Fires or explosions
Injuries from fires and explosions are often catastrophic or fatal. Injuries such as burns, disfigurement, brain injuries, eye injuries, ear injuries, perforation and hemorrhage are common. If you were injured in a fire or explosion at a construction project, or a loved one was killed in this manner, the experienced Chicago fire accident attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca. When we take on a case, we keep an eye out for other potential sources of compensation for a client’s injuries including workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI benefits.Recovering Damages for a Fire or Explosion Accident
When you’re involved in a fire or explosion at a construction site where you were working, you could be left permanently disabled or disfigured. These injuries can be extremely difficult and expensive to treat. You not only may find yourself unable to return to work, but your injuries may make it difficult to get any other job. The causes of fires and explosions on a construction project include chemical tanks, flammable and combustible liquids, compressed gas cylinders, liquefied petroleum gas, electrical malfunctions and shorts, construction vehicles, heavy equipment, electrical malfunctions and shorts, explosive chemicals, blasting agents, pressurized container explosions, and arc flashes.
In order to establish a defendant’s fault for purposes of recovering damages in a third party lawsuit based on a fire or explosion that causes injuries, we would likely to need to establish negligence. This means we would need to prove it is more likely than not: (1) you were owed a duty of reasonable care by a third party defendant (not your employer or coworker), (2) the defendant’s failure to abide by the duty of care, (3) the failure caused the fire or explosion that led to your burn injuries, disfigurement or other injuries, and (4) you suffered actual damages as a result of those injuries. For example, we may be able to prove fault if we can show that an electrical malfunction was the result or an electrician’s failure to use a piece of safety equipment, and that you were injured because of that malfunction. Similarly, if you are a painting contractor a contractor had brought flammables onsite and placed them next to fire or incompatible chemicals used by another subcontractor, and the result was an explosion, the contractor may bear fault.
The defendant is likely to raise the affirmative defense of comparative negligence, which requires him to show that you were at fault, either partially or fully, for the accident that caused your injuries. When that showing can be made by a preponderance of the evidence, the jury will not only determine the damages, but will also making a finding as to your relative proportion of fault for the fire or explosion. Your damages will be reduced based on the extent of your fault. For example, if your total damages were $200,000 but you were found 25% at fault for failing to wear sufficient protective equipment and gloves while handling certain chemicals, your damages would be reduced by $50,000, such that you could only recover $150,000.
Sometimes multiple non-employer parties are at fault for an explosion on a construction site; their negligent acts combine to produce your injuries. This situation can be dicey if most of the parties are underinsured or uninsured such that you can’t recover the full scope (or any) of your damages from their insurers. When our attorneys are able to show that a defendant is 25% or more at fault for an accident, we may be able to hold him responsible for paying all the damages.Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits are the only form of compensation we can recover with regard to your employer, even if the employer was clearly at fault for the explosion. These are no-fault benefits, which means we don’t have to prove fault in order to obtain the benefits, only that the accident happened on the job. These benefits, however, are typically much less than the full scope of a fire or explosion accident victim’s damages.Consult a Chicago Lawyer About Injuries from Fires or Explosions
If you were injured by a fire or explosion on a construction site, you need trustworthy legal representation. Call the seasoned Chicago explosion accident attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca to handle your personal injury lawsuit, workers’ compensation claim, or SSDI claim arising out of the accident. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete this online form .