Millions of people use propane gas in cylinders, tanks and home appliances on a daily basis. Current estimates say there are presently more than 60 million propane fueled devices in homes, vehicles and offices. Each of those devices poses a risk of fire or explosion if it is improperly used or stored, or if it’s containers fail, or it’s piping or ignition sources are flawed or faulty. Every day reports chronicle propane storage tanks which were once generally safe, but have developed leaks, quantifier or exploded due to problems with use, manufacture, maintenance, filling or installation. As a result, every year in the United States, thousands of people are injured or killed due to propane fuel fires and explosions.
For more than 30 years our fire and explosion team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, has been called upon to investigate and determine the cause of propane fires and explosions, and represent badly injured clients in cases against gas suppliers, appliance makers, tank and cylinder companies, and others who failed in their responsibility to make sure that the delivery, storage or use of propane was safe in all respects. The gas that fire and explosion team at the Walkup law firm is here to help if you need a propane tank explosion attorney in California or elsewhere across the country. Our attorneys have extensive experience investigating and prosecuting cases arising from propane tank explosions and fires. We have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to take on any at-fault party in order to make sure that our clients recover compensation for their injuries, medical costs, and other financial losses..
Why Choose Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger?
- At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our clients trust us. We have spent more than six decades building a well-earned reputation for success in major fire and explosion claims and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of clients with significant burn injuries.
- The members of our team, including the lawyers who specialize in fire and explosion cases are local and national leaders in the field of personal injury and wrongful death litigation. Our attorneys have helped shape personal injury law in California for more than 50 years.
- We provide a client-focused approach to every case that we take. Your goals and needs will be at the forefront, and you will always have an open line of communication with your attorney when you work with us.
Propane Fire and Explosion Resources & FAQs
- How Will an Attorney Help Your Propane Tank Case in California?
- What Products Cause Propane Fire and Explosion Injuries?
- What Causes Propane Tank Explosions?
- Types of Propane Tank Explosion Injuries
- Who is Liable After a Propane Fire or Explosion?
- What Kind of Compensation is Available for Propane Fire and Explosion Claims?
- Our Experience Handling Propane Fire and Explosion Cases
- Paying for a Propane Tank Explosion Attorney
How Will an Attorney Help Your Propane Tank Case in California?
Propane tank fire and explosion cases can be simple or extremely complicated depending upon the mechanism by which propane gas escapes from pipelines, cylinders are canisters. A propane cause fire or explosion can be the result of simple negligence, or may involve product liability, distributor negligence, or manufacturing product liability, or premises liability for the failure to safely maintain lines, tanks are cylinders. Every gas caused fire or explosion case requires an intense, careful and thorough investigation by trained experts in the field of fire cause and origin. We know that there is no simple way to determine cause and origin, and that without knowing exactly how and why a propane fire or explosion occurs, the correct person or companies to sue will not be known. For that reason, is critical that our clients have the benefit of a law firm with knowledge, skill, financial resources and access to the best experts in the country.
As lawyers who are skilled in the investigation, preparation and prosecution of propane tank fire and explosion claims, our team will attorney will use our skills and resources to:
- Obtain any and all available evidence needed to prove liability for the injuries that have occurred;
- Make certain that the necessary experts in fire cause and origin are retained early in the process so that a scientifically reasonable and reliable explanation of what happened is available for consideration by a judge or jury
- Collaborate with our clients treating physicians, burn experts, plastic surgeons and other medical professionals to make certain that optimal care is received by our clients, and that residual limitations, scarring and disabilities are minimized.
- Consult with trusted economic and financial experts to calculate total expected losses
- Vigorously prosecute an action in court so that any negotiations aimed at settlement are done from a position of strength, and that opposing parties are aware that we are prepared, if necessary, to try any case on behalf of our clients.
- Negotiate from a position of strength on behalf of our clients with corporate wrongdoers, insurance carriers, and other at-fault parties
- Fully prepare our clients propane related wire or explosion case for trial
What Products Cause Propane Fire and Explosion Injuries?
There are various types of products cause propane tank or liquid propane gas (LPG) explosions. Data from the National Fire Prevention Association’s (NFPA) states that there are an average of 4,200 home structure fires started each year due to the ignition of natural or propane gases. Additionally, propane piping, cylinder or tank explosions regularly injure clients in their workplaces. A long list of consumer products, including various indoor and outdoor appliances are often the culprit in a propane related fire or explosion. Some of the most common products that use propane and explode and cause injuries are:
- Propane gas grills
- Propane canisters
- Propane gas lines
- Propane-powered water heaters
- Propane-powered fireplaces
- Propane ovens and stoves
- Propane pool heaters
- Portable space heaters
- Indoor wall heaters
If you have been injured as a result of any type of propane tank or cylinder explosion, you need to seek assistance from a personal injury attorney who can fully investigate the incident.
What Causes Propane Tank Explosions?
There are a variety of ways that propane tanks can explode in residential or commercial settings.
Explosions in the home
There are a variety of causes of home related fire and explosions that result from propane leaks. Uses for propane tanks inside of the home. Some of the most common causes of propane tank explosions in the home include:
- Landlord or utility company failures to properly install, maintain or repair a propane piping, tanks and appliances;
- Defective, resting, leaky or frozen propane tanks or connecting parts;
- Failure to regularly inspect and maintain equipment and appliances so that preventative maintenance can take place;
- Failure to odorize the propane , such that people living in a home with defective appliances are piping are unaware that they are breathing poisonous gas that can result in brain injury.
Explosions in the workplace
Propane tanks located in workplaces in California and throughout the US also run the same risks of exploding that we mentioned above. However, there are typically more risks in workplaces and in industrial settings, including:
- Propane tank rupture due to heavy equipment running into the tank
- Propane blowtorch leaks causing vapors to ignite
- Propane tank explosions due to vehicle accidents (including forklift incidents)
- Fires in the workplace breaking out near a propane tank
- Improperly stored LP gas cylinders
- Failure to adhere to OSHA safety standards regarding natural gas and propane
Types of Propane Tank Explosion Injuries
There are a variety of types of injuries that can occur as a result of a propane tank explosion at a home or in the workplace.
- Heat and gas injuries. The heat of a propane tank explosion can lead to serious burn injuries to the body. Often, third- and fourth-degree burns are the result of the heat caused by a propane tank explosion and require extended inexpensive treatment as well as residual scarring, requiring plastic and cosmetic surgery to remediate disfigurement.
- Blast injuries. Propane tank blast injuries occur anytime the pressure of the blast meets the body of those in the vicinity. This can cause individuals to suffer from concussions, ruptures to the eyes and ears, ruptures to various organs inside the body, abdominal perforations, and other traumatic injuries.
- Shrapnel injuries. When an explosion occurs, this can cause debris from the tank and other objects in the vicinity to fly out at high rates of speed and strike a person’s body. The amount and type of debris will depend mainly on the environment around the explosion. Some of the most common types of shrapnel injuries include punctures to various areas of the body.
- Impact injuries. Explosions can cause various types of impact injuries. This can include objects slamming into a person’s body and a person being thrown into other objects as a result of the explosion. Some of the most serious impact injuries in these situations can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken and dislocated bones, crush injuries, and even amputations of the limbs.
- Inhalation injuries. Toxic gases can cause lung and brain damage when we came gas is inhaled into the lungs of clients. Extended chronic breathing a propane gas can lead to brain injury as well as long-term respiratory compromise, including COPD and asthma.
In addition to these obvious and visible traumatic injuries that can occur as a result of a propane tank fire or explosion, our clients also sustain significant psychological and emotional injuries as a result of both acute injuries and prolonged treatment and physical disfigurement.
- Fear, nightmares, embarrassment and unrelenting mental anguish , often follow serious burn or explosion injuries.
- Feelings of fear, anxiety, stress, and depression are common following serious burn or explosion injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Loss of consortium with a spouse, particularly if an explosion victim can no longer participate in familial activities, including sex.
Suing the right person in order to compensate the victim – Who is Liable?
Various parties that can be held liable as a result of a propane fire or tank explosion incidents. Our team of skilled gas related fire lawyers examines the facts and circumstances surrounding each client’s specific situation and conducts a complete investigation in order to single out every potentially liable party (or multiple liable parties). For propane fire and tank explosion cases, some of the most common parties that can be held liable include the following:
- Propane tank manufacturers. The manufacturers of propane tanks have a duty to ensure that the tanks are properly constructed and that they contain odorized gases that can be detected in the event a leak occurs. If a propane tank manufacturer provides faulty tanks or fails to odorize the gas, they could be held liable in the event an explosion occurs.
- Construction companies. Construction companies regularly use propane tanks and take part in installing propane tanks at various facilities. In the event a construction company does not follow proper OSHA workplace safety standards, or if they improperly install a propane tank, they could be held liable for any explosion injuries and property damage.
- Equipment providers. There are various companies that provide equipment for homes and businesses, sometimes on a temporary basis and sometimes on a more permanent basis. Equipment providers must ensure that their propane tanks are up to proper safety standards at all times before leasing or renting equipment.
- Businesses and property owners. Any business or property owner has a duty to ensure the safety of those who have a right to be on their premises. This includes making sure that all propane tanks work properly and pose no danger to patrons.
- Landlords. Landlords are typically responsible for the maintenance of their buildings before they rent them to tenants and while a tenant lives there. This includes making sure all appliances are in proper working order, including any propane tanks on the property.
What Kind of Compensation is Available for These Claims?
Victims of gas-caused fires and explosions are entitled to monetary compensation under California law. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our propane tank explosion lawyers work diligently to recover both economic and non-economic compensation on behalf of every client we help.
- Economic compensation. In the aftermath of a propane related fire or explosion our team works with medical, rehabilitation and economic experts to make certain that we have accurately forecasted and calculated all of the future expenses our clients are going to incur because of their injuries. At a minimum, we must make sure that we have collected and are ready to prove the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the past, and all of the likely expenses to be incurred in the future. The list includes:
- All medical bills related to the propane tank fire or explosion
- Lost income if a propane fire or explosion victim cannot work
- The cost of assistance or helpers needed because of disabilities following the original injury
- General household out-of-pocket expenses due to the explosion or fire
- Property damage expenses (homes, computers, phones, clothing, furniture, appliances, etc.)
- Non-economic compensation. Beyond economic compensation is fair compensation for pain, suffering, anxiety, worry, distress, scarring, disfigurement. These elements of damage are real and change people’s lives forever. Our team knows that these elements of damage are the most important part of the case, and should form the largest basis of monetary recovery for the injured client. Some of the most common types of non-economic compensation that may be available to propane tank explosion injury victims include the following:
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Physical pain and suffering losses
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Loss of consortium for a spouse and family members
The total amount of compensation available to propane tank explosion victims in California and throughout the United States will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation. Factors that can affect the total compensation awarded include:
- The severity of the injuries
- The length of time our client is disabled
- Whether our client has permanent restrictions, scarring, disfigurement, disabilities, and requirements for ongoing medical care
- The amount of property damage involved
- Insurance limitations of the at-fault party
- Whether or not a person can return to work right away
- Whether or not there was any shared liability for the incident
Our Experience Handling Propane Explosion Cases
The attorneys at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger have vast experience preparing and litigating propane explosion cases. Most recently, the fire and explosion team and Walkup negotiated a $45 million settlement on behalf of clients who were severely burned in a propane explosion at a vacation rental home. Our attorneys found that the propane supply company had a long history of violating safety laws and were able to justify an award of punitive damages.
In another matter, in far northern California, our fire and explosion lawyers recovered $3 million on behalf of a young woman who suffered burn injuries while visiting a winery where a propane fired portable fireplace caught on fire.
In another matter involving a gas caused explosion, our team recovered more than $10 million for a high-tech injury worker burned and disfigured for life because of an explosion at his job.
In still another case, our team recovered more than $20 million when a propane storage tank installed on a travel-trailer failed, causing a fire that resulted in death and injury.
In an additional matter, our fire explosion team recovered a multiple million-dollar confidential settlement on behalf of the surviving parents of a young man who died in an apartment fire caused by malfunction of a propane-fired wall heater resulting in a house fire that took his life.
Paying for a Propane Tank Explosion Attorney
We handle propane tank explosion cases in California and throughout the US on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients will not have to worry about paying any up front or out-of-pocket costs related to the propane tank case. Clients will only pay legal fees after we successfully recover the compensation they need through a settlement or jury verdict.
Call a California Propane Tank Explosion Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a propane tank explosion, you need to seek legal assistance immediately. At Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger, our attorneys have extensive experience handling propane fire and explosion cases. We have the resources necessary to fully investigate every aspect of your claim and help make sure that you are treated fairly throughout this entire process. We want to make sure that you recover full compensation for your losses, and we have no problem taking on aggressive insurance carriers or taking a case to trial where necessary. When you need a California propane tank explosion attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (415) 899-2919.