Fires and explosions are common hazards that can arise on construction sites. Unfortunately, when proactive measures are not taken and proper safety protocol is not followed, serious accidents can occur, resulting in catastrophic injuries to workers. If you are a construction worker hurt in a fire or explosion accident, you may be entitled to monetary recovery beyond that provided by Workers’ Compensation. If someone else’s negligence is to blame for your injuries, you might be eligible to recover your economic and non-economic damages by filing a personal injury action.
Common Causes of Construction Site Fires and Explosions
Federal OSHA regulations and New York State law set forth safety guidelines to help ensure construction sites are reasonably safe. However, poor housekeeping, failure to follow proper safety protocol, and carelessness can contribute to dangerous conditions that increase the risk of fire and explosion. Whether they are caused by sparks flying from welding, improper use of open fuel sources, or defective equipment, construction site explosions can result in serious accidents that lead to severe injury or fatality.
Other common causes of construction site fire and explosion accidents can include the following:
- Improperly stored chemicals
- Gas leaks
- Faulty or defective electrical wiring
- Smoking on site
- Inadequate fire protection measures
- Improper use of on-site heaters
Depending upon how the construction site explosion accident occurred, a worker can suffer from a variety of injuries. For instance, the over-pressurized wave from a high explosive can cause lung, eye, ear, and head trauma. Debris and shrapnel from the explosion can cause penetrating injuries — and if a worker’s body is thrown as a result of the blast, they may experience fractures, broken bones, amputation, and other injuries. In addition, various injuries can arise due to inhalation of the smoke and fumes caused by the toxic chemicals.
Compensation for Construction Site Fire and Explosion Injuries
Construction site explosion injuries can lead to lifelong debilitation, permanent disfigurement, and other severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time lost from work. Although Workers’ Compensation benefits may provide an injured construction worker with medical benefits and a portion of their lost wages, they are usually not adequate to cover the full extent of a worker’s losses. If a third party on a construction site fails to follow their duty of care, a worker may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover the economic and non-economic damages they suffered because of the negligence.
Recoverable economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit for construction site fire and explosion injuries can include the monetary damages the worker incurred due to the accident, such as unreimbursed medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages, future lost earnings, and out-of-pocket costs in connection with the accident. Non-economic damages — also referred to as pain and suffering — are much more difficult to quantify. They are meant to compensate for intangible losses such as physical pain, emotional anguish, and the loss of enjoyment of life a worker experienced due to the injuries caused by the construction site explosion accident.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered injuries in a construction site fire or explosion accident caused by the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of a third party, it’s crucial to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side who knows what it takes to secure the compensation you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has represented clients in construction accidents for over three decades and works diligently to achieve the best possible results in each case. Contact us today for a consultation.