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Fires and Explosions
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Fires And Explosions

     Cases involving fires and explosions, whether residential or industrial, require experience and a very specialized group of experts. All fire and explosions that result in serious bodily injury and death are investigated by local and/or federal agencies. However, the results of these investigations may be inconclusive or otherwise incomplete. As a consequence, it is usually necessary for our office to employ individuals with expertise in the specific area of inquiry. For example, apartment fires do not spontaneously ignite. The source of the fire must be identified in order to establish the cause. Whether it is faulty electrical wiring, a defective plug or other electrical device, the source must be established by examination and testing.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

     In Texas, the State District Courts have jurisdiction over fire and explosion claims. The venue of a particular claim refers to the county in which the lawsuit can be filed. Generally speaking, a fire and explosion case can be filed in the county where the services were provided, in the county where the defendant resided at the time of the incident or in the county where a deceased person's estate is pending in Probate Court.

STANDING

     In injury cases that arise as a consequence of fire and explosion, the injured party has standing to bring a claim against the manufacturer. Additionally, the injured party's spouse may also bring a claim for loss of consortium and household services. In certain instances involving catastrophic injury, the injured party's children may have standing to bring a claim for loss of parental consortium.

     In death cases, the injured party's parents, spouse, and children all have standing to bring a claim under the Texas wrongful death statutes. In addition, a survival act claim may be brought on behalf of the injured party's estate to recover damages suffered by the injured party from the time of injury until the time of death. These damages include hospital bills, damages for pain and suffering, and funeral bills.

DAMAGES

  1. Injury Cases

    In Texas, injured individuals have standing to recover the following elements of damages:

    1. Medical expenses;
    2. Lost wages;
    3. Mental anguish;
    4. Pain and suffering;
    5. Disfigurement; and
    6. Physical impairment.

         The damages listed above may be recovered for both the past and future. The spouse of an individual that is injured may have standing to recover damages for loss of consortium and household services. In certain instances involving catastrophic injury, the individual's children may have standing to bring a claim for loss of parental consortium.

  2. Death Cases

         In death cases, the family members with standing to bring a claim can recover the following elements of damages:

    1. Conscious pain, suffering, bereavement, torment, extreme physical pain and mental anguish from the moment of injury until the moment of death, and for loss of the enjoyment of life;
    2. Pain and mental anguish, or the conscious physical pain and emotional pain, torment and suffering experienced by Decedent before her death as a result of the occurrence in question;
    3. Medical expenses, or the reasonable expense of the necessary medical and hospital care received by Decedent for treatment of injuries sustained by her as a result of the occurrence in question; and
    4. Funeral and burial expenses, or the reasonable amount of expenses for funeral and burial for Decedent reasonably suitable to her station in life.

         In addition, Survival Act damages may be recovered which include the following elements:

    1. Pecuniary loss, or that loss of care, maintenance, support, services, advice, counsel, and reasonable contributions of a pecuniary value that Plaintiffs in reasonable probability would have received from the Decedent had she lived;
    2. Loss of companionship and society, or that loss of the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship, and the society that Plaintiffs, in reasonable probability would have received from the Decedent had she lived;
    3. Mental anguish, or the emotional pain, torment, and suffering experienced by Plaintiffs because of the death of the Decedent; and
    4. Loss of inheritance, or the loss of the present value of the assets that the Decedent, in all reasonable probability would have added to the estate and left in natural death to Plaintiffs.

DISCLAIMER

     The information contained on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

     The Klein Law Firm maintains its principal office in Houston, Texas and handles cases across Texas. The availability of this website in jurisdictions in which The Klein Law Firm or any of its attorneys are not licensed should not be deemed or construed as advertising of its services in those jurisdictions.


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