We have handled multiple explosion injury cases. Understanding the cause of the explosion and holding the proper party accountable for the blast are critical tasks that require an immediate and thorough investigation. Explosion cases are unique because of the severity of the injury that often results and because of the difficulty in figuring out exactly what happened.
Burn injuries are vastly different and often more severe that other injuries. Most people know there are three levels of burn injuries. First degree burns impact the first layer of the skin. There is irritation and redness. In second degree burns the first two layers of the skin are impacted. Healing time can extend up to three weeks. Unfortunately, many explosion cases result in third and fourth degree burn injuries. In a third degree burn injury, all the layers and tissues under the skin are burned. In a fourth degree burn injury, the burn extends through the skin and subcutaneous fat into the underlying muscle and bone. Serious burn injuries are life-changing. We have the experience to help a jury understand the true impact of these injuries.
While burn injuries might be readily apparent to the naked eye, it can be much harder to determine who to hold accountable for the explosion that led to the injury. An understanding of the National Fire Protection Association guidelines is critical to understanding your explosion case. The NFPA is a group of professionals and scientists who study ways to prevent explosions from injuring workers. The NFPA exhaustively researches real-life explosions to develop a series of guidelines for explosion prevention. There are many court decisions that refer to NFPA guidelines as authoritative. We have worked extensively with many NFPA sections and we leverage our knowledge of these guidelines to help you understand exactly why the explosion happened. We have a network of scientists, engineers, and metallurgists to help us navigate your explosion and determine who is at fault.
By way of example, NFPA 484 is the “Standard for Combustible Metals, Metal Powders, and Metal Dusts.” Section 484 has ten chapters and a number of appendices to study. If a workplace is processing combustible metals such as aluminum, magnesium, or titanium, then NFPA 484 sets forth the safety requirements for processing, storing, handling, and fire protection. For example, Section 188.8.131.52 provides that materials used to handle aluminum powder must be electrically conductive, grounded when necessary, and made of spark-resistant materials. We utilize what we know about NFPA 484 and begin to map out the scene of the explosion. We analyze whether the machines involved in the explosion were designed with NFPA 484 in mind.
There are many other sections of the NFPA; the Association covers virtually every type of hazardous situation that could lead to an explosion. For example, NFPA 68 deals with certain ways to minimize the impact of an explosion once it begins, NFPA 472 sets forth the standards for those who are first responders to hazardous materials explosions, and NFPA 58 deal specifically with liquid propane gas. Navigating the NFPA is crucial to investigating and prosecuting your explosion case, and we have the experience needed to get the job done. Call us today and we can start investigating your case.