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Personal Injury Blog

What to Expect After a Burn Injury at Work

Thursday, October 17, 2019

What to Expect After a Burn Injury at Work

Burns are common among the types of injuries that occur in the workplace. Accidents involving fire or explosions often produce burns that range from minor to deadly. Chemical spills also account for many burns suffered at work. Individuals working in industries such as plants (especially chemical plants), welding and food service are prone to more burn injuries than other jobs. Learn what to do if you are burned at work and what legal options you have should a burn injury occur.

Types of Burns

Electrical

This burn occurs when you come into contact with an electric current. Any source of electricity can be culpable: these including facility wiring, power lines, lightning and stun guns. These burns occur as either a low voltage (under 500 volts) or high voltage (over 500 volts) event. Electrical burns generally cause more sub-dermal (tissue under the skin) harm than chemical or thermal burns.  

Chemical

You can obtain this type of burn when you come into direct contact with a chemical or its fumes. Strong acids or bases are usually responsible for these burns which range from mild to severe in nature. The face and extremities are the most likely locations for chemical burns.

Thermal

These burns are due to contact with high levels of heat as produced by such things as fire, heated objects, boiling water and other heated liquids. Common locations for these types of burn injuries are the fingers and hands. The burn is often superficial but can (in certain circumstances) be severe.  

Radiation 

The most common type of burn injury from radiation is a sunburn. It is also possible to suffer this type of burn from medical imaging procedures or from nuclear accidents. A radiation burn can range from minor to severe.

Degree of Burns 

First

Superficial burns concerning the outer layer of the skin. These burns are similar in severity to a minor sunburn that does not blister.

Second

These burns reach the dermis (underlayer) of the skin as well as the epidermis (outer layer). Signs of this degree are bright redness, shiny appearance, and swelling. Touching a second-degree burn will produce a moderate amount of pain. Scarring may occur depending on the severity of a second-degree burn.

Third

A burn that obliterates two full skin layers. Rather than a typical red-colored burn, the injury might appear white, black, brown or possibly yellow. Third-degree burns are not as painful as the nerve endings in the skin are destroyed.

Fourth

This degree of burn decimates both layers of skin and damages muscle and ligaments lying underneath the area. 

Fifth

Fifth-degree burns penetrate through two layers of skin and underlying muscle and proceed to damage the bone.

Sixth

This is the most severe degree of burn, which destroys skin, muscle, ligaments and chars bones. Fatalities sometimes occur from sixth-degree burns.

Complications

Prior to Healing:

  • Infection
  • Loss of fluids
  • Lowered body temperature

After Healing:

  • Scars
  • Joint and/or bone issues
  • Mental and/or Emotional Effects

Workman's Compensation

Get medical attention as soon as you can following a burn even if it appears minor. Alert your supervisor to the incident and follow your company's health and safety protocol to the best of your ability. You are entitled to workman's compensation when you experience a burn injury. This compensation typically pays all medical and therapy expenses and pays approximately two-thirds of your pay while you are out of work recovering. Insurance companies sometimes delay or even deny workman's compensation claims for various reasons, so you should seek out a qualified worker compensation lawyer should you face obstacles in your particular circumstance 

Other Legal Claims

Typically, you cannot sue your employer for an accidental burn unless there is severe negligence. There are some situations, however, in which a burn injury is caused by a third party. You might have a legal claim against this party.. For example, you could have a case in which the manufacturer of a piece of defective equipment is at fault for your burn.  Other burn events could involve negligence on the part of a vendor, subcontractor or even a client.

Please contact us for help with your particular circumstances.


burn injury burn injury

Burns as the Result of a Poorly Trained Stylist

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Burns as the Result of a Poorly Trained Stylist

Every day thousands of people put their hair and more in the hands of a professional hair stylist so they can look good. Whether it is just a quick wash and set or a speedy waxing, things can go wrong, and if they do, it can leave very visible injuries. While most hair stylists attend cosmetology school, this is roughly just a few months of lessons. For some, they may not graduate with all they need to provide you a safe experience at the salon. Unfortunately, the hair salon can be a dangerous place when you are in the hands of an inexperienced stylist, but they can be held liable for these serious injuries.

Injuries From Hair Salon Negligence

With luck, you will never need to know all the many ways you can get hurt at the salon. However, with an inexperienced stylist or even a salon that doesn't give proper care, you very, unfortunately, could find out. Salon injuries include:

  • Curling iron burns to the scalp or skin
  • Burns from the hair dryers
  • Burns from hot wax heated beyond recommendations
  • Chemical burns from dyes and other products
  • Slips on wet or debris-covered floors

To many, the worst thing that can come out of the salon is a bad haircut or a terrible dye job, but all of the above can have a much more lasting effect. However, the good news is that if you were hurt at the salon due to the negligence of another, you have the right to compensation through a personal injury suit.

Proving Hair Salon Negligence

Hair salon cases can be difficult. Often if it is just a small burn on the scalp, many personal injury lawyers will let you know that your case isn't really worth it. However, many injuries can be very visible and may even need surgical intervention to rectify. For these cases, typically they will be stronger not only because you have very visible injuries, but because it will likely be easier to prove a breach in duty of care.

For a successful personal injury case against a salon, which will generally cover the liability of their workers, you need to prove that the employee in question failed to follow directions or the reasonable safety standards of their peers. This can come in many forms, including witness statements from the time of the accident or security camera footage. One of the most crucial pieces of evidence to your case, however, is pictures of the injuries. The thing about injuries is that they tend to heal, so courts will not get an accurate picture of how badly you were hurt unless you document those injuries soon after they happen. Evidence for every incident is different, and thus it is best to consult with your lawyer after seeking medical treatment.

Once treated and making the decision to pursue a personal injury case, it is important to keep documentation of all medical treatment. Personal injury cases are designed to cover your medical bills, but if you don't have records of all these treatments, it can be more difficult to get accurate compensation. After being injured at a salon, you can also receive compensation for future medical expenses, pain and suffering, as well as a loss of income while you recovered from the injury.

Need Help?

Have you been injured by a hair salon or other spa-type business? Whether you were hurt due to an inexperienced employee or by malfunctioning equipment, we can help you. For those in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to see what the Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can do for you.

Who Pays if the Smoke Detectors Don't Work?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Home fires are an absolute nightmare, but that is compounded by the fact that if your smoke detectors aren't working, you may have little warning of what is happening. When a smoke detector doesn't work, you could find your home engulfed in flames and could sustain substantial burns and smoke inhalation from it, not to mention home damage. However, if your smoke detector isn't working, who pays for it?

The bad news is that if your smoke detector wasn't functioning due to low or no battery in it, and you own your own home, you are responsible for it. However, if you rent your home, then it is a landlord's responsibility to check and maintain smoke detectors. Failure to keep smoke alarms in working order means that your landlord can be held responsible for it regardless of if the apartments or homes were kept up to city code in all other requirements.

While it is a landlord's responsibility to ensure that smoke alarms are working, even if you own your own home, if your smoke alarm did not go off regardless of battery, it could be a defect from the company. The major problem with this is proving it. Often smoke alarms suffer substantial damages in the fire, and if this is the case, then your case against the company goes up in flames with it.

If you have been burned in a house fire due to a poorly maintained or malfunctioning smoke alarms, contact us today so we can talk about all your available options.

Burn Injuries - The Physical and Emotional Pain

Thursday, June 01, 2017

If you are suffering from a burn injury or the disability that has resulted from this type of injury, you are enduring one of the most excruciatingly painful experiences one could possibly endure.  Even a small burn is painful, but when you have suffered burn(s) to a large portion of your body or a part of your body that has rendered you unable to carry on the normal daily activities due to hospitalization, medical treatment, rehabilitation, surgeries, etc., you deserve to be represented by attorneys who know the law and can work for you to ensure you are receiving the most appropriate medical treatment and compensation for all that you are enduring as the result of the incident,  If someone's neglect or failure to adhere to safety standards has resulted in you suffering through the pain and long recovery of a burn injury, contact us immediately.  The lawyers at Freeman and Freeman will assist you in every legal aspect regarding your medical treatment, your recovery, and overall compensation for the pain and suffering, including possible psychiatric impairment, that has resulted from someone's negligence.   

A severe injury of this type leads to a long-term medical treatment plan and recovery plan. The hospitalization periods vary significantly depending on the percentage of your body burned, as well as the degree of the burns. The road to complete recovery is a long one and can take its toll on you physically and mentally, as well as cause financial hardship and undue stress on your family. A burn injury can lead to long-term psychiatric impairment as well that can manifest itself in many ways. Treatments of burns are painful in many ways, both physically and mentally. The scars the burns leave behind are not only on your body, but they are in your mind and may also leave scars on your relationships and/or your family. 

You do not have to endure the pain of a burn injury, in addition to the legality of someone's carelessness or neglect on your own while trying to recover from the injury itself. Contact us to make an appointment to speak with you or your personal representative regarding your legal options. You deserve the best treatment available and you deserve to be fully compensated for the pain and disability you are enduring, or will continue to endure due to permanent disabilities. 

Are Punitive Damages Available for Burn Injuries?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

If you have been the victim of a burn injury, then you are entitled to a number of damages depending on who was at fault. If the responsible party intentionally burned you or was grossly negligent in the accident, then you may not only receive compensation to cover treatment of the injury available to you, but punitive damages as well.

Punitive damages are essentially just extra cash tacked onto the compensation. They are meant to punish the defendant who acted in a reprehensible manner that caused the accident. If the accident was the fault of a wealthy party, then punitive damages will be higher in order to make them fully feel the responsibility.

However, while punitive damages are easily sought in a case where one party intentionally burned another, they are not always easy to get in cases of gross negligence. Typically grossly negligent burn cases are against manufacturers who, for example, put a product on the market without proper testing. However, in these cases you will find that the defendant is much more likely to settle if a court case could cost them thousands or millions of dollars in punitive damages.

In the hands of a skilled personal injury lawyer, your burn case can not only cover your recovery and any reconstructive surgery you may need, but the punitive damages you receive could help you live a more comfortable life. If you are a victim of a burn injury due to negligence in the Los Angeles area, contact us today to see what the Law Offices of Freeman and Freeman can do to help you.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.