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How Can Burn Injuries Lead to Legal Claims?

Statistics published by the American Burn Association (ABA) [1] indicate that an estimated 450,000 individuals in the United States must undergo some type of medical treatment for burn injuries on an annual basis. Furthermore, at least 40,000 people suffer severe enough burn injuries that they require long-term stays in burn centers, hospitals, or other medical centers to recover. Needless to say, such burn victims are unable to work or attend school during this recovery period, so they often lose out on substantial amounts of income or fall behind in their education. Additionally, the recovery process for many burn injuries can be extremely painful and may include multiple surgical procedures, skin grafts, and more. The risk of infection with burn injuries is also high, so these wounds can often lead to additional illnesses and even death.

A burn injury damages at least one layer of the skin and the most serious burns can damage all layers of skin and may even damage the bone, muscle, or other tissue. Even if a burn victim survives and undergoes significant medical treatment, there is still a chance that they will be left with permanent disfigurement. Disfigurement and pain can both cause emotional trauma and psychological damage, which can cause many different issues in a burn victim’s life and require costly treatment.

As you can see, burn victims often go through quite an ordeal. If the burn occurred because another party was negligent, victims have the legal right to recover from the responsible party. At the Dolman Law Group, our experienced burn injury attorneys are committed to helping victims of burns and other types of injury receive the full amount of compensation they deserve for their losses. Please do not hesitate to call us at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Negligence that leads to burns

When most people think of burns, they tend to first think of fires. While fire or flame is actually the primary cause of burn injuries, there are many other potential causes, many of which stem from negligent actions or omissions. For example, burns can be caused by any of the following factors:

  • Fire or flame
  • Contact between a hot surface, hot glass, hot metal, or another heated object with the skin
  • Contact with hot steam or liquid, causing scalding
  • Defective appliances, electronics, machinery, or wiring
  • Defective or improperly installed electrical currents
  • Contact with or exposure to toxic chemicals, such as acid or lye
  • Over-exposure to radiation from cancer treatments or X-rays
  • Over-exposure to ultraviolet rays in tanning beds
  • Explosives such as fireworks
  • Road rash or other friction-based abrasions

Many of the above causes of burns occur because a person, company, or government entity was negligent. Negligence means that the party failed to act with a certain standard of care and, as a result, caused your injury. For instance, if a negligent driver causes a car accident, which leads to an explosion and to burn injuries, the driver should be held liable for your losses. Another common example of negligence in burn injuries is a restaurant serving coffee or other hot liquid that is way too hot and causes scalding burns. Many other burns occur because the manufacturers of home appliances negligently sold a defective product that malfunctioned, started a fire, and caused burn injuries. In such cases, you may bring a product liability [2] claim against the company.

If you can sufficiently show that your burn injury was caused by a negligent party, you may be able to recover for your medical expenses, physical pain, lost wages, emotional trauma, and more. Showing negligence is not always easy, however, so you always want to have the representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Clearwater, Florida who understands the nature of a burn case.

[1] http://www.ameriburn.org/resources_factsheet.php
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_liability

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756