The Causes of Accidents May Not Be As They Initially Appear

March 22, 2016 | Category: Burn Injuries

About two years after a fireball explosion occurred at UC Berkeley, KTVU reported that a student who was injured in the explosion filed a lawsuit to seek damages for her injuries. Although the trial has not yet begun, each Los Angeles burn injury lawyer at our firm believes that the case already provides a good example of why many accident victims do not file lawsuits immediately after they sustain injuries. In many cases, the results of detailed investigations change over time.

A Historical Look at the Explosion was Initially Misleading

It now seems clear that an oil-filled underground electrical switch created a fireball explosion from a campus sidewalk. A graduate student was caught up in that explosion, suffering second-degree burn injuries.

Within days of the incident, Berkley initiated an inquiry to identify the causes of the accident. Since the university had to perform repairs to the grid due to a prior copper wire theft, it was probably logical to assume that those repairs might have caused the explosion. It appears that the switch was not cited as the main cause of the explosion until every aspect of the repair process was ruled out through careful study.

Identifying the switch as the cause was vital before the lawsuit could be filed. Only then could a lawsuit cite the failed switch as the primary event in the explosion. This single premise permits the suit to identify the switch manufacturer, the university and numerous unnamed parties based on the following allegations:

  • The switch was the source of the explosion.
  • The university and unnamed defendants owned the defective equipment and were responsible for its inspection and maintenance.
  • The manufacturer knew about a history of complaints pertaining to this particular switch.
  • Defendant negligence proximately caused serious and permanent physical injuries to the plaintiff, including scarring and disfigurement, as well as psychological harm.

It is important to note that the lawsuit cites many unnamed defendants. Due to the extensive investigation required, it is often challenging to name all liable parties within the two-year statute of limitations allowed for CA personal injury cases. As long as a lawsuit is filed within this time period (with certain exceptions), filing a case with missing details is enough to preserve the deadline for filing a suit.

Historical Details Can Have a Significant Effect on Case Outcome

Of course, the actual lawsuit goes into much greater detail when alleging the above points, but one point needs to be emphasized. According to the suit, the switches at the source of the explosion apparently had a past history of similar injury-causing explosion incidents for decades. The complaint also points to documented consumer claims and complaints, as well as reports and studies from public health officials. The allegations state that the manufacturer still chose to continue manufacturing and selling the switches without recalling or changing them.

Obtaining this type of historical detail requires extensive research, but it can make a major difference to the ultimate results of a personal injury case. These cases often take a great deal of time, but it is important to seek legal support as soon as possible after an accident to lock in the right to pursue compensation.

To learn more about all legal options — and the anticipated time to expect a resolution based on specific case details, call The Rudman Law Firm APC at 844-478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at 213-375-3777 or at our Studio City office 818-769-6969.

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