Burn Injuries in Virginia
There are many causes of burn injuries. Burn injuries can be extremely painful, debilitating and life-altering. If you suffer a burn injury, you may have grounds to sue a party responsible for your accident.
Burn injuries vary in intensity. While most of us have suffered minor burns that clear up quickly, the impact of serious burns can be permanent.
If you suffered a burn injury in a car accident, an industrial accident or from a defective product, you may have grounds to file a claim. Contact our experienced Hampton-based burns injury lawyers for more details.
Burn Injuries in Virginia – How Are Burns Classified?
Burn injuries are classified on a scale ranging from the least to the most serious.
The types of burns a victim may suffer include:
First-degree burns only cause damage to the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. First degree burns may frequently occur after accidentally touching a hot stove, an iron or a hair straightener. Sunburn may constitute a first-degree burn. If you suffer a first-degree burn, your skin may be red and painful, and you could experience mild swelling. First-degree burns are the least serious kind, states the American Academy of Dermatology.
Second-degree burns are also known as partial thickness burns. They go beyond the epidermis and cause damage to the underlying skin called the dermis. Second-degree burns are extremely painful. Characteristics include blisters and severe pain and swelling.
Third-degree burns are extremely serious. The entire thickness of your skin and underlying muscle area are burned. Third-degree burns destroy nerves. They can be less painful than second-degree burns but the nerve damage can lead to amputations.
Causes of Burn Injuries in Virginia
Although we associate burns with terrible car or truck crashes or explosions, more than 70 percent of burn injuries occur within the home. Burn injuries include:
Thermal burns may be caused either by a heat source or from a chemical reaction that causes the release of heat. You should exercise caution around hot objects and areas where chemicals are used.
Welding can result in thermal injuries on the job, especially when a foreman or on-site supervisor fails to provide a safe regime. When a fire breaks out in a public building or an apartment complex, the building’s owner or landlord may be held responsible if people are injured due to the lack of working smoke detectors or inadequate fire exits.
Chemical burns are caused by contact with chemicals found in cleaning solutions, industrial processes or other dangers.
A company or an employer can be sued over a failure to properly label chemical containers. A company that fails to put adequate warning labels on its cleaning product could be responsible for burns sustained by a customer. A malfunctioning gas appliance could cause a natural gas leak or fire. Railroads have been held liable for burns to first responders and workers from chemical fires after derailments.
Electrical burns associated with a shock can cause serious tissue and nerve damage.
When an electrician fails to properly ground an electrical outlet in a residence, the homeowner or occupant could sustain serious burns. Faulty wires or damaged equipment can also lead to shocks and burns.
Preventable Causes of Fires
The U.S. Fire Administration states 3,280 people died from fires and 15,700 people were injured in 2015. The following are listed as preventable causes of fires:
· Faulty electrical wiring;
· Hazardous materials stored incorrectly;
· Portable heaters.
Burn Injuries Caused by Defective Products
On occasions, a manufacturer may be sued for burn injuries caused by defective products.
A variety of products may cause burn injuries. Faulty wiring can cause fires while products like coffee makers or malfunctioning water heaters can cause scalding. Defects in cars have caused fatal blazes. Certain makes of Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Liberty were recalled by Fiat Chrysler in 2013. The recalls followed gas tank explosions that caused deaths and serious injuries. The cars were equipped with plastic rear gas tanks that safety advocates argued offered inadequate protection during rear-end crashes.
Other examples of defective products that can cause injuries are inadequately labeled household cleaners that can burn the user.
Electronic cigarettes caused 133 acute injuries when they caught fire or exploded, the U.S Fire Administration noted.
Electronic products containing lithium batteries such as hoverboards are also linked to a series of fires.
In some cases, manufacturers may have flouted regulations intended to protect consumers or failed to warn of the dangers. Federal regulations relate to household products such as mattress pads, lighters and electronic toys.
Manufacturers have a duty to ensure children cannot easily access products that pose a burn hazard such as stoves.
Hire an Experienced Virginia Burn Injury Lawyer
Burn injuries can be terrible for the victim and the families of a victim. Establishing liability in these cases is not always straightforward. The experienced trial lawyers at the Smith Law Center fight for justice for their clients and take cases all the way to trial where necessary. Call us today at 757.244.7000.