According to the Centers for Disease Control, burn injuries are one of the most commonly reported injuries to emergency departments around the nation. Burns can occur any number of ways and are most often compensable by a responsible party. As well, burn injuries can involve months or years of medical treatment and rehabilitation, depending upon the nature of the injury. If you were recently burned, literally speaking, and would like to share your story with an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney, we recommend you speak to Nelson C. Barry today.
Types of Burn Injuries
The area of personal injury law applicable to your case will depend upon the facts surrounding your burn injury. Below, we have detailed several common scenarios and how negligence doctrine would apply to your case. Of course, if your situation differs from that which we have described, we still encourage you to meet with us to discuss your case.
- Product liability: Probably most common are burns occurring as a result of a faulty or defective consumer product. This could include kitchen appliances, the clothes dryer, a space heater, a curling iron or even parts of your car or motorcycle. Compensable burns could also include scalds from tap and bathwater that is heated to temperatures above 120 degrees, indicating a defect with the water heater. Many product liability lawsuits are decided under strict liability, which is an area of law affording the defendant (manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer) little in the way of a defense.
- General negligence: General negligence can arise in any number of fact patters, and generally involves conduct by another person that can be construed as an accident. In other words, the person did not try to burn you, but didn’t take proper precautions to avoid burning you. For example, if your neighbor accidently started a fire in his home which spread to your home, resulting in injury, your neighbor could be liable to you under general principles of negligence for your burn injury.
- Intentional conduct: Under the laws of civil assault and battery, you could receive compensation from a person who intentionally set out to burn you either with a lit object, through an act of arson or any other intentionally, non-accidental, conduct. This area of civil law also allows for additional damages against the defendant known as punitive damages, which work to essentially “punish” the defendant for intentionally causing injury.
How an Injury Lawsuit can Help
A civil lawsuit is designed to help make you financially “whole” again following your tragic injury. This means you can seek reimbursement from the defendant for the costs of your medical bills, missed time from work and possibly mental anguish or anxiety.
The civil process is distinguishable from the criminal process. In many cases, a defendant’s conduct is subject to liability both on the criminal side and the civil side. However, a successful prosecution does not necessary mean you will be successful in civil court, and vice versa.
Contact our office today
We are dedicated to working with injured victims and look forward to meeting you to discuss your burn injury. We are available by phone at: (415) 587-0550.