Construction Fires and Explosions
Construction work is dangerous. Many construction workers are injured or killed each year. Some of the dangers in this work environment come from fires and explosions. Often, construction fires and explosions are preventable and arise as a result of careless acts, such as failing to extinguish an open flame or failing to stamp out a burning cigarette. The consequences can be tragic. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a construction fire or explosion, an experienced Syracuse construction accident attorney can answer your questions about your legal rights.Liability for Construction Fires and Explosions
Construction fires and explosions can be caused by many different conditions, including faulty wiring and electrical shortages. Sometimes chemicals, solvents, paints, and other flammable materials are not stored appropriately and ignite. Pressurized containers may explode and the consequences can be seriously injurious. In some cases, open flames are not adequately extinguished. Often fire extinguishers aren’t inspected regularly. Sometimes a gas line is underground and abandoned. Construction equipment may contact a power line and trigger an explosion. In other cases, a device malfunctions. Those who work on a construction project should be adequately trained so that they can properly respond to a fire or explosion, and can evacuate properly. OSHA regulations require employers to have in place workplace fire protection and prevention programs.Injuries
A single mistake can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries. Victims of construction fires and explosions may suffer burns, disfigurement, amputation, brain injuries, hand injuries, and spinal cord damage. Sometimes fires and explosions kill workers.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits may be the exclusive remedies that employees have with respect to their employer. These are benefits that are awarded without regard to fault. The primary question will be whether the injury happened in the course and scope of employment. The workers’ compensation benefits usually cover medical bills and replace a portion of lost wages. However, this is usually not enough. As a construction worker injured in a fire or explosion on a construction site, it may be important to look at whether you can pursue a third party personal injury lawsuit. A skilled work injury lawyer can help you assess these potential claims.Third Party Lawsuits
Third parties who might cause a fire or explosion can include subcontractors, contractors, negligent property owners, and manufacturers of defective construction or safety equipment. It may be possible to hold a third party liable under at theory of negligence by proving: (1) the third party owed a duty to use reasonable care, (2) the third party breached the duty to use reasonable care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. For example, if a third party subcontractor failed to follow appropriate protocols when storing chemicals and they exploded near you when you were working, leaving you with third degree burns on your face, it might be possible to hold that subcontractor liable.
In other cases, it may be appropriate to pursue damages from a third party manufacturer. For example, if a piece of equipment is defective and a fire is ignited as a result, you might have a third party claim against the manufacturer of the equipment.Seasoned Construction Accident Attorneys in Syracuse
Construction work injuries arising out of a fire or explosion can be permanently disabling or deadly. If you are seriously injured in an explosion or fire on a Syracuse construction site, you may not be able to work again. Most people do not have enough saved up in case of such an event. While workers’ compensation may be available, it may not be enough to cover the full scope of your losses. It is important to look at the accident closely and determine the causes. There may be a third party or multiple third parties that can be held accountable for causing your injuries. The lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent construction accident victims and their families in Syracuse, as well as Rochester, Utica, Elmira, Lyons, Auburn, Cooperstown, Canandaigua, Watertown, Oswego, Wampsville, Lowville, Oneida, Norwich, Ithaca, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.