Burn injures can devastate the lives of the victims and the families who lose a loved one. 486,000 people sought treatment for burn injuries in 2016 according to the American Burn Association. Many burn injuries are preventable. Burns due to residential fires, car crashes, exposure to scalding water, and chemicals are common.
Victims who survive a fire or serious burns often need psychological counseling to cope with the fact that burns leave scars and cause disfigurement. Scars and disfigurement can cause depression, anxiety, and other negative emotions. Many victims need more than one surgery to treat the burns. Often, victims require plastic surgery especially if the burns affect visible parts of the body such as the face and arms.
Burn injury claims
Victims who suffer burn injuries due to the negligence or responsibility of others are entitled to demand payment for their daily physical pain and emotional suffering. If someone dies in a fire due to the fault of another, the family of that victim has the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the wrongdoers. Victims have the right to demand payment for their medical surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, and counseling. Burn injury victims can also claim compensation for any lost income. Some victims are never able to work again.
Types of burn injury cases
Some of the reasons people suffer first, second, third, and fourth-degree burns or death include the following:
Scalding and thermal burns
Scalding can occur due to exposure to extremely hot liquids such as boiling water, hot coffee, and excessively hot baths. Gas exposure can cause scalding as can contact with hot metal or hot glass. Scalding can seriously injure adults and is known to cause the death of infants and young children.
Electric currents due to defective products can run right through someone’s body. Electrical burns often cause death. Common sites where electrical burns can take a life or injure someone for life include construction sites where electricity is often unstable. Electrical failures at the home are quite common. Businesses can be held accountable ton non-employees if they failed to follow standard workplace safety guidelines. Homeowners can be held liable if they failed to use proper precautions.
These types of burns can be catastrophic. Chemical burns usually occur due to skin contact with toxic substances. Inhaling hazardous materials can damage the lungs and internal organs.
Fires can happen for all types of preventable reasons. A careless discard of a cigarette or a match can cause a fire. Not watching the stove can result in a fire. Many fires happen during winter in homes where the owner failed to use the fireplace correctly. Improper use of propane gas, grills, heaters, and flammable products can cause a fire. Fires can also occur on the road such as when there’s fuel damage as the result of a crash. The fuel line damage can cause the gas to ignite. Apartments that catch fire can destroy many lives.
Burns can also happen when diagnostic tests such as X-Rays that use radiation are not performed correctly.
Liability for a burn injury
Burn injury liability
Experienced Florida burn injury lawyers hold responsible parties liable for burn injuries. Common defendants include:
Property owners and businesses
Property owners owe a duty of care to customers and event to-passersby to keep their property safe from fires and anything that can cause burns. For example, hairdressers need to make sure the water is the right temperature before washing someone’s hair. Construction companies need to follow OSHA guidelines so that non-employees aren’t burned.
Truck, car, and other drivers
Any type of vehicle accident can damage the fuel line causing a fire or explosion. Drivers who speed or drive while drunk deserve to be held accountable if a crash causes a fire that injures someone.
Makers, distributors, and sellers of defective products
Companies that make or sell products can be held accountable if a product is defective and the defect causes physical harm or death. This includes manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. There is no requirement to prove negligence. The companies who made the defective product, including ones that cause burns, can be found strictly liable for the harm they cause.
Categories for burn injuries
Different burn classifications are depending on the severity of the burn. The stand classifications are:
This is the least serious type of burn. It affects the top layer of the skin and the epidermis. Most first-degree burns heal within a few weeks.
Second-degree burns affect the reticular dermis – the layer underneath the outer skin. Symptoms include blister sand redness. These burns affect the nerves which usually results in intense pain.
This type of dangerous burn often requires skin grafts because the burn affects the subcutaneous tissue. Here the nerves just aren’t damaged, the nerves also die. Patients may feel less pain because the nerves are dead but the damage is deeper and more severe than second-degree burns.
Burns that threaten a life fall into this category.
Anyone who suffers any category of a burn injury should seek immediate medical treatment. There are right ways and wrong ways to manage and treat burn injuries. In addition to surgeries, many patients may need IV fluids, antibiotics, and pain medications. Burns can also cause infections.