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What Qualifies as a Personal Injury Burn Case

There are an infinite number of scenarios which will qualify for a Personal Injury Burn Case.  The reason is that the standard for personal injury is so broad.  A case can arise from a work incident, a play incident, reckless conduct, negligent conduct, or even safe conduct!  Sometimes everyone does the right thing and still, someone gets hurt and needs an injury attorney.

Some professions are more at risk for a burn injury.  You can work on an oil rig or a chemical plant and it is easy to suffer a terrible burn. Many burns come from construction site accidents.  But others come from office settings.  There is always the threat of fire or explosion when electronic equipment is at issue.  One time we helped a burn victim due to a copy machine fire.

Burns claims the lives of people every year. Fortunately the numbers are not huge, the damages are incredible.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that explosions and fires are about 3% of fatal work accidents.  But, these numbers are rising.  The oil, gas and fracking industry is growing and with it comes a number of burn work injuries.  It is important to understand the risk of fire and do everything you can to avoid that type of accident.

We are confronted with explosive or flammable material all the time.  Sometimes we don’t even know it.  I am sure the owners of the exploding Samsung batteries had no idea their phone was an explosion hazard.  You don’t need to be in charge of handling dangerous materials to be at risk. Fires can start in a lot of different ways, many of them are not obvious.  There are some typical causes that usually lead to some type of injury claim:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Sparking Machines
  • Pipeline explosions
  • Gas Leaks (we investigate a number of gas leaks fire cases)
  • Poor electrical wiring
  • Improperly maintained workspaces
  • Storing dangerous materials in improper containers
  • Handling dangerous material without proper equipment or training
  • Many fires start from an intentional act of vandalism

Any of those reasons can lead to a lawsuit.  It is 100% factually dependent.  A full examination needs to occur to determine what caused the fire or explosion and whether human error was a part of the problem.  Once the fire or explosion happens it is usually catastrophic.  Also, how people or businesses respond immediately after the explosion or fire is also a big factor.

Every business must be prepared with safety equipment that is kept up to date.  They must have clear fire exit routes delineated.  They must have a number of working fire extinguishers.  The building will need to have a proper ventilation system.  Depending on the size and age of the building it is likely that it should have a working sprinkler system.  These safety measures can save lives.  They are also mandatory under the law.  Without them, the liability for the accident continues to rise even if the fire was NOT the fault of the business owner.

The sad fact is that most people don’t survive large-scale explosions and fire.  Even caustic chemical spills are many times fatal.  The people who end up surviving are more often than not, catastrophically and permanently damaged by the incident.  Many wish they had died.   Burns are incredibly difficult to treat.  The skin is an organ. Once it is severely damaged the entire organism shuts down.  Other organs also start to shut down. The victim has a terrible and uncertain future. They will face terrible challenges which will be both physical and emotional.  The other bad effect is the financial consequences of a burn injury. The treatment is incredibly expensive.

Some of the injuries that people suffer after a fire or explosion are obvious.  Certainly, the burn injury from a fire or a chemical burn is the worst of the problems.  But people also suffer fractured bones from the force of a blast.  Many people will suffer smoke injuries due to inhaling so much smoke.  That will affect their breathing and their vocal cords.

Of course, once the skin is burned it is subject to contracting infections.  It is permanently scarred.  The victim almost also has psychic trauma and emotional suffering due to the pain and change in life position.  It is extremely difficult to become a disabled person who is in pain all the time.  Many of these victims cannot even return to work even with extensive medical treatments and rehabilitation.

When Defendants or Employers don’t make safety a priority, people get catastrophically hurt or killed.  The lawyers at the LaBovick Law Group have seen too many burn victims suffer through months of recovery only to be left with a lifelong injury.  We take personally the need for these victims to be awarded their rightful compensation, including compensation for their pain and suffering.

We also recognize that not all fires can be prevented. But that won’t excuse anyone from not have the right safety equipment ready to minimize the damages from that fire or explosion.  Business owners and employers have a duty to prevent accidents and keep people and employees safe.  If they fail to take the steps necessary to prevent dangerous accidents from happening, or they do not make safety a priority, the victims are going to suffer a terrible consequence but LaBovick Law Group will protect you and hold them responsible for what happened.  But try to let us get in quickly after an accident because the evidence may have burned up in the fire!

In general, if you are ever injured and evidence shows that your employer or another party could have prevented the accident from occurring, you will have the legal right to take action.  We will look at all angles of the case and make sure that all building codes were followed, that all safety equipment was used, that there is no evidence of a failed safety inspection or any past violations.  We will check whether OSHA ever issued a fine against any of the entities or people implicated in your accident.  Have there been any past accidents, injuries, burns, explosions at that site?  We will also collect all available witness testimony from other witnesses and employees so we can verify the negligence.

It is a tough world. There are workplaces where fires and explosions are commonplace. Our maritime practice has Jones Act cases where crew members were hurt on barges or cargo ships.  We also have burned workers at refineries and in manufacturing plants.  Many warehouses have highly flammable chemicals being stored on-premises.  That is another claim ridden industry.   In fact, I have said in a past case that some fires and explosions are not only preventable, but they are also predictable. In those situations, the Employer must be prepared with significant safety systems to protect and save their workers. They need the highest level of training, the best safety equipment and the proper staffing to keep workers safe.  Anything less is simply wrong!

If you or a family member are ever hurt in an explosion or fire you should get medical help immediately.  But as soon as you or a family member should also get ahold of an injury attorney who has burn case experience.  The reason is that evidence to prove fault disappears after the investigation is complete.  Without that evidence proving fault in an accident setting gets far harder.  That is why we has a standard “Preservation of Evidence” letter that goes out in every burn and explosion case.

After the incident or accident, when you are sitting in a hospital getting medical treatment, try and remember the facts of the accident. You will need a precise recollection of where you were located when the accident occurred. You will need to know exactly what happened and how you were hurt.  You will be expected to know and clearly state the facts of the accident. On top of that you will need to know your entire medical history.  Start taking notes and writing down what you recall happened as soon as possible after the incident.  It is extremely difficult to remember all the details after a year has passed.

Our best advice immediately after an accident and after getting medical treatment:

  1. Refuse to give anyone a recorded statement without legal counsel present. If you do I GUARANTEE you it will be used against you later.
  2. Refuse to sign any form without a lawyer looking over it.  Don’t trust any company representative.  Absolutely don’t trust an insurance adjuster.  Both of those people are trained to get you to sign off on your rights for little money.
  3. If you have any pictures or videos of the worksite before the explosion, make sure you keep them in a safe place.
  4. If you have any pictures or videos of the explosion or fire itself make sure you store that information in a safe place.

Many people expect the police, or their employer, or some other entity (like OSHA) to report on the accident and take care of business.  But that is not true.  While your employer is supposed to take care of you after a serious accident that doesn’t happen often.  Getting a business to pay an out-of-work person their full compensation is really impossible.  Plus, each case is different. Each case will have a number of different paths, with a few different parties. Each one of the parties will have a different relationship to the injured person.  Each one will have an insurance representative, and possibly a workers’ compensation adjuster, plus there are often significant payments made from potential third parties.  None of those deeply involved people will have your best interests in mind.

Let us help you gather the existing evidence, uncover the burned evidence and help you get the best medical care possible.  Then we will determine the future for you after the accident and get you the full value of your case.   The goal is to cover all of your monetary losses.  It will take care of your huge medical bills both in this case and into the future.  It will take into account all of your past, present and future lost wages.  But most importantly, it will take care of your pain and suffering, your disfigurement, your permanent injury and your loss of enjoyment of life.

After 25 years of trying cases we are experts at understanding the complexity of injury work.  Trust us with our case. We will make you happy and proud to be a part of the LaBovick Law Group family.  We work on cases throughout Florida.  Contact our office toll-free at (561) 623-3681 for immediate assistance.

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