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Legally Reviewed by:

Sameer Chopra
Sameer Chopra, managing partner and personal injury attorney at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP in Garden City, NY

Sameer Chopra is a founding partner at our firm and a successful trial lawyer with 17 years of experience standing up to large corporations, government entities, and wealthy landlords on behalf of injured individuals. He is a true New Yorker and recognized as one of the Nation’s Top One Percent of attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. 

He was recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2017-2019 and then became a Super Lawyer from 2020 to present. He was also recognized as the 2021 Attorney of the Year by Top 100 Lawyers and was selected by Top Attorneys in North America as a distinguished Exclusive Presidents Circle Attorney for his continued excellence within the legal community.  Sameer has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts, including significant verdicts against the City of New York and/or their affiliated agencies, and independent insurance carriers.

Content Last Updated:   May 30, 2024

New York City and the surrounding region is the most densely populated area in the country. This fact goes a long way in explaining the elevated risk of deadly explosions and fires in our community. Often, there is no way to anticipate or prepare yourself for these kinds of incidents. In some cases, you may have just a few minutes to move yourself out of harm’s way. In others, things may unfold so suddenly that you have mere seconds or no time at all.

Injuries sustained in these kinds of accidents are some of the most dangerous and heartbreaking we see in our personal injury practice. Victims are often left with excruciatingly painful burns, which are particularly difficult to treat and may lead to extensive scarring and life-long impairment. Often, they are also left with overwhelming medical bills and lost wages.

If you were injured in an explosion or fire, you do not have to face the aftermath alone. An experienced New York explosion and fire accident lawyer at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, can help you understand your legal options and develop a strategy to secure compensation on your behalf. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out our online form.

Understanding Legal Rights and Responsibilities After a Fire or Explosion in New York

Liability for explosion and fire injuries depends on many factors. Below are a few legal routes toward compensation:

  • Standard Negligence Claim – If the fire or explosion was caused by someone’s simple failure to use reasonable care (e.g., a speeding driver), you could recover compensation by proving that they were negligent.
  • Worker’s Compensation – If you were on the job when the accident happened, you may be able to recover the cost of medical expenses, a portion of your lost wages, and other losses by filing a workers’ compensation claim.
  • Product Liability – If faulty equipment or a defective product caused a fire or explosion, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer or distributor.
  • Premises Liability – If the fire explosion was caused by a property owner’s failure to keep their property safe, you can file a premises liability claim. Responsible parties in these cases often include business owners, maintenance companies, government entities, property owners, and property management companies.

Common Causes of Explosions and Fires

Numerous factors can contribute to explosions and fires. Each incident requires thorough investigation to determine the true cause and assign liability. That said, some of the most common causes of fires we see include:

  • Auto accidents
  • Open flames
  • Gas leaks
  • Arson
  • Chemical spills
  • Combustible dust
  • Flammable liquids and gases
  • Malfunctioning electrical systems
  • Poorly maintained machinery and vehicles
  • Demolition work
  • Defective products and equipment

Common Injuries Sustained in Fires and Explosions

Fire and explosion injuries can be extremely severe and debilitating. In many cases, they are the result of what happens after a fire spreads. For example, a large fire can cause buildings to collapse, endangering the lives of people in and around the structure.

Victims of fires and explosions often suffer excruciatingly painful injuries that require highly invasive medical treatment (e.g., skin grafts and reconstructive surgery), heavily dosed painkillers, and rehabilitation. Some common fire and explosion injuries we see in the cases we handle include:

In many cases, victims die because of their injuries. In these tragic cases, surviving family members can seek a measure of justice and accountability by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

What Kind of Compensation is Available Through a Fire or Explosion Accident Lawsuit?

In most personal injury cases, including those involving fires and explosions, blameless victims can secure compensation for economic and non-economic damages, sometimes referred to collectively as compensatory damages. Economic damages include things that can be easily reduced to a monetary value. By contrast, non-economic damages include things that cannot be reduced in this way due to their inherently subjective nature.

Our attorneys have the skills needed to calculate both your economic and non-economic damages. Together, they may compensate you for things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lowered earning capacity
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Property damage

At Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, we can thoroughly investigate your accident, explore all possible avenues of recovery, build a solid claim, and guide you down the road toward full and fair compensation.

How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim in New York?

In New York, personal injury victims normally have three years from their date of injury to file a claim against the at-fault party. Depending on the circumstances, this deadline may be shortened or extended. In all cases, however, failure to file by the correct deadline will most likely result in your case being dismissed in court. Therefore, it is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after being injured. Do not wait.

Choose the Passionate and Powerful Chopra & Nocerino, LLP

If you were injured in a fire or explosion, the legal team at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for the harm they’ve caused. You need a personal injury law firm you can trust to put your interests first and fight tirelessly on your behalf.

Look no further. Our attorneys have collected millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts on behalf of injury victims throughout New York. When we work on your case, you can count on us to:

  • Make sure you know your full legal rights and options.
  • Conduct an independent investigation of your case.
  • Gather all available evidence.
  • Investigate the relevant law.
  • Prepare all correspondence, documents, and filings in your case.
  • Ensure that no deadlines are missed.
  • Negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the at-fault party and their insurers.
  • Take your case to court if a fair settlement cannot be reached.

We also have the skills, experiences, and resources needed to pursue a wrongful death claim if a fire or explosion leads to the death of a loved one. No matter the circumstances of your case, we are here to help.

Don’t Take Our Word for It: Check Out Our Client Testimonials

At Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, our firm is proud of the excellent results we have achieved for our clients and the solid reputation we have developed in the community. Our talented legal team strives to ensure client satisfaction, but you do not have to take our word for it. Read what our clients have to say:

  • “Chopra & Nocerino LLP is a hallmark of a law firm, they are the best! They prioritize my needs and my concerns. They maintained open and transparent communication with me, and they are experts in their field. Their staff are really nice, respectful and incredible. I love their client-centered approach, and I highly recommend them to anyone.” – Gem L.
  • “Thank you so much for all support and attention spent on my case! You guys are awesome, did everything to help me with my accident case and I am very, truly grateful for all your kindness and smartness on this deal. Glad with the result and all attention I received! Recommended 100%” – Juliete M.
  • “I was extremely satisfied with the amount of the settlement that Chopra & Nocerino was able to obtain in my case. The firm doggedly pursued the insurance companies to bring about such a munificent settlement. Moreover, the firm always conducted itself in a highly professional manner. I would recommend them to anyone who is in need of a personal injury law firm.” – Donald L.

Statistics: Explosion and Fire Accidents in New York

New York City is home to about 8.4 million people and covers 322 square miles. Further, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, the rate of fire fatalities, civilian injuries, and firefighter injuries in New York is significantly higher than the national average.

There are over 10,000 uniformed personnel responsible for combatting fires in the city. However, they must combat thousands of fire incidents every year throughout the five boroughs. The numbers are overwhelming.

According to the NYC Fire Department, there were 24,359 structural fires and 16,405 non-structural fires in the city in 2021. These resulted in 73 fatalities.

Heartbreaking Case Study: Devastating Fire in the Bronx in 2022

In January 2022, a space heater in a Bronx apartment building sparked a massive structural fire that left 17 people dead, including eight children. It was the deadliest blaze in the city since a fire at a social club took the lives of nearly 90 people in 1990.

Contact Our Experienced New York Fire Accident Lawyers Today

Explosion and fire accidents are deadly. Sadly, these incidents are more common in New York than you might think. If you have been injured in this kind of accident, do not wait to contact the New York fire and explosion accident lawyers at Chopra & Nocerino, LLP, today.

Reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation. We are here to fight for you.


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