Fire accidents are among the leading causes of domestic and industrial-related deaths in the US. Close to 1,350 deaths have been reported in the US throughout this year alone. Young children and older people are more vulnerable to injuries due to burns and scalding, because their skin is comparatively more sensitive and delicate.
Burns and scalds can be suffered in virtually any setting. Home fires from portable stoves, butane burners, and short circuits, and scalding caused by hot steam are common in domestic incidents. Burn injuries also result from a variety of other reasons, including defective products and workplace irregularities.
Burns and scalds are extremely painful and can take a long time to heal. If the burns are severe, treatment and recovery becomes far more complicated. If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to negligence or carelessness of another person, then you have every right to claim for damages.
Here are a few things that you need to know about filing a burn injury claim.
1. Burns and Scalds
Burn injuries are usually associated with fire and hot steam, but they can also be caused by extreme cold, harsh chemicals, electricity, harmful radiations, sunlight, or friction.
Depending on the extent of the burn inflicted, injuries are classified into first degree, second degree, and third degree burns. Advanced degrees of burns usually result in death and are not typically found among survivors.
In first degree burns, only the top layer of skin or epidermis is affected and there is no further damage. Blistering is also uncommon and the burn site heals soon.
In second degree burns, the top layer of skin is completely burned and deeper layers of skin are affected. The burn injury is very painful unless the underlying nerves are destroyed. Red and blistering skin and further infections are commonly found with second degree burns. The skin looks wet and, if considerable area is affected, the victim may experience shock due to fluid loss from the burned skin.
Third degree burns are extensive burns that have destroyed protective layers of skin and damaged underlying muscles, tissues, ligaments, and tendons. Since nerves are destroyed, the victim often does not feel any pain in the injured area. Healing is slow and difficult, and scarring is unavoidable. Skin grafts are often performed to remedy permanent scarring.
The type of treatment you get and the chances of recovery depend on the area of the body affected. In many instances, a badly burned limb has no cure and will have to be amputated. Expensive and extensive cosmetic or plastic surgeries are recommended to treat severe burns, and help bring the survivor’s life as close to normal as possible.
A compensation claim will take into account the intense physical suffering of the survivor, medical expenses incurred, lost past and future earning potential, psychological trauma, and punitive damages. A fair claim will help stabilize your life and lighten the financial burden on your family.
2. Who Can File Fire Injury Claim?
Anyone who has suffered burns or scalds caused by the carelessness of another person or organization can make a burn injury claim for compensation.
Burn injury lawsuits usually involve accidents at work, schools and nurseries, hospitals and clinics, road accidents, and mishaps in public places.
3. Workplace Accidents
Your employer is legally bound to provide you a safe and healthy workplace that does no harm to your health and does not put you at any risk. It is not only high-risk professions – like construction and oil and gas exploration – where fire accidents occur. Rather, even in an office there are chances of your suffering burn injuries from faulty equipment or scalds from a kettle.
If your burns were caused by negligence of your employer due to badly maintained equipment or a high-risk job activity which you were unprepared for, then you can consider making a burn injury claim. If a loose carpet on the floor caused you to slip and fall while carrying a hot object, you can sue for the burn injuries caused.
It is necessary that your employer provides you with adequate training in safe work practices, risk management, and accident prevention. Employees should also be educated on risks and dangers associated with their job, and how best they can avoid accidents. A safety-centric work culture should be promoted in every workplace. Adequate first aid and necessary treatment facilities should also be available at vulnerable work sites.
If you feel that your injury was due to a lapse on part of your employer, then you should make a burn injury claim.
4. Other Accident Sites
a) Road Accidents
It is not unusual for victims of car accidents to also suffer burn injuries caused by the accident or due to other reasons, like an inflating air bag. Personal injury claims can be filed if you have suffered burns as a result of the crash.
Faulty equipment sometimes results in fires that cause burns to car accident victims. Burn injury lawsuits will help you get compensated for these injuries and other damages.
b) Schools and Nurseries
Small children are highly vulnerable to burn injuries because of their innately curious nature that takes them to wrong places, an unawareness of danger, and delicate skin that is easily injured.
Educational and care-giving institutions have a responsibility to provide risk-free, safe, and secure environments to kids. If your child has suffered burns as a result of coming into contact with a hot cup of coffee left unattended by a member of school staff or an exposed power line or radiator, then you have every right to make a burn injury claim.
c) Public Spaces
Burn injuries that were caused in a restaurant by a waiter spilling a hot beverage on you provides enough ground for making a burn injury claim.
If you have suffered injury on the premises of a poorly managed building where exposed hot pipes or splashing chemicals caused the burns, then you can sue for negligence. It is important that you are aware of your right to reasonably safe public spaces where you are not at risk for injury or accidents.
5. Understand Your Case
The most important requirement for making a claim is the presence of gross negligence or carelessness on the part of a third party that directly contributed to your burn injury.
You must be able to prove that if the negligence had not occurred, then the circumstances for your suffering the burn injury would not have existed. New Orleans Burn Injury Attorneys say that a direct cause-result relationship between another’s negligence and your injury improves your chances of getting a fair settlement.
It is important that you consult with an experienced lawyer who will help you gain a better understanding about your claim and the legal steps you need to take.
A burn injury claim can be brought on if you have suffered needlessly due to the negligence or carelessness of another party. A fair settlement will help bring financial stability and security into your life. With the assistance of a seasoned attorney, you can restart your life after injury slowly but steadily.