Burn injuries are incredibly painful and, when severe, can cause a vast range of problems, including permanent disfigurement, infections, a weakened immune system, and other chronic conditions. For that reason, severe burn injuries are considered catastrophic. These types of injuries can occur in nearly any environment, especially when negligence plays a part in creating the perfect storm. If you sustained a severe burn injury as a result of someone else’s careless actions, you could be entitled to compensation that could cover both your present and future medical cost and much more.
How They Happen
From fire and flames to scalding, electrical, or chemical burns, a vast range of things can cause burn injuries, affecting individuals from all walks of life and of all ages. They can happen at home, at work, in the car and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that losses caused by burn injuries amount to about $7.5 billion every year.
Below are some of the most common causes of burn injuries:
- Car accidents: In a car accident, the gasoline in a vehicle can ignite, which could cause the car to burst into flames, burning any occupants. In fact, according to a report from the U.S. Fire Administration, these types of accidents account for about 16% of all fires, resulting in an average of 490 deaths and 1,275 injuries every year.
- Defective products: Various defective products, especially those that use batteries or combustible fuel sources, can spark or overheat. This can lead to a fire, which can ultimately cause severe burn injuries.
- Workplace fires: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fires and explosions in the workplace caused 4,609 deaths in 2011.
- Scalding injuries: Generally, the elderly and children are at a higher risk for these types of injuries. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 100,000 people each year are treated in hospital emergency rooms as a result of a scalding injury. For children, hot tap water is most often the culprit for this injury.
- Gas explosions: According to Pipeline Safety Awareness, gas pipelines stretch across more than 2.6 million miles of the United States and most of them were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. As such, gas explosions have increasingly become a concern. These explosions can occur anywhere, including gas furnaces, water heaters, or any other situations that involve propane, natural gas, or other fuels.
- Chemical accidents: These typically occur in labs or on worksites, but they can also happen at home. Many of us keep a whole host of household products that can cause chemical burns, such as bleach, concrete mix, cleaning products and pool chlorinators.
- Electrocutions: When workers are exposed to electrical currents, they are at risk for electrocution injuries, which can cause damage to the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, and the central nervous system. It can cause electrical burns or even death.
Who Can Be Held Responsible?
If you sustained a burn injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, the at-fault party can be held accountable for any losses associated with the injury. Examples of who you might be able to hold responsible include:
- If a defective product caused your injury, the manufacturer can be held accountable for it in a product liability lawsuit.
- If you suffered the injury at a hotel, apartment, or other property, the landlord or owner can be held legally responsible for it.
- If someone negligent caused a gas explosion or exposed you to chemicals that caused a burn injury, you can hold that person responsible for it. If it was caused by a gas company, or another entity, you can sue the company.
- Regardless of fault, if your injury was sustained at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. If it was caused by a third party, a personal injury lawsuit could recover broader compensation than what workers’ compensation would provide.
Burn Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
Burn injuries are among the most painful types of catastrophic injuries a person can suffer. It can lead to long-term pain and suffering, disfigurement, and a weakened immune system. At Pratt Clay, LLC, our Atlanta team of personal injury attorneys will work to put you at ease and ensure your best interests are being looked after. Let us provide the legal assistance you need.