Residents of West Virginia are experiencing damage from blasting activity related to the mining and natural gas drilling industries.
Blasting and Explosive Damage to Homes and Businesses in West Virginia
What to do if your home is damaged from blasting or explosion debris:
If you believe that excavation blasting has damaged your home and property, there are some steps you can take for your safety and for the successful resolution of a homeowner's insurance claim. Also, in some cases you may have the right to file a lawsuit against the company who caused the damage for additional compensation.
Explosives are commonly used in road construction, building site preparation, the installation of utility lines, the construction of gas pipelines and water lines, sewer lines, quarrying, and mining. When the explosives are detonated in rock a shock wave is produced and gas pressure is formed. A certain amount of energy will radiate from the blasting site.
Companies who use blasting must abide by government regulations and must be monitored and reported. Liability insurance is required for all blasting operations. Common damages from blasting include: cracks in plaster, drywall, mortar joints, basement damage to masonry walls, nail pops, water leaks in the foundation, and ceiling fissures.
If a blast has caused debris to fly through the air and damage your home or business property, you must contact the State's Fire Marshall at 304-558-2191. They should dispatch a field compliance officer to your home, usually within twenty-four hours.
Also contact your homeowner's insurance carrier and the blasting contractor. If your damages are not easily resolved, also contact a premises liability attorney to help you recover from your financial losses resulting from the blasting activity.
Other Practical Steps to Take after Blasting Damage Occurs to Your Home
•· Take photographs and/or video of all the damage as soon as you can after it occurs.
•· Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage or theft. Save all receipts from any expenses including labor, materials, and hotel bills.
•· Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector. Blasting, in some cases, can cause carbon monoxide to migrate into homes through cracks or utility lines.
After you have accomplished all of the above and you are having trouble resolving your claims for damages, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Your case may require the advantage that a lawyer experienced in resolving insurance claims can provide. Don't spend days and weeks worrying. Get the help you need today.
Questions? Call for a free consultation with a National Board Certified Trial Attorney: 304-594-1800 or after hours, 304-216-6695.
Related article: Monongalia County couple sues for damages from blasting
West Virginia Fire Marshall, "What to do if your home is damaged by blasting," accessed August 8, 2014.
Kentucky Division of Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Explosives and Blasting Branch, "Blasting Vibration," accessed August 7, 2014.
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