Natural Gas Explosion Prevention and Liability

Web Admin - Friday, December 26, 2014

Illinois natural gas liability, Buffalo Grove personal injury attorneyNatural gas explosions can be some of the most devastating types of home accidents. Flammable mixtures of air and gas can severely injure and even kill unsuspecting homeowners. In fact, natural gas explosions can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage every year, according to government statistics. Natural gas fires are often difficult to prevent, and may require the intervention of skilled professionals. Still, there are some steps that people can take to help keep themselves safe. In the unfortunate event that a natural gas explosion does occur, people should also understand their legal rights as far as pursuing recovery is concerned.

Preventing Gas Explosions

Natural gas explosions are notoriously difficult to prevent because gas is so difficult for people to detect. One of the key ways to prevent gas explosions is by smell. Although the gas is naturally odorless, gas companies add a special molecule to the gas known as an odorant. It is this extra odorant that provides gas with its distinctive smell of rotten eggs. If a person does detect that smell, it is important to leave the house immediately. People should not risk doing anything that would create a spark, which includes using a telephone or turning on a light. Instead, people should call emergency services from a neighbor's home.

People can also take preventative measures to avoid gas leaks in the first place. These include installation of gas appliances by qualified professionals, and the use of gas appliances that meet recognized safety standards. Additionally, people should consider installing natural gas detectors in their homes, especially in places where the gas is likely to build up, such as in a basement.

Gas Explosion Liability

Natural gas is a complex utility that requires a lot of different people to install properly, so many different people may be liable for a natural gas explosion. For instance, a gas leak could occur as a result of a faulty appliance. If that happened, then the homeowners could pursue a product liability action against the appliance's manufacturer. However, natural gas explosions can also occur with properly manufactured equipment. This could be the result of a faulty installation of the appliance or improper maintenance by repair professionals. It is important to conduct a thorough examination after a natural gas explosion in order to determine who was really at fault. That will make it easier to make sure that they cover the costs of the damage that they were responsible for.

Natural gas explosions are complex legal issues that can have serious effects on people's lives. If you have recently been the victim of a gas fire or gas explosion, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney today. Our team of dedicated lawyers helps people across northwest suburban Illinois, in towns like Buffalo Grove, Deer Park, and Des Plaines.

Ken ApicellaAbout the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.

Construction Accident Safety Tips for Workers in Illinois

Web Admin - Monday, October 21, 2013

Chicago area construction workers face risks on the job daily. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), almost 6.5 million people work at roughly 252,000 construction sites across the country every day. The fatal injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average in this category than for all other trades.

Common hazards involving construction accidents include the following:

  • Long distance falls
  • Trench or scaffolding collapses
  • Electric shock
  • Failure to use safety equipment
  • Repetitive motion injuries

Ladder injuries are the most common injuring an estimated 24,882 people per year. In Illinois, construction accidents can affect anyone from those working on small-town residential construction site to those working Chicago high rise jobs.

Construction Safety in Suburban Illinois

Recently, a construction accident claimed the life of 59-year-old Marco Aguilar. It was reported by the Chicago Sun-Times that Aguilar was killed when he was struck by a Bobcat in Union, Illinois, located in McHenry County. The risks of Personal injury accidents in residential or city areas can be minimized with preventative checks in these common construction situations:

  • Scaffolding: Must be rigid and sufficient enough to carry its own weight and four times the maximum intended load
  • Falling: Guardrail systems with toe boards and warning lines, as well as safety nets or body harnesses
  • Ladders: Visual inspection for structural damage, bent rails, missing rungs, grease or other contaminants that could cause slips and falls
  • Trenching: Correct slope for the a height/depth ratio and install supports for trenches that exceed 20 feet in depth
  • Electrical: Safety gear such as the insulated gloves and sleeves and a hard hat can offer protection, but equipment should also be grounded and materials should be least 10 feet away from electrical power lines

If you have been injured in an Illinois construction accident, contact an Arlington Heights personal injury attorney at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. DGAA has successfully represented those seriously injured in construction accidents or other unfortunate personal injury claims. We serve clients in Chicago, Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, Palatine, Des Plaines and many other Northwest Suburban areas.

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