Most people think of explosions as how they are depicted on television: big plumes of fire. However, one of the most dangerous parts of an explosive blast is not the visible fire. Rather, it is the concussive force of the blast. Explosion injuries are most commonly seen during combat, but they sometimes result from industrial accidents. Unfortunately, the social tensions of the modern age also mean that acts of terrorism are possible causes of blast injuries as well. When it comes to the severity of injuries caused by an explosion, the main factor is how close the victim was to the origin of the blast.
TYPES OF POSSIBLE BLAST INJURIES
Blast injuries are categorized by the injured person’s proximity to the explosion. Primary blast injuries are those caused by the extreme pressure exerted on the body from the concussive force, which is capable of splitting open tissue and causing serious bodily damage. Secondary blast injuries are those that result from flying debris, and tertiary blast injuries occur when a person is thrown against other objects by the force of the blast. Finally, any other injuries that result from an explosion are known as quaternary injuries.
Individuals that are hit by the initial concussive blast of an explosion can face serious tissue damage, and the force of the blast can have serious effects on the internal organs and inner workings of the ear due to the extreme pressure exerted on the body. Typically, any parts of the body that allow air to pass through them are the most susceptible to primary blast forces. When it comes to secondary and tertiary injuries, the parts of the body affected depends on the situation and type of debris involved.
Explosions can cause various injuries, including:
- Ruptured internal organs. The lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and ears are most susceptible.
- Internal hemorrhaging.
- Eye ruptures, causing permanent blindness or diminished visual acuity.
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions.
- Penetrating wounds from flying debris (the severity of which will depend upon what part of the body is struck and by what).
- Bone fractures, including spinal damage that can have permanent effects.
- Crushing injuries, which may result in lost limbs or extremities.
- Lacerations that can lead to heavy blood loss.
- Burns (the severity of which will largely depend on the type of explosion and the victim’s proximity to the blast).
- Loss of limbs (either directly from the force of the blast or necessary amputations that result from injuries sustained by the explosion).
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND LEGAL OPTIONS
Depending on the nature of an explosion, the victims’ options for compensation will vary. For workplace accidents, a worker’s compensation claim may help with the initial medical expenses and lost wages from time spent away from work—but a lawsuit may be necessary to cover the total costs of an explosion injury. You may need to file a claim against your employer if negligence caused the explosion, or a product liability claim may be necessary for the manufacturer of a defective product or piece of equipment.
No matter what your situation entails, retaining the services of a reliable and experienced legal professional will make the journey toward just compensation much more bearable. The Nielsen Law Firm has proudly served clients in the Houston, TX area, and we have more than 30 years of experience to attest to our legal prowess.
If you are facing a difficult worker’s compensation claim, need to pursue a personal injury case against a negligent employee or coworker, or want to file a product liability claim against an irresponsible product manufacturer, we can help. Contact our team of attorneys in Houston, TX if you have any questions about an injury caused by an explosion or if you would like to schedule a free evaluation.