Fire & Explosions Accident Lawyers

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), an average of 4,300 construction fires are reported yearly. These accidents endanger construction workers and pose a risk to passers-by and those at the scene, including firefighters and first responders. Burns and other fire-related injuries are among the most painful and complex to treat and often require long-term hospitalization.  

If you’ve been injured in a construction fire or explosion, contact the New York construction accident lawyers at Douglas & London today. We’re committed to helping you recover the compensation you’re entitled to for your losses and damages. Call today to schedule a free consultation.  

Why You Need a NYC Fire & Explosions Accident Lawyer 

Construction zones are among the most dangerous places to work. Workers’ compensation insurance is required to protect injured workers, regardless of fault. However, there are instances in which victims can pursue further compensation beyond worker’s comp benefits. 

Sometimes, injured employees can sue third parties whose recklessness or careless actions caused the fire or explosion. Common defendants can include manufacturers of defective equipment and construction site managers or subcontractors who have failed to maintain state and federal-mandated safety standards. A personal injury claim can seek additional compensation to cover damages outside workers’ comp benefits, like pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of spousal consortium. 

It’s essential to consult with a fire accident lawyer who has successful experience with construction accident litigation and can determine whether your case warrants further legal action. When negligence results in harm, we have the resources and experience to protect your rights. 

What is Required to Prove Negligence?  

In New York civil claims, the burden is on the plaintiff and their attorney to establish the four elements of negligence to recover compensation: 

  • Duty of care: The defendant has a legal duty to provide a duty of care for the plaintiff.  
  • Breach of duty: The defendant breached that duty by failing to take reasonable steps to provide a safe work environment.  
  • Causation: That breach of duty caused the fire or explosion that injured the plaintiff.  
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm from a construction fire or explosion.  

In New York, the plaintiff generally has three years from the accident date to file a third-party personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s wise to act quickly and consult Douglas & London as soon as possible.  

Causes of Fire and Explosion Accidents 

New York City construction projects soared to pre-pandemic levels last year. While that’s good news for local workers and the city’s economy, construction sites present many hazards.   

Common causes of construction site fires and explosions include:  

  • Not following safety standards: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets clear fire safety guidelines for the construction industry, regulating the use of high heat and open flame by trained and licensed individuals. Failure to adhere to these standards increases the risk of accidents and injuries.  
  • Open fuel: Construction often requires using acetylene, gas, propane, and other flammable substances. Fires and explosions can occur when combustible materials come in contact with heat sources.  
  • High heat and sparks: Welding, grinding, and cutting produce sparks that can ignite nearby materials. Construction workers may set up portable heaters to dry paint and drywall. If this equipment runs too long, it can malfunction and start a blaze. Discarded lit cigarettes can also start construction fires, which is why OSHA prohibits smoking in areas where fire hazards are present.  
  • Electrical oversights: Contact with electricity is one of OSHA’s “Focus Four Hazards,” which account for nearly 60 percent of all construction worker fatalities. Inadequate ground fault protection, frayed wires, and short-circuited wiring are some electrical errors that can lead to fires and explosions.  
  • Equipment malfunction: Defective or improperly operated tools, wiring, and equipment can malfunction and cause a fire. All construction equipment should be well-maintained and routinely inspected and serviced to prevent accidents.  
  • Poor housekeeping: Workers must adhere to daily cleanup procedures, including removing oily rags and other flammable materials from work areas and disposing of them safely. Disposing of debris by burning must comply with local fire regulations.  

Employers are responsible for developing and implementing fire protection programs and providing fire pumps, extinguishers, and other safety equipment for all construction phases.  

Burn Injuries  

Burn injuries from a fire or explosion affect the bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Burns are classified and treated according to how they occur and the degree of severity.  

Construction causes of burns include the following:  

  • Chemical: contact with different acids, bases, and caustic substances 
  • Electrical: contact with electrical current or lightning 
  • Thermal: contact with excessive heat, steam, hot liquids, and flames  

The degree of a burn is determined by the layers of skin and tissue involved. For example, first-degree burns are considered superficial as they only involve the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Third-degree burns affect all skin layers and may require skin grafting.  

The Impact of Construction Fire and Explosion Injuries  

The pain and potential disfigurement of injuries from construction fires and explosions can prevent construction workers from working, limiting their ability to earn income. 

Further, medical care for burns is extensive and costly, increasing the financial burden for injured construction workers. Fires and explosions can also be emotionally traumatic for burn survivors, leaving many with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder that requires treatment with counseling and therapy.  

Contact Douglas & London  

At Douglas & London, we believe that by holding construction companies, contractors, and other entities accountable, we can make the industry safer for everyone. While we cannot undo the pain and trauma caused by a work accident, we explore every legal remedy available to help our clients move forward in their healing journeys.  

Since 2002, we have recovered over $18 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us to schedule a free case review with a construction accident lawyer in New York City today. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries. We represent clients in and around Manhattan, New York City, and New York State.