construction accidents, such as in Durham in 2019, and industrial accidents that cause gas explosions often result in widespread damage and harm.
Seeking Compensation After a Gas Explosion
Individuals or organizations responsible for the damage done by a gas explosion attributed to their carelessness can be held accountable. A legal claim would seek compensation for losses due to injuries suffered in the blast as well as for the cost of restoration of property damaged by the explosion.
Typically, a claim first goes to the insurance company that has issued coverage to the person, business or other entity responsible for causing the gas explosion. If the insurance company denies liability or refuses to offer a reasonable settlement to satisfy your claim, your attorneys would file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the explosion that caused your injuries and other losses.
A personal injury lawsuit based on a gas explosion in North Carolina could demand compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including bills from emergency responders, doctors, hospitals, and rehabilitation clinics
- Projected costs of future medical treatment and personal care related to your injuries
- Lost income due to missed work as you recover and/or for lost earning capacity
- Property damage to real and personal property, potentially including the cost to rebuild
- Funeral and burial expenses in a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed in a gas explosion
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the care and companionship of a loved one.
Who May Be Held Liable for Gas Explosion Losses?
Our gas explosion lawyers at Hardison & Cochran investigate each case thoroughly to identify all of those who are potentially liable after a serious accident. The investigation into a gas explosion that has caused serious personal injury and property damage may find multiple parties with legal responsibility for what has occurred. If multiple parties may be at fault, it may be proper to pursue multiple claims on behalf of an individual who has been injured or the family that has lost a loved one.
Among the potential defendants in a legal claim following a gas explosion are:
- Property owners, such as owners of homes, stores, businesses, plants, etc.
- Maintenance contractors
- Installation contractors
- Construction companies and/or contractors
- City or county utilities
- Natural gas / propane distributors and retailers
- City or county transit systems that have natural gas-fueled public buses
- Product manufacturers
- Product retailers.
Why Hire a N.C. Gas Explosion Lawyer?
The compensation owed to a gas explosion victim may be significant. A claim involving a gas explosion that causes mass casualties can quickly become an extremely complex case. After an accident that has caused significant losses, the insurance companies providing coverage to responsible parties will defend them vigorously to avoid making large claims payments.
When multiple parties may bear liability in a gas explosion, insurance companies often respond by pointing fingers at others to try to shift the liability. Another tactic is to visit victims quickly, sometimes while they are still hospitalized, and offer settlements that look good before medical bills arrive. Typically, these quick offers are low-ball amounts intended to limit the insurer’s losses.
If you have suffered traumatic injuries in a gas explosion or lost a loved one, you are likely going through the toughest time of your life. You do not need the added stress of dealing with insurance adjusters as you try to recover from a serious injury or loss. You may not be able to deal with insurers. You may make decisions that cost you money that you will need and deserve to have.
A North Carolina gas explosion attorney from Hardison & Cochran can help sort out who owes you compensation after a gas explosion and how much you are rightfully owed, and then work aggressively to seek full payment for you.
We can gather independent evidence on top of what official investigations show to identify and build a solid case against all liable parties. We will calculate all of your losses, including projections for compensation necessary to satisfy future needs in cases of disabling injury.
Our attorneys focus on making things happen. We will stand up for you and negotiate aggressively on your behalf with the insurance companies. We have many years of experience handling injury claims. Our insight into North Carolina personal injury law may allow us to identify legal options for resolving your claim that are not immediately obvious.
We are committed to seeking justice for gas explosion victims who have been injured through no fault of their own. We have an unyielding commitment to work hard for each client and to seek recovery of the maximum compensation available to them.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a gas explosion in North Carolina, contact an experienced gas explosion injury attorney as soon as possible. If we can help you, we will offer to represent you on a contingent fee basis. You will not be expected to pay a legal fee unless we win your case. Hardison & Cochran represents personal injury and accident victims from throughout the state of North Carolina, including Raleigh, Cary, Wilmington, and Fayetteville.