Burns sustained from a fire can leave long-lasting physical and emotional scars. While burn injuries are most often associated with fires, people can sustain burns from chemicals, unsafe products or other hazards. These serious injuries often leave victims with trauma and substantial medical bills in the aftermath of the incident.
In both children and adults, burns are the fifth most common cause of death, accounting for an estimated 3,500 accidental or wrongful deaths each year. An accidental burn at a bonfire or a burn caused by a poorly kept property may be the result of negligence of another. A landlord who failed to follow fire safety laws or employer not following workplace safety regulations may be held liable for any physical pain, medical bills, lost wages and other damages sustained as a result.
Fire Products that Failed to Protect People
Landlords and employers are generally responsible for acquiring and maintaining fire safety devices such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on their properties. Sadly, some of these products do not always work as intended and a serious defect in a product intended to alert or protect people from a fire can potentially be life threatening.
The type of smoke detector found in the majority of deadly house fires are simultaneously the cheapest to purchase and the most commonly used. These are known as ionization smoke detectors and reportedly take an average of 15-20 minutes longer to sound an alert than other types of alarms. As a result, multiple states have banned these detectors and defective product lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers of such products, like Kiddie, BRK Brands and USI Electric.
Additionally, manufactured fire suppression devices for stove tops have also been met with allegations of product defects. Williams-Pyro’s Range Queen, StoveTop and FireStop are just a few of the one-time fire suppressant devices that have no apparent evidence of functioning as they are marketed.
The United States Air Force, Navy and Army have all banned the use of these products in military housing after reports that some activations of these products were causing hot grease to splash out of pans and onto the stove. Unfortunately many of these products are continued to be found in apartment complexes all across the country, particularly low-income housing.
Types of Burn Injuries
There are four main types of burns that can result in varied severity:
- Thermal burns– resulting from contact with fire, steam, hot liquids or other sources of extreme heat.
- Light burns- resulting from sunlight or ultraviolet light.
- Chemical burns– resulting from exposure to acid, alkali or a chemical explosion.
- Radiation burns– resulting from contact with nuclear radiation.
Each of these injuries are categorized based on three levels of severity:
- First-degree burns– this damage only exists in the top layer of skin. It is characterized by minor inflammation and redness. These burns cause minimal damage, usually heal within a week and can often be treated with aloe vera gel or cool water.
- Second-degree burns– this damage goes beyond the top layer of skin. It is characterized by extremely red and blistered skin. These burns could take weeks to heal and should be bandaged properly.
- Third-degree burns– this is the worst type of burn, with damage extending throughout all layers of skin, sometimes affecting organs and bones. It is characterized by a black or white charred wound. These injuries can cause permanent nerve damage, hypothermia and in extreme causes, death. Emergency medical treatment should be sought out immediately.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Apartment Complex or Landlord?
If a fire breaks out and a tenant becomes injured as a result, the property owner could be held responsible for failing to keep their property safe for their guests. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are two major safety features that apartments should contain and be installed properly.
Safety precautions that aren’t adequate or are non-existent in your apartment complex gives you the right to sue. Courts in Florida can hold a landlord accountable for damages in an injury case if it can be successfully proven that negligence existed on the landlord’s behalf.
Compensation for Burn and Fire Accidents
If you have been the victim of a burn injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have a right to recover damages for your trauma and recovery. Burns are some of the most expensive and traumatic injuries that one can experience and treat.
Even a first-degree burn has the potential to become infected, requiring additional medical treatment. Third-degree burns could take years of treatment to return to some sense of normalcy, usually having a significant impact on burn victims quality of life and ability to work.
If you or someone you love has been seriously burned, you may be legally entitled to compensation for your personal injury. The law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro are here to fight on your behalf so you can focus on recovery. Call today for a free consultation with our burn injury lawyers to make sure the statute of limitations does not limit your ability to file a claim.
If you have suffered a serious injury, we can help you. Our firm has obtained verdicts and settlements in excess of $20 million for our clients.
We offer Florida burn injury victims all the advantages of a large law firm in terms of experience, knowledge, access to experts, technological savvy, resources and, most importantly, results. At the same time, we provide a level of personal attention, compassion and friendly support that larger firms cannot compete with.
Assets that help in working toward your recovery include:
- An on-staff critical care nurse who can evaluate burn injuries and arrange for clients to receive the best medical care available
- State-of-the-art courtroom presentations, including realistic anatomical models
- Burn injury and long-term care specialists
- Vocational economists and rehabilitation experts
- Attorneys who have obtained settlements and verdicts in excess of $1 million on numerous occasions
Our success with burn injury cases has been no accident. It is the result of the honest hard work and thorough preparation we bring to all of our personal injury cases. We also believe in the importance of keeping the client and his or her needs in focus while all this is going on. Our lawyers keep in close touch with clients and their families during the investigation, research, negotiation and litigation phases of the process, and we encourage them to ask questions freely and to be as involved in their cases as they would like.
Our expert team of attorneys is ready to fight for you today. Based right here in Miami, we have tons of experience fighting for everyday citizens of Florida. We know how scary it can seem, fighting legal battles after you have been hurt. That is why our team will be in your corner, by your side every step of the way. Call us today at 305-662-6178 to get started with a FREE consultation.