Florida Chemical Burn Lawyer

Florida Chemical Burn Lawyer - Sibley Dolman Gipe

You are exposed to chemicals almost everywhere from your home to your job.  A chemical burn accident can happen almost anywhere including farms, agricultural sites, research facilities, manufacturing plants, janitorial environments, laboratories, construction sites, and in your own home.

Chemical burns can be extremely painful and can cause injuries as severe as burn injuries that are caused by fire.  Chemical burn injuries are both emotionally and physically traumatic and have the potential of leaving physical and emotional scars and the need for long-term treatment.

At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, our experienced burn injury and chemical burn lawyers help those injured by chemical burns obtain the compensation they deserve to enable their recovery and be made as whole as possible.

What are chemical burns?

Chemical burns are burns to internal or external organs of the body caused by a toxic, corrosive or caustic chemical substance that is either a strong acid or base (also known as alkali).  Most chemical burns affect the hands, arms, legs, face and eyes.

What causes chemical burns?

Chemical burns are caused when your eyes or skin come into contact with dangerous chemicals that are classified as acids or bases.

The pH scale, which ranges from 1-14, definiens the strength of acids and bases:

  • A pH of 1 is considered a very strong acid and can cause a severe burn.
  • A pH of 14 is considered a very strong base and can also cause a severe burn.
  • A pH of 7 is a substance that is considered neutral and does not cause burns.

Common acids include:

  • Sulfuric acid
  • Hydrofluoric acid
  • Nitric acid
  • Phosphoric acid

These chemical acids can be found in:

  • Fertilizer manufacturing
  • Drain cleaners
  • Toilet bowl cleaners
  • Metal cleaners
  • Car battery fluid
  • Tile cleaners
  • Stone cleaners
  • Tire cleaners
  • Rust removers
  • Dental chemicals
  • Refrigerant
  • Glass etching
  • Pool cleaners
  • Dye manufacturing
  • Metal refining
  • Electroplating and jewelry making
  • Disinfectants
  • Detergents

Common bases:

  • Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide
  • Sodium and calcium hypochlorite
  • Phosphates
  • Ammonia

These chemical bases can be found in:

  • Oven cleaners
  • Denture cleaners
  • Drain cleaners
  • Household bleach
  • Pool chlorinators
  • Household detergents
  • Household cleaners
  • Fertilizer manufacturing

Since not all burns happen at work, it is important to be extremely cautious at home when handling any of the following chemicals:

  • Drain cleaners
  • Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Toilet and bathroom cleaners
  • Products containing lye
  • Concrete mix
  • Pool chlorinators

Who is at risk for chemical burn injuries?

A chemical burn injury can happen to anyone, but those who are most susceptible include:

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Unsupervised children
  • Older adults
  • People with disabilities
  • Factory workers
  • Manufacturing plant employees

While a chemical burn injury can happen to anyone, anywhere, the majority of chemical burn injuries occur in the workplace, rather than at home.  Burns often occur in industries, particularly manufacturing plants that use large quantities of chemicals.

Occupations that typically handle potentially harmful chemicals include;

  • Janitors
  • Construction workers
  • Transportation industry workers
  • Laboratory staff
  • Mechanics
  • Welders
  • Pool cleaners
  • Painters
  • Farmworkers
  • Mineworkers
  • Hairstylists
  • Nail technicians
  • Manufacturing plant employees
  • Chemical plant employees

What are the signs and symptoms of a chemical burn?

Chemical burns happen when caustic substances such as acids and bases damage body tissue. The symptoms of a chemical burn can depend on several factors, including:

  • pH of chemical
  • area of contact (skin, eye, mucous membrane)
  • concentration of the chemical
  • physical form of the chemical (liquid, gas, or a solid
  • amount of the chemical involved
  • the length of time in contact with the chemical
  • if the chemical was swallowed or inhaled
  • whether or not skin is intact

Symptoms of a chemical burn include:

  • blackened or dead skin (seen from acid burns)
  • redness, irritation, or burning of skin at the site of contact
  • numbness or pain at the site of contact
  • vision changes, blurred or loss of vision (eye contact)

When a chemical is swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed into the bloodstream, the following symptoms may also occur:

  • faintness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • seizures
  • headache
  • irregular heartbeat
  • muscle twitches
  • cardiac arrest
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • low blood pressure

What are the types of chemical burn injuries?

Burns are classified according to the extent of the injury and the depth of the burn:

  • A superficial burn (formerly called a first-degree burn) is an injury to the top layer of skin or the epidermis.
  • A partial-thickness injury or dermal injury (formerly called a second-degree burn) is an injury to the second layer of the skin or the dermis.
  • A full-thickness injury (formerly called a third-degree burn) is an injury to the third layer of skin or subcutaneous tissue.

What is the treatment of chemical burns?

If you, a co-worker, family member, or friend has experienced a chemical burn, first aid should be given to the burns immediately, if possible.  WebMD advises taking the following steps:

  • Call 911 or your local poison control immediately at 1-800-222-1222
  • Protect yourself from chemical exposure.
  • Rinse and clear the burn area by flushing the area with cool water (not a strong stream) for at least 20 minutes.
  • Unless they’re stuck to the person’s body, remove the person’s jewelry and clothing as you flush the burn (not before).
  • If available, follow the instructions on the chemical container.
  • Do NOT put antibiotic ointment on the burn.
  • Loosely wrap a small burn area with sterile, dry gauze or a clean cloth.

What is the long-term outlook for someone with a chemical burn injury?

If you are severely burned, you will need to undergo burn rehabilitation that may include some of the following treatments:

  • skin grafting
  • skin replacement
  • debridement surgeries
  • cosmetic surgery
  • pain management
  • occupational therapy
  • psychological therapy

In rare and catastrophic burn accidents, victims can suffer disfigurement, severe tissue damage, blindness, or even death.

Who is at fault?

Workers or individuals who suffer severe chemical burns that were caused by no fault of their own, either due to a defective product or someone else’s negligence may be entitled to restitution for medical bills, ongoing and future treatments, lost wages, and even funeral costs for the family if the chemical burn injury leads to wrongful death.

Determining fault or negligence in a personal injury case can prove complicated and depends on a number of specific circumstances that include where the victim was injured and how the chemical burn injury occurred and liable parties. Examples can include:

Product Liability – When a product, either because of its poor design, a defect in manufacturing, or a malfunction, causes injury.

Premises Liability – When a property owner neglected unsafe conditions and this negligence led to an injury.

Workers’ Compensation – When an employer fails to provide workers with adequate training in the safety protocols associated with handling toxic chemicals; the failure to provide proper protective safety gear or workers who are forced to use low-quality safety equipment.

Contact an experienced burn injury attorney near me

Those who have suffered a chemical burn injury by no fault of their own, as a result of another party’s negligence, should be fully compensated for their injuries, lost wages, quality of life loss, and pain and suffering.

But, first and foremost, seek appropriate medical attention as soon as possible, then contact an experienced chemical burns attorney.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is committed to helping those who have sustained chemical burn injuries recover what they are owed. Our consultations are free and have no obligation, so you have nothing to lose by calling us.

To schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer, contact us online or call our office today at (866) 826-1298.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(866) 826-1298