The Role of Expert Witnesses in Propane Explosion Litigation

propane gas explosions

In July this year the Wichita Fire Department were called to a fire in a shopping center during the afternoon. When they arrived, a fire was showing from the roof and back of the strip mall before a large explosion pushed a fireball 50 feet into the air, seconds before a second explosion ripped another piece of the mall apart and threw the fireball into the air.

The cause of the conflagration was propane gas cylinders which led to the destruction.

Although the Wichita incident did not lead to loss of life, such explosions are a regrettably regular occurrence. It has been reported in federal data that in the past 12 years gas leaks have led to explosions that have claimed dozens of lives, injured hundreds of people and wiped entire neighborhoods off the map.

Wikipedia and other sources have listed the roll call of gas explosions and the devastation they cause to communities, business and private lives.

Being injured as a result of an explosion can be devastating. Unfortunately, thousands of explosions occur every year in the United States. Many people involved in these incidents are left with serious injuries that affect their lives indefinitely. If you have been harmed as a result of an explosion, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.

A gas explosion lawyer will be able to help guide you through the process and fight for compensation.

During the claims process, there is a significant chance that your attorney will reach out to an expert witness to provide about invaluable insight regarding what occurred and how negligence played a role. There are several ways that an expert witness will play a significant role in your ability to get justice.

What is an Expert Witness?

In terms of explosion cases, an expert witness is a trained and highly educated professional who has extensive knowledge within the realm of explosions. In this particular field, the witness will most likely be a specialist who studies the nature of propane explosions. They may be a safety consultant who can provide insight regarding the safe handling of propane and proper storage practices.

Another type of expert witness with regard to explosions that your attorney may call on could be an engineer who specializes in gas systems and explosions or even fire investigators. These individuals will be able to prove various aspects of the explosion, including what the exact cause of the incident was.

In addition to explosion-specific experts, your attorney will also turn to various other experts who can help provide insight regarding various aspects of your accident and your legal claim. 

One of the experts that your attorney will reach out to may be a medical professional. This type of expert will be able to provide information regarding burn injuries and how you have suffered your burns and other severe injuries as a direct result of the explosion that you were in. This type of information and insight can help to prove your claim against the negligent party.

Another expert that your attorney may work with is a financial expert. This type of expert will be able to help evaluate your claim and prove the damages that you have suffered. They may be in charge of calculating your medical expenses, determining the totality of your lost earnings, and other financial aspects of your claim.

What Will an Expert Witness Do? 

An expert witness will not only present evidence surrounding your explosion and the injuries that you have suffered, but they will also provide in-depth insight regarding their interpretation of the facts through their lens of expertise.

These individuals will help to answer any questions and help to ensure that the complex technical information and evidence that these cases often bring will be understood by a judge and jury who may not have as thorough of an understanding of everything involved in the case. 

During the litigation process, expert witnesses are often in charge of evaluating multiple factors. This can include equipment failures, malfunctioning valves, and other factors that may have contributed to the incident occurring.

Through a careful analysis of the evidence and an examination of maintenance records, eyewitness testimonies, and other documents and information presented to them, an expert witness will be able to reconstruct the events that led up to the explosion in order to provide deeper insight into the accident and how negligence played a role.

The ultimate goal of an expert witness is to provide clarity by being able to thoroughly present their findings, which are backed by scientific principles and industry standards. This can help to lend credibility to your claim against the defendant when it comes to seeking compensation for the damages that you face as a result of a propane explosion.

What Qualifies Someone As an Expert Witness?

When it comes to expert witnesses and explosion litigations, ensuring that the person who presents evidence is highly qualified is critically important.

The individuals that your attorney calls on should have specialized knowledge of the industry and practices. They should have expertise in the field and must possess deep knowledge of propane systems, industry standards, best practices, and industry regulations.

In addition, an expert witness should have a strong level of education to back their expertise. Professional certificates, doctorate degrees, and even Masters’s degrees can help to enhance their credibility further.

Another important factor when it comes to determining whether a person is a good expert witness is if they have any experience in the courtroom. The experts who are called on for your case must be comfortable presenting complex information in a clear and concise manner that the jury and the judge will be able to understand clearly.

The expert witness must be ethical in their practices and strictly adhere to the code of professional ethics. They must remain partial throughout the entire process to ensure that their testimony is not considered biased in your favor.

Finding an expert who meets all of the qualifications is a time-consuming and lengthy process. A qualified and dedicated attorney will have the knowledge and resources needed to find qualified and knowledgeable experts who can help prove your case against the negligent party.

An Expert Witness Can Make A Difference in Your Case

When it comes to proving negligence following a propane explosion, it can be incredibly difficult to do on your own. This makes it imperative to have the guidance and assistance of an expert witness who can prove various aspects of your explosion, how negligence played a role, and how you suffered damages and injuries as a direct result of the incident.

When it comes to your claim for compensation, an expert witness can truly make a significant difference when it comes to your ability to prevail. Your witnesses will be able to shed light on technical aspects of the propane tank explosion in order to help ensure justice is served and to also promote safety measures to prevent others from being harmed as a result of these incidents in the future by holding negligent parties accountable.

Source: BurgSimpson Law Office

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